The voters in Zurich decide on a Velotunnel and a million euro loan for clean energies.
The voting population of the City of Zurich decides on a total of three municipal proposals:
- Should a tunnel be built under the main train station for cyclists?
- Should the city of Zurich’s electricity company receive a loan of CHF 200 million for renewable energies?
- Should gaps in the content of the municipal code – the city’s constitution – be closed?
These are the templates in detail:
Expansion of the city tunnel as a bicycle connection
It’s all about this: A tunnel has existed under the main train station, between Sihlquai and Kasernenstrasse, since the 1990s. The so-called city tunnel was built in order to be able to expand the national road network one day. Because this is unlikely to be the case in the next few years either, the shell of the tunnel is to be expanded and serve as a bicycle connection between districts 4 and 5.
Bicycles and smaller electric vehicles should be able to use the approximately 200-meter-long route below the main station – probably from 2024 to 2041. After that, the right of use can be extended if there are still no plans for a national road. The overall project is expected to cost just under CHF 28 million, and construction will start next year. In addition to the expansion of the city tunnel, a bicycle station is also planned, which should be accessible from Sihlquai. The costs for this have already been approved by the city council.
This is what the proponents say: Zurich is currently not a bicycle city, say the proponents of the proposal. The situation around Zurich main station is particularly precarious. The tunnel, which has already been built and is not being used, is therefore ideally suited to improve conditions for cyclists.
What the opponents say: The city tunnel was originally built for motorists and it should stay that way, according to the opinion of the opponents. According to their ideas, the A3 and A1 motorways will one day be connected with each other – underground from Brunau in Zurich to Dübendorf. And the city tunnel under the main train station is important for this connection. The expansion of the bike is a misuse, in addition, there is no safety due to steep tunnel ramps and an additional bike station is also not necessary.
Framework credit of CHF 200 million for the expansion of renewable energies
It’s all about this: The city of Zurich wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2008 it also recorded this in its municipal code. In order to be able to achieve the goal of the 2000 watt society, the city wants to rely more on wind, solar and water energy.
Specifically: The city of Zurich’s electricity company is now to invest in clean energies with the help of a credit line amounting to CHF 200 million. The focus is on wind power plants in Switzerland and Europe. One third of the credit line is to be invested in Switzerland. The aim of expanding renewable energy is also to implement the people’s decision to phase out nuclear energy by 2034.
This is what the proponents say: For the advocates of the bill, one thing is clear: the bill is also about implementing two referendums. Because only with the promotion of wind and water energy, the phase-out of atomic energy and the achievement of the goals of the 2000-watt society can be implemented. It is also seen as positive that many projects are being implemented in Switzerland and in neighboring countries.
What the opponents say: The opponents of the proposal argue that the investments are too one-sided. They fear that investments abroad will create dependencies and that the cost of electricity will skyrocket. The opponents of the bills want to continue to give nuclear energy its place in the Zurich electricity market – to ensure security of supply.
Complete revision of the municipal code
- The third proposal, which the city of Zurich will decide on, revolves around the municipal code, i.e. the constitution of the city of Zurich. It was issued in 1971 and amended several times. And yet: The city of Zurich’s constitution contains gaps in content and is partially legally outdated. That is why it is to be renewed and the powers of the electorate to be redefined.
- The so-called Lex Wagner, which forbids city councilors to sit in the national parliament, was particularly controversial in the revision of the municipal code. With the current revision, this passage is now to be expanded to include the cantonal parliament. Furthermore, young people should in future be able to submit a political proposal in the form of a postulate to the local council.
- The revision of the municipal code is supported by all parties, with the exception of the FDP and SVP. Above all, this disturbs the fact that the financial competence of the city council is to be increased.