Block for traffic? Yes or no?

Kaiser-Max-Strasse Kaufbeuren

Kaufbeuren – less traffic and more life for kaufbeuren’s city center. This is the declared goal of the city of kaufbeuren. This is to be achieved, among other things, by a change in traffic routing. the focus is particularly on a closure of the kaiser-max road. After the possible four scenarios for future traffic routing in kaufbeuren’s city center became known, a debate has now been sparked about them. A process that the city’s leaders expressly wanted: there is controversial discussion about it both in the social networks and among retailers and restaurateurs. The kreisbote has collected reactions and votes on the matter.

Ulf Jakel, chairman of the kaufbeuren tourism and city marketing association, has a clear opinion: "it would be counterproductive for everyone involved, including the revitalization of the city center, if traffic were to be calmed down in parts or even directed differently.“ it is not possible to make major changes and "rationalize away" parking spaces, how he talked to the kreisbote stated. This could not work. „people need to be able to drive directly in front of the store for short errands that they want to run in the city center.“ he points out the many small specialist stores that are located in the old town. The chairman of kaufbeuren tourism and city marketing also mentions the failure of the "citybus" in this context. The idea of parking outside and then getting into the old town free of charge has been sparsely accepted, if at all.

But is there really a perfect solution? Even if only the upper or lower area of kaiser-max-street were to be car-free in the future, the parking search traffic would then increase in the peripheral areas of the old town, i.e. in ludwig-street, in rosental, ledergasse and at hafenmarkt. "the density of vehicles would increase here", maximilian fischer of the kaufbeuren action group is convinced. "people look for their own parking space. you will still come with your car."if the core pedestrian zone were to be extended into kaiser-max-street, the consequence would be, according to fischer, "that we would have even more vacancies in central locations and that property prices would deteriorate."

stefan lohn has a completely different point of view. The restaurateur and owner of the restaurant vino would make the area from the town hall to the neptune fountain car-free. closing the whole kaiser-max-street to traffic, however, he thinks is not feasible. He therefore proposes to offer some short-term parking spaces in the rosental next to the town hall. "no one drives by in a car to stop and then visit our local. Our guests come to us specifically," he says, explaining his decision. restaurateurs like him could then offer more space in the outdoor area. Lohn is also thinking of the retail trade, which has the opportunity to offer its sales areas on a large scale in the open.

"the city center resembles a ghost town"

For sabine nagele of betten nagele, traffic calming in the city center is "politically desirable". However, it is also an open secret that "too many wrong decisions have already been made to the detriment of the economy in kaufbeuren". The city center already resembles "a ghost town". Nagele therefore calls for the access roads and parking spaces to be left in the city center. The expansion of the pedestrian zone and the reduction of parking spaces are, in her view, "old hat anyway.

Criticism of the city

pharmacist alexander reichert also makes it clear that all the options under consideration would involve a reduction, if not a direct abolition, of parking facilities. "most patients are directly or indirectly dependent on the car and a parking possibility due to their age. It is not reasonable for them to be referred to the parking garage south here."alexander reichert is even more explicit and even includes a personal note in his comments. He criticizes the city and those responsible for it: "For years, they have systematically destroyed the city center. the construction of the modepark rother and the forettle center will take away the basis of business from the commercial enterprises in the city center."if he, as an out-of-towner, wanted to shop in kaufbeuren, he would probably do so where it was easiest to do so. Parking fees are a repulsive argument. "why should i go to the city center when i can get the same thing elsewhere but not have to worry about a parking ticket??"

villa lounge owner anna gossel is currently asking herself why such a discussion is being sparked at the present time, i.e. after months full of existential fears and worries for the stationary retail trade? "reducing the number of parking spaces is certainly the right thing to do in cities that are characterized by a diverse and large range of restaurants and retail outlets. To implement this project in kaufbeuren, however, does not meet with any understanding on my part." the same applies to the abolition of the so-called ‘semmeltaste’ or the reduction of the parking time", as the entrepreneur states. The preservation of the current parking situation is extremely important for the continued existence and viability of their business.

online controversial discussions

In his weekly video message, mayor stefan bosse is very grateful that so many people are speaking out. He continues to appeal to all citizens to participate and express their opinion. There is also controversy on social networks. here’s what one user says: "the cars should still be able to drive into town." or: "the parking situation in the old town should remain untouched," the comments say. "what is the point of closing kaiser-max-street to traffic or extending the pedestrian zone if there are no attractive stores there??" asks another. "kaufbeuren is years away from the vision of a traffic-free city center, where people stroll and shop, where a little stream flows", is also the opinion of a user.

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Christina Cherry
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