Especially in northern European regions, the bicycle has played a relevant role in traffic planning for years. On average, people from Oldenburg cover almost half of their journeys by bike. In a city like Copenhagen, around 60 percent of the population cycle to work on the well-developed bike routes.
Mühlheim – Demands that marked cycle paths should give way to car traffic are recorded in Denmark and the Netherlands under satire.
The “Regionalverband Frankfurt-Rhein-Main” recently provided information in an event broadcast on the Internet about the criteria for the upcoming feasibility study of the FRM8 high-speed cycle route, which will eventually lead from Hanau via Mühlheim and Offenbach to Frankfurt Airport. The aim is to create an alternative to traveling by car in the morning traffic jams or on the often delayed S-Bahn trains for people from Mühlheim, who work in Frankfurt-Höchst, for example, through a high-speed cycle path.
At the beginning, Rouven Kötter, Head of Mobility and First Alderman of the regional association, and the regional cycling officer Antje Quitta talk about the background to the planning. As the name suggests, the express bike paths should lead from A to B as quickly as possible. But simply drawing the line between two points on the drawing board is not enough. A feasibility study is pending, “the cost of which is around 100,000 euros”. The issue was shared by the state and the Offenbach district, as well as the neighboring municipalities of Hanau, Mühlheim, Offenbach and Frankfurt.
The regional association is planning a total of six cycle superhighways, all of which lead to Frankfurt. The study for FRM8 started two months ago. On the other hand, FRM1, which runs from Darmstadt to Frankfurt, is already close to completion. If the timeline from the declaration of intent to the realization is divided into 17 sections, the Darmstadt-Frankfurt route is at point 16, the route from Hanau to the airport on the south side of the Main is at point 2. The expert offices Inovaplan GmbH from Karlsruhe and PGV from Hanover prepare the feasibility studies on behalf of the regional association.
Planning a cycle superhighway is certainly not nearly as tedious as planning a motorway. What the Karlsruhe engineer Dr. Tim Hilgert talks about cycle roads, but sounds similar. The aim is as direct a guide as possible, separation of bicycle and pedestrian traffic. One tries to build crossings in such a way “that there is no loss of time”. The locations of labor-intensive companies or schools are also relevant. That means, “we are guaranteed to have different interests”. Any objections from agriculture must also be taken into account. In the end, a compromise comes out. Its essence is “that nobody gets exactly what they want”.
For all the reasons, it is not yet possible to say where the cycle path expressway will lead. However, it is highly unlikely that “it will lead along the Main”. The aim is to complete the study by May 2022. Citizens are called upon to get involved online on the “Regionalverband Frankfurt-Rhein-Main” website.
Antje Quitta explains that a feasibility study is generally only possible if the preliminary investigation has shown that “at least 2,000 citizens are using a cycle superhighway”. On the south side of the Main, nobody had to hold their breath, “here we are seeing the greatest demand with 3900 potential users”. Regardless of what comes out of the study, “in the end, however, the politicians decide whether and where to build”. (By Stefan Mangold)
Information on the internet at region-frankfurt.de