New and wider cycle paths Königswinter speeds up the expansion of cycle paths

Königswinter · The city of Königswinter wants to expand more cycle paths. This is because there have been many complaints and recently very poor marks in the ADFC cycling climate test. A concept now defines where existing paths should be widened first.

 According to the planners, cyclists should be given priority over cars at the junction of Heisterbacher Straße in Oberdollendorf at the tram stop.

According to the planners, cyclists should be given priority over cars at the junction of Heisterbacher Straße in Oberdollendorf at the tram stop.

Foto: Hansjürgen Melzer

The expansion of cycle mobility in Königswinter is now set to progress at a faster pace. After several poor grades in cycling climate tests in recent years, the administration is now clearly stepping up the pace.

The Rhine cycle path between the Bonn city limits and Weidenweg in Niederdollendorf, which is currently being expanded, is already a visible sign of this. The surface of the footpath and cycle path between Oberdollendorf and Heisterbach Monastery, which was previously a bumpy track in places, was also recently resurfaced. The town's hands are tied when it comes to major solutions such as the expansion of the mountain-valley connection due to the responsibility of the state, according to the municipality.

Two further priorities for the near future have now been presented to the construction and transport committee: Improvements are to be made to the cycle traffic axis between Königswinter railroad station and the double traffic circle on Grüner Weg in Dollendorf. This also applies to the situation regarding bicycle parking facilities. The committee unanimously instructed the administration to prioritize the individual measures presented and to implement them with the available budget and personnel resources. An implementation plan will also be drawn up for the bicycle parking facility concept.

Mayor Lutz Wagner made both issues a top priority a year ago. Following a number of suggestions from the public and especially from the ADFC, he and some passionate cyclists cycled through several areas in the valley and documented weaknesses, deficiencies and danger spots. “Our main focus was on the cycle path connection of the Old Town cycle axis from Königswinter railroad station to the double traffic circle on Grüner Weg,” says Wagner. With the help of the responsible staff unit, extensive text and image documentation was then compiled and discussed with the specialist departments.

The traffic planning office Kaulen was commissioned with the planning for the cycle route in June 2023. Employee Wolfgang Kever presented the procedure to the committee. “The cycle traffic axis does not meet the requirements for safe cycle traffic routing,” he said. This was the result of the survey. Ten points of conflict were identified at junctions such as Von-Loe-Straße and Bachstraße. The entries from the city's complaints portal were also evaluated. This was followed by a plan of measures for all sections and ten defined junctions for the 4871-metre stretch of road under investigation. Of the almost 4.9 kilometers, the required width for a cycle path or a combined footpath/cycle path can be achieved on a stretch of 926 meters, for example. Only on 613 meters can the width definitely not be achieved.

A distinction was made between expansion, marking and signage measures that can be implemented in the short, medium and long term. For example, a ban on stopping on both sides of Bahnhofsallee can be implemented in the short term and does not cost much. Further along Bahnhofsallee near the Paul Lemmerz sports facility, on the other hand, there is a greater need for action. There, the unclear cycle path is to be widened from 2.90 to 4.20 meters, which would require the removal of a row of trees. In the long term, the bridge over the urban railroad at the stadium, which is only 2.50 meters wide, would also have to be widened. At 230,500 Euro, this would be a very expensive measure.

Many cycle paths are still too narrow

At the junction of the cycle path with Heisterbacher Straße, the planners recommend giving cyclists priority parallel to the existing crosswalk. Lowering the cycle path to road level, removing the barrier and adding signage would cost a total of around 50,000 Euro. At 1.40 meters, the cycle paths on Grüner Weg are clearly too narrow and are to be widened to two meters. On the road “Zum Strandbad”, the planners are proposing the creation of a cycle lane. The Grüner Weg/L 193/Am Strandbad junction is also to be redesigned.

All measures, including the construction of the new bridge at the stadium, add up to around 1.58 million Euro, of which 815,000 Euro alone will be spent on converting the junctions. Funding will be applied for once the order of the measures has been determined. In the committee, Technical Officer Fabiano Pinto put the brakes on discussions about individual measures at this stage. “Understand today's date only as an introduction and allow the administration to take action with the decision on the overall concept,” he said. “We won't be so fast that you won't be able to keep up,” he promised.

The parking facility concept is about improving the acceptance of cycling by providing a comprehensive range of parking spaces in public areas. The planning office was also commissioned with this in June 2023. The first step was to take stock of 72 locations in the city, as employee Jens Böse reported. The existing facilities are mainly located at public buildings and facilities, schools, leisure and cultural facilities, halls, swimming pools and sports facilities, shopping facilities, but also at mobile stations and tourism hotspots.

Parking facilities are already available at 45 locations. However, the lack of protection against theft and the poor stability of many facilities were noted. There are also often no parking facilities for cargo bikes or children's bikes. An improvement measure was proposed for each location. All new construction and conversion measures were then divided into time categories from “immediate” to “long-term”.

Ten measures with 110 parking spaces are to be implemented immediately at a cost of 38,000 Euro. In the short term, 42 measures with more than 1000 parking spaces are planned. Cost: around 608,000 Euro. Green Party Chairman Klaus Ruppert praised the administration for the concept. “We need to get something visible on the road as soon as possible,” he said.

(Original text: Hansjürgen Melzer / Translation: Mareike Graepel)