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Mobility turnaround: An eventful year 2023

The mobility transition moved the people of Bonn in 2023 - time for a recap.

The City of Bonn and the municipal utility company Stadtwerke Bonn (SWB) have launched key plans and projects for the expansion and modernization of local transport. The decision on the main cycle route network and cycle lanes represents a strategic overall concept and associated package of measures to strengthen cycling. With the launch of stationary car sharing, another central building block for the mobility transition has been implemented. As part of the Bönnsche Viertel participation process and numerous other dialog formats, the administration has sought an exchange with the Bonn residents.  

The city has published comprehensive information on the mobility turnaround online at  https://international.bonn.de/mobility and  https://international.bonn.de/mobility-turnaround.

February: Modern streetcars for a better frequency

On February 1, 2023, one of 28 new streetcars arrived at the SWB depot. The streetcars are still undergoing various tests and test runs on the network and staff are being trained. Commissioning should be completed by the middle of the year, after which tests will begin with the first streetcars for passenger use. By the end of the year, these will replace old streetcars that are prone to repairs and increase the capacity of rail transport in Bonn. Additional journeys are to be offered on lines 61 and 62, which will run every five minutes between Bonn and Beuel.

March: Resolution on the Climate Plan - Work program for the mobility turnaround

In March 2023, the Bonn City Council adopted the Climate Plan for Bonn - a milestone on the way to a climate-neutral Bonn and the mobility transition in the city. The associated climate action work program defines key tasks that the administration is to implement over the next twelve years, including new areas of responsibility in the field of mobility. The City is expanding its task profile in areas such as school mobility management, parking space management, e-mobility and commercial transport.

April: Kick-off for Bönnscher Sommer

In April, the City of Bonn launched the participation process "Bönnsche Viertel - Living spaces for people" in the model districts of Innere Nordstadt and Combahnviertel. Various campaigns were held in these two model districts in 2023 to engage with local people on the topic of active, safe and sustainable mobility. Residents, initiatives and cultural workers spent a summer discussing what they want for their district and what potential the reorganization of traffic holds for a vibrant neighborhood.

The interests of younger citizens were also incorporated in an age-appropriate manner as part of children's surveys and youth participation. 

Neighborhood concepts are currently being drawn up for both districts based on the participation process.

The banks of the Rhine as a cycle route and Bonn as an up-and-coming city in the cycling climate test

Between March and April, the City of Bonn converted the traffic area on the banks of the Rhine in Bonn between Zweite Fährgasse in the south and Rosental in the north into a bicycle lane. The traffic area is generally reserved for pedestrians and cyclists and helps to improve the quality of life. 

These and other measures to strengthen cycling are having an impact: in the nationwide Bicycle Climate Test 2022 conducted by the German Cyclists' Federation (ADFC) and the Federal Ministry of Transport, the City of Bonn took first place in the "Best Development" category (catch-up) for large cities with between 200,000 and 500,000 inhabitants.

May: A main route network for cycling

Two years after the Bonn cycling referendum, the City has submitted a proposal to politicians for a future main cycling route network. It represents an orientation framework for the initiation and prioritization of future cycling projects and is to be understood as an overall concept for the promotion of cycling in Bonn. It opens up the possibility of better weighing up the different interests of the individual modes of transport. The City Council adopted the main route network in December 2023.

The administrative proposal was first published in May as part of the transparency report on the implementation status of Radentscheid Bonn and discussed with citizens at a public event. The cycle route network represents an important milestone in the implementation of the Radentscheid citizens' initiative. 

June: Dialogue formats on the implementation of additional cycle lanes

In June and December 2023, the City Council of the City of Bonn decided to implement 40 additional cycle lanes in accordance with the new standard. Against this backdrop, the city administration offered citizens a variety of different dialog formats to inform them about the background and the planned project in the respective districts. 

