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Environmental lane for buses and cyclists in Bonn: City wants to test single lane car traffic in Endenich

Environmental lane for buses and cyclists in Bonn : City wants to test single lane car traffic in Endenich

The major parties in Bonn’s city council want to test single lane car traffic on the Hermann-Wandersleb-Ring and Endenicher Straße.

For years, the transformation of Bonn into the planned “Bicycle Capital 2020” was at best carried out with the handbrakes on. The latest 16th progress report on the topic by the city administration also contains few concrete measures for the second half of 2018 other than the award of the bicycle rental system. Only Ennemoserstraße was designated a bicycle street. Those who do not know it should not be susprised – it is a little used, short intersecting road to Propsthof.

Now, however, the parties are apparently daring to get down to business. The city administration considers it conceivable to make car traffic on Endenicher Straße and Hermann-Wandersleb-Ring – currently more than 30,000 vehicles per day – single lane on both sides of the Endenicher Ei and to set up an environmental lane for this purpose. Due to the complex traffic arrangements, the Endenicher Ei itself must remain two-lane. In principal, a “traffic experiment of a cycle lane (3.25 metres wide) with clearance for scheduled services and electric vehicles and taxis if necessary,” could be considered according to one of the administration’s submissions.

The solution has the attraction that regular buses will also be allowed to overtake cyclists using the normal lane. This is not allowed in a bus lane approved for cyclists. A congestion-free corridor from the south-west over the Viktoria Bridge and into the city centre could therefore be opened up to buses and cyclists. According to the city’s figures, the route is used by 520 scheduled buses and nine lines daily, with an average of 16,500 passengers on board.

Predictable discontent among car drivers on Endenicher Straße

Discontent among car drivers on Wandersleb-Ring and Endenicher Straße is predictable. “Therefore we must persuade more people to change to buses and trains,” says councillor Henriette Rheinsberg for the CDU majority faction. This will only be done with reliable timetables. In the long term, Rheinsberg personally considers that environmental lanes will be installed on all suitable multi-lane roads in the city.

The SPD, who pushed with the idea together with the Greens, is also thinking in this direction. “If we don’t start, there will be no change to the delays to bus traffic,” believes SPD councillor Gabi Mayer.

Fight for limited traffic space

The administration now wants to determine whether the number of cyclists on Wandersleb-Ring justifies the installation of a bike lane. Traffic was counted on two days in July. The results will be available to the planning committee at a meeting in October or November, explained Kristina Buchmiller from the press office. The council already wants to collect facts about Sandkaule. Individual traffic here to Beethovenhalle Platz is also to be reduced. Heading out of the city, the city council has decided to designate a protected bicycle lane that buses can also use.

Both measures are further examples of how there will be a struggle for scarce traffic space to prevent diesel vehicle bans and to adapt the city centre to climate change.

(Original text: Martin Wein. Translation: kc)