(FRANKFURT, He) — Traffic policies to create a greener and more bike-friendly Frankfurt are causing anger and frustration among residents in the popular Nordend neighborhood as two main roads have been closed to car traffic and more closures are planned.
The ban on cars on a second main road in the centrally located Nordend neighborhood prompted many residents to hang up posters outside their homes: “No to street closures, Yes to reasonable traffic policies.”
The road closures were prompted by a citizen’s initiative called “Radentscheid,” which roughly translates to “Decisions for Bike Riders.” After a lengthy process and a referendum that gathered 40,000 signatures, the initiative was accepted by the city’s coalition government in 2019. The first road closures were implemented in 2022.
The goal of “Radentscheid,” is to turn Frankfurt into a bike-friendly city akin to Amsterdam or Copenhagen by turning main roads into bike-only roads to increase bike riding, decrease CO2 emissions and make traffic in Frankfurt safer and more sustainable.
Apart from displaying posters, frustrated citizens have started “Gemeinsam-Unterwegs,” which roughly translates to “Together on the Road,” a non-partisan citizen’s initiative calling for more reasonable traffic policies and an overhaul of the current approach.
A funder of Gemeinsam-Unterwegs,” Dr. Alexander Cellarius, who owns a home on the recently closed road, said that “the road closures have created artificial traffic jams that are affecting the entire city.”
Another resident, Barbara Engel, says, “Ambulances now have a more time-consuming route to the hospital when trying to reach people in need.”
The city plans to turn a total of 11 streets across Frankfurt into bike only roads.