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Poor traffic planning: Department head does not view Bonn as a bicycle capital

Poor traffic planning : Department head does not view Bonn as a bicycle capital

Helmut Wiesner, head of the Traffic Department, laments the poor planning over the last decades regarding traffic changes in Bonn. It is far from being a bicycle capital.

A monthly ticket for the bus and train costs 62 Euros in Dresden, but 85 Euros in Bonn. DHL and Telekom would apparently like to pick up staff from the city outskirts by shuttle bus but there are no Park & Ride places. In 25 years, Bonn has not extended one meter of track or decoupled the busy Line 66 in Beuel from road traffic to prevent delays.

There are many clues as to why the traffic load in Bonn is not improving. Statements from listeners were the most concrete things heard at the panel discussion on traffic development in Bonn organised by the Beuel SPD at the Pantheon on Sunday lunchtime. It was expertly moderated by the journalist Wolfgang Zimmer.

Otherwise, most of those taking part in the discussions stuck to well known viewpoints: IHK traffic expert Stefan Wimmers demanded improvements in car traffic in the inner city and lamented “the neverending decline in sales” in the retail trade. He wants to reduce traffic jams in the short term with a carpooling app for employees of Bonn companies.

Low cost for routes

Annette Quaedvlieg, chairperson of the German Cyclists’ Association (ADFC), is “furious” that her concept for bike commuter routes was not included in the federal government’s Lead City Programme. Three routes could be implemented at short notice and cost only Euro 1.5 million.

Managing director of SWB Bus and Train, Anja Wenmakers, thinks the traffic situation in Bonn is not too bad and the bus and train network is one of the best in Germany. The VRS is responsible for the tariff structure and is looking at the issue. For now, the new five person day ticket should be used. This would then be a comparable price to a journey in Berlin or Dresden.

Sebastian Hartmann, SPD state leader and member of the Bundestag, said on the other hand: “If we carry on as before, it won’t work.” Inner cities could also become unattractive because of too many cars.

Less room for cars

The head of Bonn’s traffic department, Helmut Wiesner, is also of this view. He laments the poor planning over previous decades. The city hall is best reached by car, he jokes: “Then you’ll also find the entrance.” Wieser said he can only laugh himself silly over Bonn’s declared intention to become the bicycle capital by 2020.

To achieve improvements, the common good must be put before individual interests, said Wiesner, not only with a view to the cable car. Space must be taken away from car traffic and made available to other road users. But this requires political majorities in the city council. He named plans for wider cycle paths in the Rheinaue in Bonn and Beuel, the planned commuter route from Bornheim to Bonn via Alfter and a cycle path over the North Bridge and on the new “Tausendfußler” as projects for the near future. However, everything depends on EU funding, federal subsidies or the state of NRW.

(Original text: Martin Wein. Translation: kc)