More space and thus a clear view for pedestrians, zebra crossings in all four directions and raising and marking the entire intersection to the level of the sidewalk: This is the basic concept that the Radentscheid initiative has now presented for the redesign of smaller street crossings, of which it is According to the initiative, there are hundreds in Frankfurt.

Mechthild Harting

Editor in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.

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According to the plans, locations for trees are to be provided at a distance of five meters from the respective intersection, with parking spaces for bicycles and so-called loading, delivery and craftsman zones as well as parking spaces for cars further away.

This is the prototype that, according to Beatrix Balterbol and Rebecca Faller, who took on the planning as members of the Radentscheid, could be used like a modular system for all smaller, non-traffic-light-controlled intersections in residential areas.

They call it "SiGlinde" because with it, the typical Frankfurt intersection would be "safe, equal and lime green" in the future.

"With this concept, we want to further initiate the debate for a traffic turnaround in Frankfurt and thus continue the spirit of the Radentscheid," says Alexander Breit, co-initiator of the initiative at the time.

With the demands for safe cycle paths in Frankfurt made in 2018, which had supported 40,000 Frankfurters, a lot had been achieved.

The "unthinkable" such as the loss of a car lane in favor of cyclists in the lower section of Friedberger Landstraße has now become reality.

As a next step, the city has started to implement the concept of the so-called bicycle-friendly side street, for example on the Oeder Weg.

Accident black spots for cyclists and pedestrians

The resolution on the "bicycle city of Frankfurt", which the city councilors passed in August 2019, included the topic of crossings anyway.

However, only 15 large intersections with traffic lights are listed, such as on the corner of Mainkai and Neue Mainzer Straße.

Therefore, the Radentscheid is now dedicated to the countless smaller intersections with at most one lane in each direction and without traffic lights and often a speed limit of 30. These intersections are also accident black spots - for cyclists and pedestrians, as Breit adds.

In reality, however, these intersections are one thing above all: cars are parked in from all sides, say Balterbol and Faller.

Vehicles from parcel or delivery services then often stopped at the corners and completely blocked the view of pedestrians and cyclists.

At the place where the concept was presented, at the intersection of Falkstrasse and Am Weingarten in Bockenheim, this can be seen this morning: numerous vehicles are parked at the intersection, although there is an absolute ban on stopping there.

The traffic department has meanwhile begun to mark restricted areas at many of these smaller intersections and to install bicycle racks there.

But for Balterbol, the crossings are by no means clearer.

"We're also concerned with urban design," she says, dismissing the accusation that the Radentscheid initiators don't care about aesthetics.

In order for people to respect public space, it has to be redesigned and made more beautiful, she says, adding: "We see ourselves primarily as a source of ideas."