The 40 chairs at the council table in the hall of the town hall were occupied without exception on thursday evening, and about two-thirds of the chairs in the auditorium were also occupied. The city of bamberg and the bamberg state building authority provided information about the planned four-lane expansion of the weichengereuth road. Most of the people in the audience were residents of bundesstrasse 4 between the junction of ahorner berg and the frankenbrucke bridge. Municipal politicians and employees of the city administration were also present.
During the two hours or so, there was repeated applause for individual presentations and comments – even at the end there was good applause – but stefan arneth from the bamberg authorities was unable to score any real points with the residents. If the 1,600-meter-long weichengereuth is widened from two to four lanes, people in kleine rosenau, samuel-schmidt-strabe and strabe am ginster will fear more traffic, more exhaust fumes and longer as well as more tailbacks.
Let’s not have an "asphalt orgy
The city council will discuss in its meeting on thursday, 21. November, according to mayor norbert tessmer, the city will decide whether or not it wants the expansion, which has so far cost a rough estimate of around 25 million euros. In the summer of three years ago, the four-lane expansion was considered an "urgent" priority was included in the federal traffic route plan, but in september of this year the construction and environmental senate rejected the extension. At the beginning of september, the residents had opposed "the asphalt orgy" and since then, more and more concerns have been voiced by coburg’s municipal politicians.
The timing of the discussion "just before the municipal elections" next march could be a cause for this, maple mayor martin finzel speculated. The community of ahorn is in favor of the expansion of weichengereuth, since the junction of ahorner berg near the old guardhouse is to be provided with a traffic light. Finzel and the road planners from bamberg are convinced that the project, which has been in operation for 30 years, will increase traffic safety and improve the flow of traffic.
Maximum speed 50 km/h
With emergency traffic lights at the junction of samuel-schmidt-strabe and at the end of ahorner berg, it is possible to turn in any direction and from any street, explained planner stefan arneth. In view of "the murder traffic from 21,000 to 22,000 vehicles per day and several accidents, the expansion is necessary. There is a crash barrier between the two lanes, and the maximum speed is limited to 50 kilometers per hour. According to the plans presented, it will only be possible to turn right from wassergasse and kleine rosenau, and the entrance from the b4 will only be open to right-turners. Cars could turn off at the "ahorner berg" junction, which is regulated by traffic lights turn around or take a detour via samuel-schmidt-strabe and marschberg to reach the city center, according to the plan. A separate pedestrian and bicycle path is also planned along the weichengereuth to wassergasse.
Residents question the need for four lanes in weichengereuth. Only in the morning and afternoon during rush hour were there traffic jams "but now the traffic is flowing on the b4". Rather, the frankenbrucke is to be taken into the field of vision. There the vehicles jammed more. "They make it worse for the residents", such a reproach. Also, so far, planning has only been done from the green table, without taking into account the situation and the people on the ground. "After all, i’ve lived there for 50 years", said one gentleman and received approval. The planning contains too many imponderables about the consequence, another opinion says.
Arneth rejected the accusations that the expansion would draw transit traffic from the autobahn to weichengereuth and the northern ring road. "These will mainly be vehicles from the city center." he was also sure that the expansion would not affect ice traffic on the railroad line.
Lord mayor norbert tessmer demanded a discussion about details ("how will i get to my garage in the future??") after almost two hours of halting. Details would be discussed and resolved in the coming weeks and months. If the city council declares itself in favor of the expansion next month, the zoning procedure will take place in the years 2021 and 2022. Objections will be taken into account. If there are no complaints against the project, construction work will determine the weichengereuth for two years. Only residents can drive there in the meantime, otherwise there is a full road closure.