Bonn · How have Bonn residents reacted to the easing of corona restrictions? Measuring stations set up in shopping areas and along bike paths suggest that life is getting back to normal again.
On Monday, Bonn approved a further easing of the restrictions that were imposed in mid-March to help contain the coronavirus. The past few days show that life in Bonn is returning to normal. This is at least what the figures from the online platform hystreet.com indicate. It uses laser technology to determine the number of pedestrians at three locations in Bonn and publishes the figures on a daily basis.
How have the numbers of visitors to the city fluctuated during different periods of the corona pandemic? The following overview provides data to answer this question and also shows how the behavior of cyclists and motorists changed during this period.
Number of pedestrians approaching normal levels
On last Monday, May 11, it was the first round of easing of restrictions for restaurants and other retailers. According to figures from hystreet.com, there were still not as many visitors as usual in Sternstrasse. A peak of around 1,850 visitors was recorded between 4 and 5pm, compared to around 2,380 pedestrians as an average for all Mondays that had been measured in the past. On Tuesday, May 12, the number of visitors to the Bonn city shopping area rose to 2,070 for the same time of day. The average number of visitors for all Tuesdays was 2,313. Similar figures could already be observed for the past week.
Generally speaking, the number of visitors on Sternstrasse were still well below the numbers recorded between March 2 and 8. That was the week before the first recommendations for corona restrictions in Germany were made known and when major events were cancelled. At that time, the number was still at a total of around 187,800 visitors within a week - significantly higher than last week (May 4 to 10), when a total of around 116,250 visitors were counted.
The number of cyclists remains high
Many commuters and visitors use Kennedy Bridge to bike into the city of Bonn or to Beuel. The website eco-public.com publishes daily updates from a local counting station, which registers the number of passing cyclists riding in the direction of Bonn city center or Beuel. Despite the pandemic, the number of cyclists passing through there has risen almost steadily since the beginning of March - also due to weather conditions: In the week before the first pandemic restrictions (March 2 to 8), there were a total of 24,690 cyclists on the Kennedy Bridge. From March 23 to 29 (introduction of the nationwide contact ban) the figure fell slightly to 21,080, but then went on to increase to 42,615 for the week of April 27 to May 3 (comparable figure for the same period last year: 40,899 cyclists). Last week (May 4 to 10) the number continued to rise sharply to 58,523 cyclists (same period last year: 48,415).
What is the situation on the autobahns around Bonn?
The figures from Straßen.NRW regarding car and truck traffic on the autobahns in North Rhine-Westphalia also indicate that people's lives are returning to normal. Compared to the time shortly after the introduction of the nationwide contact ban (after March 23), when the number of vehicles fell by up to 70 percent, only 30 percent fewer cars and trucks are on the autobahns at present, according to Straßen.NRW.
Reports of traffic congestion have also risen significantly in recent weeks. While there were only 629 reports of traffic jams with a total length of 572 kilometers in the week from March 23 to 27, the number rose again to 1,373 reports of traffic jams with a total length of 1,388 kilometers in the week from April 20 to 24. But this is only a fraction of the 6,322 kilometers of traffic jams reported at the beginning of March.
(Orig. text: Dierk Himstedt / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)