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Council coalition pushes through resolution: Street at the Rhine to be closed to through traffic

Council coalition pushes through resolution : Street at the Rhine to be closed to through traffic

Planners for the city are to design a new, beautiful riverside promenade for Bonn. As soon as the reconstruction starts, cars will be banned from the section between the Opera House and the street Zweiter Fährgasse.

In the future, the street along the Rhine between the Opera House and Zweiter Fährgasse will be closed to through traffic. The council coalition comprised of the Greens, SPD, Left party and Volt pushed through this motion on Thursday evening in the main committee meeting. The CDU, FDP and Bürger Bund Bonn (BBB) voted against the measure, warning of impending traffic jams.

As reported, the city is holding a competition to design a new "Rhine bank promenade" near the city center. Similar to Cologne or Remagen, the city is to be better connected to the river, and the riverbank area is to become more attractive for walkers and cyclists. The project, earmarked for twelve million euros, is to be realized in two construction phases starting at the end of 2023. The city administration has developed an initial traffic concept for the project, envisaging cars to drive only in a southerly direction from Rheingasse. "This one-way arrangement takes into account the retention of the bridge bypass and the ensuing load distribution of traffic on Rheingasse and Brassertufer/Rathenauufer, especially in order not to overload the left-turning southbound Rheingasse onto Belderberg Street," the city writes.

But the coalition does not go along with this. It believes that between Rheingasse and Zweiter Fährgasse, only special traffic (e.g. delivery vehicles, local residents, cabs) should be allowed at walking tempo. In this way, "the entire Rhine bank can be redesigned at the same level”, offering an attractive place for residents to linger. ”The new riverside promenade will only become more attractive if we push back car traffic," SPD faction leader Angelika Esch emphasized at the meeting. That had also been the wish of many participants in the citizens' survey on the project.

The opposition shares the goal of making it more attractive, but considers the Rhine embankment an important alternative route when there is congestion on the Adenauerallee. The administration, which is planning a trial run of the traffic adjustment, also urged caution. It is true that they want to keep cars away from the Rhine as much as possible, said Petra Denny, head of the city planning office. But, "Since we can't yet make an assessment of the traffic impact, we suggest having a reserve area as an option in case there's traffic disruptions in the surrounding streets." Traffic could be routed along there if necessary.

However, the coalition did not agree to this. To rule out such a compromise before the start of the competition was criticized by Guido Déus, chairman of the CDU parliamentary group, as "irresponsible". It meant that they had already accepted that heavy traffic jams might form at the Koblenzer gate and elsewhere. Together with the planned capping of the City Ring, this would have an impact on the entire city center, predicted Achim Schröder (FDP). If the calculation is to persuade motorists to switch to buses and trams, that will fail. "We don't need an alternative route on the banks of the Rhine, nor do we need a one-way street," countered Rolf Beu (Greens).

(Orig. text: Andreas Baumann, Translation: Carol Kloeppel)