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New traffic lanes in front of the main station: Bus station in Bonn presents problems for cyclists

New traffic lanes in front of the main station : Bus station in Bonn presents problems for cyclists

The city of Bonn has established bicycle and bus lanes in front of the main station. The situation at the bus station remains confusing, and the administration is examining plans for its redesign. A major problem is still the entry and exit of buses at the central bus station.

The city has set up temporary bus and bike lanes at the main station. Following a decision by the city council, the right-hand lanes have been re-marked as wheel lanes in both Maximilianstraße and Am Hauptbahnhof. The lane in front of the main station is also open to buses. A bus lane has been created between the south underpass and the crossing to Maximilianstraße, which cyclists may use in reverse. This means that car drivers are only allowed to use one lane at a time.

"So far, it's working fine," says a cyclist standing in front of the crosswalk near Maximiliancenter. Another cyclist also sees "no problems" when passing through. The change from Maximilianstraße to the street Am Hauptbahnhof goes smoothly: the pedestrian lights and the traffic lights regulate the traffic seemingly without problems.

Cyclists on their way from the south underpass towards Nordstadt, on the other hand, will have company on their way: the right-hand, orange-marked lane acts as an environmental lane for buses and cyclists. The remaining lane to the north is shared by cars and trams.

Passers-by observe chaos not only during rush hours

Another major problem is the entry and exit of buses at the Central Bus Station (ZOB). This is also the conclusion reached by the city administration, which has noticed a worsening of the situation since the timetable change last year. It is not only during rush hours that passers-by observe chaos. Without a clearly installed traffic guidance system, buses, trams and cars cross here in both directions. In addition, many passers-by walk directly across the street from platform 1 or the tram stop. There is a pedestrian crossing only a few meters away.

"To get to the bus at the ZOB quickly or simply take a shortcut, people here simply walk across the street," reports a passer-by. She stands at the tram stop in the direction of Auerberg and Beuel and watches the action. "It's really dangerous, there are buses, trams and cars," she says. Cyclist Svenja (24) has just completed the south tunnel and is standing at the level of the bus station. She can't go any further, because the tram stops straight ahead. The passengers getting on and off are blocking her way. "Here at the ZOB it is simply confusing and very dangerous", Svenja thinks.

The traffic backs up far into the south tunnel, especially in the morning. Other cyclists would then simply bypass the standing cars and buses. "There's got to be some way through." In addition, there is no fast route to the city centre. "You can only go straight ahead or as a pedestrian you can pass the south underpass in the direction of Kaiserplatz. But then I have to push the bike, and that's no solution," says Svenja. Many cyclists would simply take the shortcut via the ZOB instead - without getting off.

Administration should enable safe lane changes

Even though the environmental lane is a first step in the right direction, she says: "After the traffic lights at the level of Maximiliancenter, the cycle path simply stops. What happens afterwards?" A lane change to get to the north underpass is difficult. Isabel Klotz from the press office said that the politicians had asked the administration to find a solution for a safe lane change. Another problem described by a cyclist on Thomas-Mann-Strasse is the rails. Student Svenja wished for a car-free city centre or at least a "real" cycle path along the street Am Hauptbahnhof.

Such cycle paths are planned, only the date of implementation is still uncertain. A planning approval decision for the re-division of the road space has been passed by a majority of local politicians. In both directions, cycle paths are to be created, each marked in red on the outside. The current re-markings aim to realistically simulate future traffic flows before a traffic census is started in April. The analysis should provide information on how well the changed traffic routing on Kaiserstraße and with the extended city ring road works.

(Original text: Niklas Schröder; Translation: Mareike Graepel)