Recent survey A majority in Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district is in favor of the traffic turnaround
Bonn/Rhein-Sieg · Most people in Bonn and the region think that the traffic situation needs to change. This is the result of a Forsa survey. But the car is still the number one means of transport.
There are terms that immediately stir emotions in Bonn's urban society. The word "environmental lanes" is one of them. These days, such a lane is being set up on the Hermann-Wandersleb-Ring, initially on a test basis. It can only be used by buses and people on bicycles. While some see this as an important contribution to the promotion of local and bicycle traffic, for others it is a straight path to traffic chaos. The same applies to the environmental lane already installed on Oxford Street.
The terms "bicycle expressway" and "city ring cap" also have a high potential to arouse Bonn residents. All of this falls under the concept of the traffic turnaround, which means, among other things, the reduction of car traffic, the expansion of local public transport (ÖPNV) and the promotion of cycling and walking.
A majority considers the traffic turnaround important
The Bonn City Council coalition of the Greens, SPD, Left Party and Volt, with Mayor Katja Dörner (Greens) at the helm, wants to advance the traffic turnaround in Bonn. But do they have the people in Bonn behind them?
According to the results of a current Forsa survey by General-Anzeiger and Radio Bonn/Rhein-Sieg, this is the case. 35 percent of those surveyed in Bonn consider it very important that there is "a so-called traffic turnaround and that car traffic is severely restricted and instead local public transport is promoted and the network of cycle paths is expanded," according to the evaluation of the Forsa survey. 34 percent consider this approach important. This contrasts with 31 percent who consider a traffic turnaround to be not so important or unimportant.
A look at the demographic breakdown of respondents shows that the biggest supporters of a traffic turnaround in Bonn tend to be younger (16- to 29-year-old) bicycle users and supporters of the Green Party or the Left Party. Among supporters of the FDP and CDU, there are majorities of 58 percent and 53 percent, respectively, who consider a traffic turnaround not so important or unimportant. Similarly, older people (60 years and older) and car drivers tend to be more critical of the traffic turnaround.
So is Bonn a car city? In the ranking of the most frequently used means of transport among those surveyed, the car came in at 45 percent (multiple answers possible), ahead of the bicycle at 39 percent and public transport at 32 percent. Twenty-six percent said they walked most often, and for two percent, motorcycles are the number one mode of transportation.
According to the Forsa survey, 24 percent of those who most frequently use a car also use a bicycle. And of those who use a bicycle most often, 24 percent drive a car more often.
Speaking of cars, it can be nerve-wracking to find a parking space in Bonn. However, according to the Forsa survey, 44 percent of respondents believe that there are enough parking spaces in Bonn. For 33 percent, there are too few parking spaces, and 18 percent think their number should be reduced.
Here, too, it is worth taking a look at the party supporters. Among those affiliated with the CDU, 50 percent think there are too few parking spaces, among FDP supporters the figure is 52 percent. By contrast, only 13 percent of Green and Left supporters and 29 percent of SPD supporters think the same.
In the Rhine-Sieg district, the answer to the parking space question is clearer. Among all age groups and all party supporters, the prevailing opinion is that there are enough parking spaces in the towns where they live. Overall, 66 percent of the people surveyed in the Rhine-Sieg district think so. 27 percent think there are too few parking spaces, and seven percent want to reduce the number of parking spaces.
In the Rhine-Sieg district, 31 percent consider a change in traffic policy to be very important, 34 percent important and 35 percent not so important or unimportant. In the region around Bonn, too, the greater supporters of a traffic turnaround tend to be voters for the Greens and the Left.
The car is by far the first mode of transport in the district - for 77 percent of respondents. Public transport (27 percent) ranks just as clearly behind as the bicycle (24 percent). Twenty-two percent walk most of the time, and four percent use a motorcycle most of the time. The findings are even clearer only for the district municipalities that are not in the vicinity of Bonn: Eitorf, Hennef, Lohmar, Much, Neunkirchen-Seelscheid, Ruppichteroth, Siegburg, Swisttal and Windeck. There, the car is the first choice for 87 percent of those surveyed - which is not surprising, since the Rhine-Sieg district is more sparsely populated, especially on its edges, with a correspondingly smaller public transportation service. Across the district, 51 percent of respondents said they could not do without a car. For 38 percent, it would be difficult to do without, for eleven percent it would be easy.
Of those surveyed in the Rhein-Sieg district, 54 percent rate the bus and train services offered by the public transport system as very good or good, while 41 percent rate them as poor. In Bonn's neighboring municipalities, the ratio is 58 percent to 35 percent, in the more distant municipalities 48 percent to 49 percent. However, a clear majority of 66 percent of respondents in the Rhein-Sieg district believe that public transportation tickets are too expensive.
In Bonn, this finding is even clearer. For 76 percent of respondents, the fares are too high. If the same survey were conducted today, the figure could well be even higher. After all, at the end of September, the Rhine-Sieg Transport Association (VRS) decided on two price increases for the coming year. On January 1, 2023, prices will rise by an average of 3.5 percent, and on July 1 by another average of 3.87 percent.
Apart from the ticket prices, people in Bonn are satisfied with the public transport services. For 64 percent of those surveyed, it is very good or good, for 30 percent of those surveyed, it is not so good or bad.
GA presents the results of the Forsa survey
On behalf of General-Anzeiger and Radio Bonn/Rhein-Sieg, Forsa Society for Social Research and Statistical Analysis GmbH asked 22 questions to 750 people over the age of 16 in the Rhein-Sieg district and 751 in Bonn in August of this year. The selection procedure for the telephone interviews guarantees that all population groups are represented in the sample. This makes the results representative. The questions cover different areas of daily life and local politics. The GA and radio station present the results in the series "So ticken wir! The Great Heimat Check," which runs until October 8. The next issue will focus on shopping behavior in Bonn and the region. (Orig. text: Christoph Meurer / Translation: ck)