Drivers can be caught in a traffic trap Parking in Bonn’s city centre

Bonn · If the car park at the Münsterplatz is full, there is no legal way of turning back. One cannot get away until spaces in the parking lot are freed up.

Beethoven or basilica, Karstadt or Kaufhof - there are many reasons to pay a visit to the Münsterplatz. But if one arrives in a car, there is a chance to get caught in a traffic trap. Driving towards the underground car park when it is full, there is no legal way of turning away unless traffic rules are broken.

The entrance to the parking lot is located at the end of the Budapester Straße, between Friedensplatz and Thomas-Mann-Straße. Driving towards it means not being allowed to turn around - the Budapester Straße is a one-way street.

No way out of the qeue

If you want to follow the course of the road via Sternstraße and Friedensplatz, you will find yourself in the pedestrian zone. Which is only cleared for delivery traffic, taxis and buses. An electronic display panel above the entrance of the car park should show how many spaces are still free. But the display often is incorrect, as several drivers have reported. „If the electronic display does not work, the drivers are unlucky“, says Isabel Klotz of the city council’s press office.

Often, the garage is accessible after a short waiting time. „During the known busy times like the run-up to Christmas, bridge days or just on a regular Saturday, drivers have to expect full car parks in the city and thus long waiting times. The operator of the underground car park, the Bonner City Parkraum GmbH (BCP), only rarely hears complaints about the situation. „There are not many drivers, who turn around or want to drive away again - they mostly wait until somebody leaves the car park“, says Veronika John of the Stadtwerke Bonn (SWB), the company who partly owns BCP.

Police checks traffic flow

„There are drivers who wait in front of the parking lot even if the display shows zero spaces - just because it is their favorite car park.“ Most people seem to chose the parking lot because of its location and not because it offers certain free space. The drivers sometimes prove to be a problem for the buses on the Friedensplatz though, says John: „It happens regularly that cars hinder the buses. But they are rarely the people who want to use the underground car park but rather the ones who stop at the side of the road to hop into a shop for a moment.“

That is annoying for bus drivers and their passengers, because it causes delays. The police, who check the traffic flow sporadically there, confirm this. „A typical violation of traffic rules is the collection or setting off of people, only seldomly in connection with the Münsterplatz car park“, explains Simon Rott, spokesperson for the police. „If someone can plausibly explain that he wanted to get into the car park, it is in our colleagues’ discretion to refrain from charging a fine.“

How often this happens, he could not say. Police and city council recommend a different approach: Drivers who come through the Thomsa.Mann-Straße, should slowly feel their way forward - and, if they see traffic backing up, they should continue towards Cityring. If that doesn’t work out and you don’t want to accept the waiting time in front of the car park, you have to put up with leaving the area illegally - and hope for the police’s good will. Original text: Alexander GrantlTranslation: Mareike Graepel

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