Peter bretscher has been collecting signatures for a few weeks now: in kindergartens and schools, in clubs and on supermarket parking lots. 76-year-old arnshauser thinks cyclists are treated like stepmothers in the city, and that the bike path network needed to be better developed. "I cycle when I can. I can get to town faster by bike, i don’t have to look for a parking space, and i can park it right at the shops or at the doctor’s office," he says, he says. Cycling reduces car traffic and thus relieves the parking situation in the city center. Cycling is environmentally friendly, good for health "but dangerous in the absence of cycle paths", he says.
The pensioner thinks that climate protection is not just a matter for big politics, but that everyone has to make a small contribution. So he has started to collect signatures for "more environmentally friendly bicycle use" to be laid out. He reports that more than 600 people so far support his call for a more comprehensive network of bike lanes in the city center.
Initiative circle considered
Bretscher says he doesn’t want to dictate where a bike path should go. He wants to get the city council and the administration to take bike paths into account when planning for rough tree removals.
The goal must be that cyclists can ride safely in the city without breaking traffic rules – because, for example, it is sometimes more dangerous to ride on the sidewalk than on the road. The bike path network must also ensure that cyclists do not come into conflict with pedestrians and do not obstruct car traffic. As soon as bretscher has handed over his signatures to the city, he hopes that an initiative group of volunteers will be found to work with the administration on ideas for the cycle path network.
In the past few years, not much has happened in the city center with regard to bike paths. But the willingness to deal with it seems to be increasing, finds grunen city councilor richard fix. He is pleased about bretscher’s initiative and would also be willing to participate in the initiative group. "I can only approve of every measure that supports cycling in the city", he says. Fix has been championing the issue for years. Now he has also received support from other parliamentary groups. Fix, martina greubel (CSU) and bernhard schlereth (freie wahler) recently presented ideas in the building committee on how to improve bicycle traffic.
The central concern for fix is: "we must manage to create an east-west (i.E. From sinnberg to garitz, anm. D. Red) and to establish a north-south connection (from hausen in the direction of arnshausen)." In his opinion, maxstrabe, kapellenstrabe and ludwigstrabe are well suited for the east-west connection. For the north-south connection he suggests the theresienstrabe. "One shortcoming is that the sidewalks are often not wide enough for combined walking and cycling paths", says city councilman.
Narrow roads as a problem
Even on the roads, it is often not so easy to mark a bike path, explains city planner christine schwind. She thinks the schonbornstrabe makes sense for a bike connection, for example. "But we can’t get it right there, she says. The sidewalk is too narrow for a combined bike and pedestrian path. The roadway only allows a protective lane for cyclists if the parking spaces along the road are eliminated. With parking spaces and a bicycle lane, the roadway would be four meters wide at its narrowest point", explains schwind. However, cars in passing traffic need 4.50 meters and buses more than six meters. She sees an uphill bike lane in erhardstrabe as realistic. "We have to talk to the government and have another look at the intersections", says the city planner.
The building authorities have now examined schonbornstrabe and erhardstrabe as examples. In principle, bicycle traffic will be part of the traffic concept that has been decided on recently. The administration is currently preparing the tendering process. "We can’t look at cycling in isolation", says schwind. Overlaps, for example on the subject of parking, must also be taken into account. However, it will be a while before the concept is in place.
The city council factions unanimously emphasize that the traffic concept is important to them. Fix expects it to make the city more bike-friendly and car-free. However, small solutions such as the one in erhardstrabe had to be implemented in advance. For example, steffen hortler, spokesman for the CSU, sees it similarly. "Where there are solutions, they must be tackled quickly, otherwise they will be included in the concept", he says.