ÜEveryone agrees on the goal of making Offenbach a bike-friendly city. What is disputed, however, is how this should be achieved and, above all, at what speed. As expected, the initiators of the Radentscheid Offenbach referendum, who recently presented their key demands in a press conference, are not going to convert the street space quickly enough. With a six-point program, which should be implemented within five years if possible, they want to encourage politicians to “work for more respect and equality for all road users and for more space,” says Jochen Teichmann, spokesman for the non-partisan initiative, said.
In a first step, the plan is to start collecting signatures for a referendum from September, which would be a prerequisite for initiating a referendum. The organizers are sure that they will quickly find the 2800 or so supporters they need. The organizers say that it is not about demonizing the car. “But we want a traffic turnaround!”
And they have a vision. Some of what was put on paper after several rounds of talks and information events corresponds to the plans that also play a role in the “Bike Offenbach” project, which the city has been promoting since 2017, such as the construction of bicycle roads planned by 2021 a total length of nine kilometers and the creation of fast connections to the surrounding area for commuters who love cycling. The fact that there is still room for improvement in Offenbach, where, statistically speaking, eleven percent of all trips were made by bicycle in 2017, was shown not least by a survey of the population: According to this, a third of citizens enjoy cycling, but only about everyone stops The city also tenth for bike-friendly.
So that something changes quickly
In order for something to change quickly, the around 150 bicycle lobbyists demand in their basic paper, for example, that “a continuous, close-meshed bicycle network” be implemented within five years. Its main routes should be accessible from almost every apartment and house in the shortest possible time and connect the schools with one another.
Additional safety precautions and markings on roads, at intersections and junctions are just as much a part of the proposals as the desire for additional parking bars, which ideally should be covered; there is also a lack of additional Main crossings and a cargo bike concept. Every year, new and sufficiently wide cycle paths should be created along the main roads over a total length of five kilometers; At the same length, side roads would have to be turned into cycle roads with colored asphalt. Following the example of the “Superblocks” or “Superilles” created in Barcelona, entire residential areas in Offenbach are to be transformed into traffic-calmed lounges for playing, chatting and shopping, in which cyclists and pedestrians have priority.
While through traffic would be diverted outside. According to the Radentscheid initiative, additional income could be gained from the expansion of the parking space management for the implementation of the concept. The aim is to make Offenbach a “climate-neutral city with safe bike paths, better air, more quality of life and less noise”.