The municipalities alone will not manage the turnaround in traffic

Mith the development of a traffic development plan, the city of Offenbach has set itself a goal that is both necessary and demanding. Traffic in the entire metropolitan region is regularly threatened with a heart attack, even without dilapidated bridges that can only be blown, and the air in the cities is sometimes so polluted that environmental aid can enforce driving bans with lawsuits if the individual municipalities are not prepared to take countermeasures with quick measures to improve air quality.

Offenbach has done this through a financially demanding expansion of local public transport, coupled with the electrification of the bus fleet. It is downright tragic that, above all, the corona pandemic and the associated collapse in user numbers have now forced the city, which is still poor, to reduce its offerings again.

Right of way to buses and trains

Regardless of such setbacks, it is imperative to continue working on a transport concept for the next few decades, because the need for functioning, sustainable mobility and the great task of climate protection remain urgent. The key point here will be to protect the environment and the climate quickly and decisively without jeopardizing economic performance.

It is a good thing that, according to planning department head Paul-Gerhard Weiß (FDP), the city council did not set a strict goal when developing the plan, namely, from the outset, for example, preference for foot, bicycle and local public transport at the expense of motorized individual transport admit. When drawing up the traffic development plan, the city is initially assuming three different scenarios. In the first place, the private vehicle dominates, and the change to environmentally neutral drive forms is taking place slowly. In the second, the private car remains predominant, but the type of drive is quickly becoming largely environmentally neutral. Only in the third scenario does the dominance of the private car shift to public transport, pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

There is much to suggest that a sustainable transport development plan for 2035 can only survive with an intelligent combination of local public transport and individual transport with the – admittedly increasingly CO2-neutral – car, bicycle and your own feet. Apart from the latter, however, all sustainable forms of transport depend to a large extent on the rapid expansion of renewable energies. However, this is not in municipal hands. The huge debt in this regard lies with the federal and state governments.