Completion of 30 mobile stations 

Nach der offiziellen Eröffnung der  Mobilstationen am 14. Dezember 2022 erfolgten im Juni die letzten Arbeiten an den ersten 30 Standorten. Die Mobilstationen sind in der Bonner Innenstadt sowie in Beuel zu finden. Sie bieten zahlreiche Services, die die umweltschonende Mobilität fördern und die Bürger*innen darin unterstützen, das Auto stehen zu lassen und emissionsfreie Alternativen zu nutzen. Die Mobilstationen unterscheiden sich in Art und Zahl der vorhandenen Serviceangebote. Eine Ausweitung des Angebotes ist angedacht. 

New service contract agreed with Stadtwerke Bonn

Since mid-June, a new service contract for the provision of public transport services has been in place between the City of Bonn and public utilities. This will enable an attractive local transport service to be maintained and expanded for the next 22 years. A contract was signed with Stadtwerke Bonn for the provision of operating services and compliance with quality standards. The new contract came into force on June 18 and also regulates transport services beyond the city limits into the Rhein-Sieg district.

September: City-wide launch of stationary car sharing on public streets

On September 5, stationary  car sharing was officially launched on public streets in Bonn. In future, vehicles from providers cambio, Grüne Flotte and scouter will be available to rent for one hour or more at more than 70 locations in the Bonn city area. For this purpose, 155 fixed parking spaces have been set up to be signposted and marked with floor markings by November. The parking spaces will be successively filled with car sharing vehicles by the providers. 

The car sharing locations are evenly distributed throughout the city and enable mobility - regardless of whether you own your own vehicle. An expansion of the service is being considered.

Setting up temporary school streets

Temporary school streets have already been set up at three elementary schools, and another will be added in February. In the school streets project, the road immediately in front of the school is temporarily closed to cars at the start of the school day, with the exception of residents. The aim is to increase the safety of schoolchildren in traffic on the one hand and to reduce the amount of traffic from parents picking up and dropping off children on the other. This requires the cooperation on the part of the schools and parents for the daily closure. A main road and roads with local public transport cannot be closed off. The establishment of further school streets is possible at any time; a request from an elementary school is currently being examined.

Conclusion of the Bönnsche Sommer: Bönnsche Stadtstraßen campaign day

Three colorful street campaigns in Endenich, Dottendorf and Innere Nordstadt brought the Bönnsche Sommer to a festive close on September 23. As part of the Bönnsche Stadtstraßen campaign day, Bonn residents outside the Bönnsche model districts were given the opportunity to use their streets differently for a day and experience them in a new way. The City of Bonn had closed sections of Kessenicher Straße, Magdalenenstraße and Michaelstraße to motor vehicle traffic for the day and made them available to residents and cultural workers for alternative use. There was a large number of independently organized formats, including concerts, painting activities, flea markets, cake stalls and discussions offered by and for the neighborhood about the future of their own street and mobility. The City of Bonn hosted mobility talks in all three streets and was on hand to answer questions about current projects and plans. 

At the same time, a mobility day organized by the city took place on Münsterplatz. More than 13 different exhibitors took the opportunity to present measures, projects and plans for Bonn's mobility transition. At the same time, the city cycling event ended with a new participation record. Exhibits from the exhibition "The road of the future rethought: The manifesto of the free road introduces itself", which was on display at the VHS Bad Godesberg from September 7 to October 26, were also presented on Münsterplatz. 

Participation for better sidewalks: launch of the pedestrian traffic check

The City of Bonn has been selected by the NRW Ministry of Transport and the NRW Future Mobility Network as a participating municipality in the state-wide competition for a "pedestrian traffic check". The pedestrian traffic check was carried out together with residents, interested citizens, politicians and initiatives in Bonn's old town in September. The check contained several components. The main component was the walk-throughs, during which the participants identified problems on site, such as a lack of space or missing traffic lights, and discussed them. Solutions were developed in a final workshop on November 6. A final report is expected in the first quarter of 2024. Some measures can already be incorporated into existing concepts.

