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Bicycle routes Zurich: City council ignores objections

Bicycle routes Zurich: City council ignores objections

The Department of Civil Engineering is not considering making any changes to the planned high-speed cycle route.

The bicycle highway instead of the neighborhood street: the residents of Voleshofen want to prevent this scenario.

Ennio Lenza/Keystone

This protest is unusual for the city of Zurich. In the city of Wolleshofen, an entire neighborhood is resisting the construction of a newly planned bike highway. The opposition is multi-party and also includes many red and green voters. Among others, singer Vera Ka is prominently campaigning against the newly planned track. In the spring, Ka told the camera of local radio Tele Zuri that speeding cyclists were “more dangerous” for many schoolchildren than a car.

Singer Vera Ka.

Singer Vera Ka.


Most residents are cyclists, not drivers, and voted green, “but they see it as complete nonsense to create a bike lane on a street where bikes and cars can perfectly pass each other,” Ka said.

The opposition was reflected in an unusually large number of objections – 471 in number. The answer from the Civil Engineering Department under the supervision of City Councilor Simon Brander (SP) has been available since Friday. The office rejects the objections and sticks to its plans.

“Pure exercise of authority”

Resident Fritz “Itzi” Klein organized the resistance with five fellow activists from the neighborhood. He is upset with the decision. “You don't see any effort on the part of the city to look for better solutions,” Klein says. “This is a pure exercise of power.”

Not surprisingly, the city rejected the objections. “But the fact that it was all brought together and dealt with so summarily is disappointing.”

The most important concern for residents is the safety of school children. It is feared that speeding car drivers and cyclists could become a danger in the neighborhood if all obstacles such as “Berlin cushions” and overlapping parking spaces disappear from the road. This is standardly the case on bicycle routes.

On the surface, it seems as if the city meets the neighborhood here. “The objection will be taken into consideration,” the report says. Pedestrian crossings are scheduled to be increased. Elevations should extend across the entire street. In doing so, we push the limits of permissible standards. This has already been successfully tested on Mühlebachstrasse in Seefeld. The city built a bike path there last October.

Nothing has changed in the project

Klein believes this is just window dressing: nothing has really changed in the project. Civil Engineering Department spokesman Roger Shadd confirms that the planned “slopes” have not been developed further since the spring. “The safety of school children has already been taken into consideration.”

Klein is skeptical that a simple obstacle will stop fast cyclists. “Today this is a quiet and safe neighborhood street,” he says. You don't have to change anything.”

The Civil Engineering Department is not listening to the desire to abandon the removal of parking spaces at the popular Burghley restaurant. “The restaurant has nine private parking spaces on its own property and is well connected by public transportation.”

The office also rejects objections to the planned one-way street. It is important to prevent traffic on bicycle routes. As a result, the organic farmer who leases the Schipferhof urban farm has to take significant diversionary routes to get from the field to his farm.

Itzi Klein speaks of “clear cross-party opposition” being eliminated “with the stroke of a pen” – and of “the dictatorship of the urban majority over the neighborhoods.”

Objections are expressions of protest that have no legal significance. Things are different when there are objections to a particular construction project. Therefore, there is no choice but to wait for the construction project in Welshofen, says Klein.

There is a high probability that this project will be legally challenged with objections and at least delayed. Objections are subject to a fee and can only be raised by people directly affected. Klein assures us that we have enough people directly affected in our ranks.