Scheuer: “More money than ever” for bicycle traffic | Free press

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Hamburg (dpa) – According to Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU), more federal funds are available than ever before to promote cycling. “Now the municipalities have to take action, now the money has to flow out”, said Scheuer at a bicycle conference in Hamburg.

He responded to a request from the German Association of Cities and Municipalities (DStGB) for more money. Director Gerd Landsberg writes in an updated brochure about the promotion of cycling that a major obstacle is municipal finances, which suffered billions in investment backlogs in transport infrastructure. “The goal here is to take consistent countermeasures by ramping up federal and state government cycling programs in favor of nationwide infrastructure expansion.” The environmental organization BUND also points out that financing offers have so far failed because the own contributions could not be collected.

According to Scheuer, just under € 1.5 billion will be invested in bicycles from federal funds by 2023. Financial support for bicycles by federal, state and local governments, according to the plan, should be based on about $ 30 per person per year, according to the plan, twice as much as in 2020. “Of course we still have some catching up to do. “said the plan. Scheuer. But the federal government responded. “The demand for money is okay. Now it’s about the money flowing out, and there is more than ever before. “

Landsberg said many municipalities have been promoting cycling for years and thus contribute to climate protection. “With the extra money for the promotion of bicycles, there is an opportunity to reverse the trend for bicycles in all municipalities. It is now important to take advantage of this momentum. “The Board of Directors of the General German Cycling Club (ADFC), Ludger Koopmann, praised the fact that the federal government is now also funding municipal cycling infrastructure for the first time. that’s over now. “

The plan is to ensure that bicycles and cars can coexist on an equal footing in the future. The goals include expanding bicycle parking spaces, bicycle highways and bicycle paths in general, as well as measures to improve road safety, for example through more protected lanes. By 2030, the goal is for people to cycle an average of 180 journeys instead of the previous 120 journeys.

According to Scheuer, the special allowances made available by the federal government for the expansion of cycling infrastructure are very popular with the federal states and municipalities. “In the first three months, approximately 150 kilometers of new bicycle paths and 1790 new bicycle parking spaces have been requested,” said the minister in the newspapers of the Funke media group. “€ 79 million in funding from the special program has already been committed, and the next applications from federal states are already under investigation.” Among the 144 measures that have already been approved are new bicycle paths and bicycle parking spaces, as well as 17 bicycle path bridges and bicycle path underpasses.

However, the environmental organization BUND and the traffic club VCD do not go far enough. “Clear targets and supporting regulations, such as the possibility of introducing a city toll or zero emission zones, have been and are always blocked by the minister,” BUND director Antje von Broock criticized. The VCD also sees “very good approaches, but there is no clear commitment to Tempo 30 in urban areas”. Scheuer, however, rejects this criticism: “It is already possible to set up 30 sections with a good justification.”