November: Start of the dialog on the Adenauerallee pilot project

On Adenauerallee, between Koblenzer Tor and Bundeskanzlerplatz, the City of Bonn will carry out a three-month traffic trial in the first quarter of 2024. This will test the future traffic routing that will apply on this section of the B9 following the renovation of the sewer and roadway. The city administration has been offering various information and dialog formats in the run-up to the trial since the beginning of December and during the traffic test.

The city administration has sent a letter to the residents of Adenauerallee and the surrounding streets informing them about the planned information and dialog events on the trial. At these events, residents and interested parties can make suggestions regarding the planning. In addition to an event for local companies, businesses and organizations, there have so far been two public information stands on the market square (city center) and at the University and State Library. There will be a variety of other dialog formats over the coming year. 

December: Early participation Reallocation of the road space at Bertha-von-Suttner Platz

The traffic routing along Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz is to be adapted in the future. From the first sketch to the conversion, there is much to consider. The plans are currently in the first planning stage, the so-called preliminary planning. The aim of the measure is to create a safe, intuitive and clear traffic flow for all road users. Whether on foot, by bus or train, on a bike or by car - everyone should be able to move around safely and in a relaxed manner.

The City of Bonn wants to take on board the suggestions of Bonn residents at this early planning stage. Bonn residents therefore had the opportunity to submit their suggestions online until the end of 2023. In addition, the administration was also present on site to engage directly with people. Further information at:  www.bonn-macht-mit.de/bertha (opens in a new tab) 

Opening of Bonn's first fully automated bicycle parking garage

Bonn now has bicycle parking garages with a total of 280 lockable boxes in four central locations where bicycles can be parked securely: at Frankenbadplatz, Stiftsplatz, Konrad-Adenauer-Platz and at the train station in Beuel. Bonn's first fully automated bicycle parking garage was inaugurated in Beuel on December 12. 

Continuation of the Jobwärts program

 "Jobwärts - simply better commute" (opens in a new tab) is a program in the area of company mobility management. It aims to significantly reduce traffic congestion in the greater Bonn area - also in view of the upcoming roadworks on the highways in the coming years - and to encourage more people to commute to work by bicycle, pedelec or bus and train. Following the withdrawal of the Rhein-Sieg district as a program partner, the City of Bonn will continue the Jobwärts program in 2024 and it will be further developed in line with the requirements of the climate plan for corporate mobility management.

Setting the course for modern local transport

The City of Bonn is currently working on as many local transport projects as it last did in the 1970s when planning the subway when Bonn was still the capital. 

The Buschdorf light rail extension, the Westbahn, the light rail extension on the right bank of the Rhine, the double-track extension of line 18 from Brühl to Bonn and the cable car to the Venusberg: all of these local transport projects are intended to significantly improve public transport connections within Bonn and between Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district. In addition, plans are underway to build a separate track for the light rail line 66 on Sankt Augustiner Straße. This is intended to improve the reliability of the rail service on this line and increase frequency in the future.

In future, the light rail line on the right bank of the Rhine via Niederkassel will follow the example of lines 16 and 18 (Rheinuferbahn and Vorgebirgsbahn), which connect many places on the left bank of the Rhine with Bonn and Cologne by rail. The Westbahn is to provide a better connection between the city center and the Hardtberg district on a double-track, above-ground streetcar line. Light rail line 63 is also to be extended and will run from Tannenbusch via Buschdorf to Nordfriedhof in future. A double-track extension of line 18 between Brühl and Dransdorf is intended to increase the frequency to every 10 minutes.

In addition, the new plans for the conversion of the central bus station (ZOB) have been significantly advanced. The preliminary design plans are to be discussed in the political committees before the 2024 Easter vacations and then discussed with the people of Bonn as part of a public participation process in 2024. Plans are also underway to speed up the bus service and expand further barrier-free stops. 

In order to increase the punctuality and reliability of bus services, numerous measures for bus acceleration have been adopted and are being successively implemented.