The city of Offenbach will invest around 600,000 euros a year from its own funds in the expansion and upgrading of the cycle path network.

This is part of an agreement that the city has now concluded with the Radentscheid citizens' initiative.

The magistrate had previously made a corresponding decision.

Jochen Remert

Airport editor and correspondent Rhein-Main-Süd.

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Even when the citizens' initiative had failed in February for legal reasons with the attempt to achieve a referendum for a better cycling infrastructure, the magistrate had signaled that the initiative's concerns were supported in principle.

However, one is obliged to comply with the legal requirements.

The amount of 600,000 euros that has now been decided can, according to the information, trigger a multiple of investments in the cycling infrastructure, because according to the city, projects to expand cycling are funded by the federal government and the state of Hesse in the range of 80 to 90 percent.

Sensible measures for the next few years

The agreement also stipulates that an advisory board will be convened in which politics, citizenship, administration, chambers, initiatives as well as ADFC and ADAC will be represented.

This is to monitor the implementation of the approved projects such as the construction and expansion of cycle paths, the establishment of cycle streets, the opening of one-way streets for cyclists traveling in the opposite direction and the like.

For Jochen Teichmann, spokesman for the Radentscheid, the agreement is an important step towards the turnaround in traffic: "Not all of our demands could be met.

We have now agreed on very sensible measures for the next five years, which will make it possible to build a consistent, efficient cycle network," said Teichmann.

With the "implementation advisory board" it was also possible to anchor citizen participation.

"Public space is limited, and we have to see that we achieve equality between the different road users," said Sabine Groß (Die Grünen), head of the mobility department.

The city and the citizens' initiative shared the same interests, namely to make it easier to switch to bicycles as a means of transport, to avoid traffic jams in the city and to counteract climate change.

For this reason, an additional position is also to be created in the mobility department.

However, all of this is always subject to the proviso that it can be financed.

"Due to the city's budget situation, these measures are understandably not quick and far enough for many people," said city treasurer Martin Wilhelm (SPD) on the agreement.

He is also aware that the Radentscheid initiative had hoped for more when it came to the rapid expansion of the cycling infrastructure.

However, in view of the difficult budget situation, it is not possible to secure further jobs and additional millions for the promotion of cycling, Wilhelm continued.

The fact that cycling in Offenbach should be safer and more attractive is also out of the question for Head of Planning Paul-Gerhard Weiß (FDP).

At the same time, however, he warns that the infrastructure must be optimized for all types of transport – for bicycles, public transport and private transport.

"The car is still important for many people to get to work," said Weiss.