"We were always against building the Riederwald Tunnel," says Thomas Schlimme, a long-time Green Party politician and a member of the Frankfurt City Hall faction and the Green Party executive.

More than ever, the planned closure of the gap between the A 66 and the A 661 in the east of Frankfurt is a "step in the wrong traffic policy," says Schlimme.

"We want the mobility turnaround." In his opinion, the construction project, which will bring more traffic to Frankfurt, is "totally outdated".

Mechthild Harting

Editor in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.

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In an open letter, the party and parliamentary group of the Frankfurt Greens have now addressed Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) and the three parliamentary groups of the governing coalition with a request for a moratorium.

The federal politicians should take a closer look at the "problem" in connection with the Riederwald tunnel "and reconsider the previous decision".

According to the Greens, “some new aspects have emerged” about which the federal government should be informed.

The Greens ask the federal government

The reason for the demand for a moratorium these days is that the planned clearing of almost three hectares in the Fechenheim forest for the motorway project is imminent.

Autobahn GmbH, which is responsible for the construction, announced weeks ago that it would most likely clear the forest, which includes old trees, in November.

In the period from March 1st to September 30th, such an intervention is not permitted due to the Federal Nature Conservation Act with a view to bird protection.

The clearing season begins on October 1st.

The Greens are turning to the federal government with a request to initially suspend this felling work.

They cite the occurrence of species worthy of protection, such as the long-horned beetle and the Bechstein's bat, as reasons.

The animals would first have to be relocated, otherwise there is a risk of violating planning law and the EU Flora-Fauna-Habitat Directive and thus European law.

Demand for a new way of doing business

In addition, the climate crisis has worsened.

According to the letter to Berlin, the year 2022 will be shaped worldwide by its consequences.

It is generally known that climate change must be combated and "we cannot simply continue to do business as before".

In addition, the Federal Constitutional Court decided in spring 2021 that the Climate Protection Act must be complied with.

The motorway project in Frankfurt, for which there is a legally binding planning approval decision and thus building rights from December 2019, must also be subordinated to this fact.

The open letter also points out that the project must also be reassessed because it will not be completed until 2031 at the earliest.

By then, the letter says, "we can assume" that car traffic "will have decreased significantly".

Green politician Schlimme is convinced that the Riederwald tunnel project will lead to a "bad investment of at least 600 million euros".

Money that is urgently needed for the expansion of local public transport instead.

He is certain: "In the end, the Riederwald tunnel will be as superfluous a project as Nord Stream 2."