The proposal by the climate protectors of "Mainz Zero" to turn part of Kaiserstraße into a traffic-calmed zone is as attractive as it is "explosive".

After all, it is still one of the central main traffic axes in the city, which has up to three lanes on each side of the green central axis.

The "flagship project" presented by the citizens' initiative, on the other hand, envisages releasing the side of Kaiserstrasse facing Neustadt only for buses, cyclists and pedestrians.

"In this way, the boulevard conceived and built 150 years ago by Eduard Kreyßig with the associated green area could finally be used as such," said the presentation of their own plans on the subject of "traffic turnaround" - one that the city hall politicians in Mainz continue to say "much too hesitant”.

Markus Schug

Correspondent Rhein-Main-Süd.

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In November 2021, the city council spoke out in favor of “consistent climate protection” and in principle for improvements in local transport, for pedestrians and cyclists.

Among other things, the construction of a new inner-city tram line is to be examined.

The official target of 80 percent – ​​in other words: this is how large the share of these three groups in the total inner-city traffic volume should be in the future – has not been linked to a specific timetable, criticizes the citizens' initiative.

Their spokesman, on the other hand, would like to see the 80 percent mark achieved by 2030 at the latest.

By then, the car share in the city would have to be reduced from around 40 percent to just over 20 percent.

At an information event in the Wolfgang-Capito-Haus a few days ago, desirable but also realistic changes to the mobility concept in Mainz were discussed intensively again.

The not very old, but at 1.25 meters "unlawfully narrow cycle path" on Binger Strasse is proof that car traffic in Mainz is still rated higher than cycling and pedestrian traffic.

No major construction work necessary

The section in question between the university and the main train station is the route with the "highest cycling potential" in the city, which is used by up to 10,000 cyclists every day.

In addition, there were no extensive walking paths in Mainz, which, as designated green strips, could, among other things, provide better connections to the districts.

In the long term, investments must also be made in a regional long-distance cycle network, for example to connect Bingen and Oppenheim with Mainz, Darmstadt, Frankfurt and Wiesbaden.

Many proposals are possible without major construction work, which in turn would involve long approval processes, said Armin Schulz, a former city and traffic planner from "Hessen Mobil" who is now active at "Mainz Zero".

If you want to go from Gonsenheim to the city center, for example, the situation is currently as follows: There are usually two lanes available for cars on this route.

For cyclists, however, there is little comfort and little safety.

On the way you come across numerous unlowered curbs and a number of bottlenecks with contact with pedestrian traffic;

and in winter many bike paths are not cleared.