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GA English on Sunday: News in Brief from Bonn and the region

GA English on Sunday : News in Brief from Bonn and the region

Cancellation of catholic church services due to coronavirus, construction work to improve traffic flow, Olympic mascots visit Bonn and the first conclusion on the impact of e-scooters - here is our news in brief on Sunday.

Catholic church services cancelled until Good Friday

BONN. On Saturday evening, all Catholic church services and events in Bonn were cancelled - as in the rest of the Archdiocese of Cologne – up until Good Friday. This follows an order of the Archbishop of Cologne which has been agreed with the authorities to counteract the spread of coronavirus by limiting social contact. On Sundays and public holidays worshippers can join in with the services provided on television or radio. The Protestant church in Bonn will decide at the beginning of the week whether services will continue or be reduced.

(Original text: Lisa Inhoffen)

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Measures to improve traffic flow

BONN. The roundabout at Alten Friedhof has been modified at a cost of 785,000 euros according to the city council. Traffic flow here has greatly improved by the roundabout; previously the traffic lights often resulted in long tailbacks. A ramp is planned from the Viktoria bridge leading to the roundabout. The bridge is dilapidated and is being gradually demolished and replaced by a new construction. The new ramp will relieve the traffic on Bornheimer Straße in the direction of the town hall, where there is currently a lot of rush-hour traffic, and will also improve air quality. At a recent discussion meeting on air pollution control, Helmut Wiesner, the City Planning Councillor, said that modifications to Bornheimer Strasse will be made following construction of the ramp.

(Original text: ga)

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Olympic and Paralympic mascots visit Bonn

BONN. On Friday morning Someity and Miraitova, the mascots for this year’s Paralympics and Olympic Games in Tokyo could be seen in front of the Old Town Hall. As part of their European "Make the Beat" tour, the pair have already shot footage for a promotional film in Barcelona and Paris, and destinations such as Lausanne, London and Athens are also on the list. Bonn is the only city to be visited in Germany, chosen due to the location of the International Paralympic Committee headquarters here in the city. The film choreography is simple: clap to the beat. It was filmed in different variations – with just the mascots, together with the two Paralympic athletes Katharina Bauernschmidt and Heinrich Popow and with a group of children whose parents work for the committee. Typically Japanese, the mascots have a manga-style look. Cuddly with huge shining eyes, Olympic Miraitowa is blue and white, and Paralympic Someity is pink and white.

How are the games affected by coronavirus? Bauernschmidt said that Olympic preparations are in full swing, however many qualifying events for the Paralympics have already been cancelled. The last Olympic places will be awarded in May, which will be very tight if Covid-19 thwarts preparations and a cancellation would be "the worst thing that could happen", said Popov. "It would be a pity for all the athletes who have spent years preparing for it." However, we must now trust the experts, he said. Holding the games in empty stadiums would be strange, “as an athlete, you live for the spectators’ cheers”. Both athletes remain optimistic that the games will take place as planned.

(Original text: Stefan Knopp)

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City decides e-scooters are not problematic

BONN. Electric scooters have now been part of Bonn city life for around nine months. Bonn city council has come to the initial conclusion that their impact is largely positive. The Left Party (Linkspartei) in the council’s environment committee demanded a full-scale enquiry into the e-scooters, including issues such as accident rates, logistical workload, durability of the scooters and employee working conditions. Citing the police, the city reported that only a few accidents or incidents with the scooters have been recorded in Bonn. Since the introduction of the e-scooter system, the police have written around 30 reports in total, most of these involve ignoring red traffic lights. In addition, the municipal security service receives three to four complaints a day about badly parked e-scooters. The governing coalition in Bonn believes that the environmental committee is not yet ready to make a decision on climate emergency and therefore the “Klimanotstand” measures have been postponed. The SPD had unsuccessfully opposed this postponement.

(Original text: fa)

(Translations: Caroline Kusch)