More space for walkways? In the fight for space in city traffic, it rarely goes to the pedestrian. However, there are municipalities that want to change that.

Thomas Hummel, Thomas Hummel

Thomas Hummel, Born in 1973, deals with topics from sports, politics and, more generally, from society. In Munich later literature student born, later a volunteer in the süddeutsche Zeitung. Then an editor at the football world Cup-the library of SZ. In between, he was on all of the continents of the world, has seen the Maracana in Rio, Rodeo, Panama, and South African Cricket. But most of all he sits somewhere between a Stony sea near Berchtesgaden and the Swiss Rätikon mountains, and a salami eating bread.

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“Every road user is a pedestrian,” says Friedemann Goerl. From time to time, and it was on the way to the tram or to the car. This fact is a great advantage for the 29-Year-old, because he can claim to represent in his Job, all of the 580 000 in Leipzig. For eleven months, Friedemann Goerl Walking person in charge of the city, the first of its kind in Germany.

Goerls pioneering work comes at a time in the traffic planning in the cities is becoming more complicated. More and more people move into the urban areas, where space is growing, or through densification even less. The conflicts between the traffic participants to take, and more and more often the question arises: For whom it provides a public space? Roads and Parking for cars? Tracks and bus lanes for public transport? More and wider cycle lanes? And where’s the pedestrian? “The fall is mostly down a bit, if no one cares about it,” said Goerl. Therefore, the city of Leipzig has decided, after long debates, to create the beginning of 2018, the position of the pedestrian officer.

Munich city centre

Where to arise in the future, new pedestrian zones

In the city Council find the traffic calming in the Sendlinger Straße, in the meantime, all succeeded. Also, for more – for example, in the gärtnerplatz district plans. By Alfred Dürr and Heiner Effern

Since then, the traffic planning of the city to be running on the Desk of the young geographers. He fits the curbs around seniors homes lower as assistance for old people with walkers. It prevents pedestrian detours need to take in purchase. Goerl pays attention to accessibility. Once, he prevented that the walkway has been forgotten to a Kindergarten. He has experience in the administration, no fronts or against players, but rather the response: “Oh, we have not seen.” The Leipzig one of the main conclusions of the study “Go!”, in the Federal environment Agency (UBA) recently basic features of a Federal-wide walking strategy. The foot traffic will not be perceived as on an equal footing, it says. He applies “in Germany, still as the unimportant, unattractive, and little time.”

At nearly 50 pages, the UBA presents, why it is worth to strengthen the foot traffic, especially in cities and how this could be implemented. To walk is healthy, promotes climate protection, the cities would have to be “places of encounter and social interaction”. Local businesses benefited from more foot traffic. Seniors are in need of safe walkways, as well as children. The objective to increase the share of Walking by an average of 27 percent in the cities to 41 percent. In rural circles, from the present 24 percent to 35 percent.

This is not, however, without cutting other road users rights and spaces. In most cases, the motorists. The UBA proposes to have urban pace 30 as a rule speed, because of too many pedestrian victims of Kalebet accidents. Traffic lights should have long green phases that all get sufficient time for the crossing of the intersection. Traffic planners should think from the outside to the inside, so first of all, the needs of pedestrians in mind, the research society for roads and traffic engineering recommends a sidewalk width of at least 2.5 meters. In addition, the Parking space is to be reduced From currently about 4.5 square meters per capita to three square meters, in perspective, even on 1,5 square meters.

“could be The study from us,” says Roland Stimpel. He is Chairman of the lobby Association, foot of e. V. and be happy “that a Federal Agency declines to the extent that out of the window”. Because for him the condition of Walking in the country, it was bad.

Higher fines should scare you

Stimpels Association criticised the fact that the road traffic regulations of the spirit may be borne, in the sense of transport is the efficient handling of vehicular traffic. “The other participants are secondary and have mainly the task to leave the road quickly,” complained he. The pedestrian representatives are calling for a higher fine, if cyclists Parking on sidewalks driving or the cars that were there. In France, for example, the cost of a flat rate of 135 Euro, white Stimpel. But in Germany, neither the Federal government nor most of the municipalities were ready to change the transport policy. “There is even the mayor of the Green, tell us: of The Park the pressure is so high that we continues to turn a blind eye and allow cars’t block the sidewalk, even though it is forbidden,” he says.

If a municipality has the nerve, the squares and streets transform, threatened against the wind. In Hanover there is a walkway that many of the school children was constantly cars parked in. As the administrative set up bollards, the illegal Parking, there was a lot of it recently at a meeting of the district Council: local residents and business people complained that there is insufficient Parking space for their cars in the district. “Hard conflicts”, says Stimpel, “the distribution of fight breaks out.” He saw, however, that in the inner cities, the mood turn. The residents there are less car-savvy than in the past.

But what says the traditionally more car research, close the Federal transport Ministry to the plans of the UBA? On demand of the SZ, the office explained that the foot traffic had high priority, in the future, there will be a presentation with the focus on Cycling and walking. The concrete suggestions, but with skepticism.

In Lindenau, must remain in cars and soon the whole of out there

not to lower The control speed urban speed of 30, was “useful”, the speed advantage on main roads is important. The fines would be checked soon, if it come to a Change, however, needs to be awaited. In front of arguably the most explosive claim made by the Federal Environmental Agency, the Ministry of transport differs: To be reduced the Parking space for cars? Answer: “the goal is to provide for all modes of transport – including pedestrians – alike with the best possible framework.”

In Leipzig, meanwhile continues the conversion. Although slower than some hoped. The district of Lindenau is groaning under the influx of new residents, the Central transport hub, the Lindenauer market, took place, therefore, a census: The Northern area of 1300 pedestrians, 215 cyclists and 277 cars passed in an hour. Dominated the place but from the road. The city Council therefore decided to set up a transformation, at the end of the traffic Share is excluded.

“The conflicts are, of course,” says the foot traffic controller Friedemann Goerl. But if you change the street scene, trees to plant, and a public space-creating, where people like to walk and stop, “then the acceptance comes quickly”.