Wave of parking tickets in Oberkassel "Overnight, everyone suddenly had a €55 parking ticket"

Oberkassel · Residents of Kalkuhlstraße and Am Buschhof have been repeatedly fined 55 euros for parking offences in recent days. It’s never been a problem before, so why now?

Time and again, there are 55-euro parking fines.

Time and again, there are 55-euro parking fines.

Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

Following the unexpected fines in Hermannstraße, the municipal public order service has now also issued an increasing number of warnings in Kalkuhlstraße in Oberkassel. "Overnight, everyone suddenly got a €55 parking ticket," reports Miriam Mackowiak, who lives on the street but doesn't have her own parking space. "It's completely incomprehensible that cars are now being ticketed where they have been parking with no problem for decades."

A site inspection reveals that a whole row of cars are parked on the wide pavement in the street, something which for years has gone unnoticed. The remaining cars are parked on the road. If the cars were parked on both sides of the road, nobody would be able to get through, explains Miriam Mackowiak.

Suddenly there are 25 fewer parking spaces

As it turns out, the cars are packed right up to the banks of the Rhine, especially as the Bonn-Oberkassel railway station and Il Borgo restaurant are also located further down. During the day it is full, there’s even a car parked on the DB railway track. If the pavements are now to remain free, there will be more parking pressure: "Suddenly around 25 parking spaces will disappear," Mackowiak calculates.

The resident doesn't understand why the city doesn't announce in advance that it will no longer tolerate pavement parking, but will instead impose a fine of 55 euros per offence. "Why doesn't the city hand out zero-euro parking tickets first?" asks Mackowiak, who has noticed that her neighbours are always on the lookout to see if the police are coming again. "We lie on our windowsills like snipers and warn each other so that nobody gets a parking ticket."

Residents ask city councillors for help

Residents of Am Buschhof and Kalkuhlstraße recently met with Oberkassel city councillor Fenja Wittneven-Welter (SPD), who had previously been told about similar situations in Alsstraße and Lindenstraße in Ramersdorf, where parking tickets were also being handed out. The local politician reports that this is also primarily about pavement parking: "The practice that has been going on for decades has never been legal, only now it is being penalised."

Wittneven-Welter has also discussed this with the head of the city's public order service, Sascha Hessenbruch. "The public order services have to penalise this and have no discretionary powers," she reports. "The pavement widths are not being adhered to and parking half on and half off the pavement is only permitted if it is signposted."

As the council politician explains, the residents of Am Buschhof have initially parked on the carriageway on one side of the road. "However, a problem arises when people park on the other side of the road half on the pavement." Then, for example, the Bonn Orange rubbish lorries can no longer get through.

Citizens propose solutions

Wittneven-Welter says that a solution has already been proposed for Kalkuhlstraße in discussions with local residents: "You could park on one side of the road on the carriageway and on the other side entirely on the pavement if there were markings." The pavement is wide enough and has no greenery. The 20 citizens she met with now want to draft a corresponding citizens' petition.

According to Wittneven-Welter, the parking situation was already difficult before the new flood of parking tickets. Signposting Am Buschhof for one-sided parking and marking parking bays on the pavement in Kalkuhlstraße could reduce some of the parking pressure. The city should also appeal to Deutsche Bahn to create more parking spaces for the railway station. "The residents have been very constructive and are trying to improve the situation," she says.

The council politician also explained to the residents that the sudden parking tickets were not the result of a political decision and that there could be no warnings or zero-euro tickets. "That is only possible if the regulation changes. But it hasn't, wrong parking has just never been penalised." The public order office says that there have been complaints about parking offences and the employees have taken action as a result.

Public order office takes action following complaints

In response to a GA enquiry, the press office confirmed that the public order office takes action in response to complaints about parking offences. Although the administration cannot provide specific figures, it says that more and more people are reporting such parking offences. The public order office then has to take action. According to the press office, the increase in the number of warnings is also due to the fact that more staff are now available for traffic monitoring and it is therefore possible to react more quickly to reports. However, the legal situation has not changed, according to the press office: "Parking on pavements is generally not permitted without a corresponding sign."

Original text: Sascha Stienen

Translation: Jean Lennox

Tausche Auto gegen Freiheit
Ehepaar aus Meckenheim steigt um Tausche Auto gegen Freiheit