Activists demonstrate at the Red Gate for traffic turnaround

The intersection at the Red Gate in Augsburg belonged only to pedestrians, cyclists and trams on Saturday afternoon. What the protesters wanted with the lockdown.

Where traffic usually passes in several lanes, there is a picnic atmosphere at the intersection at the Red Gate on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Young people in particular are sitting on blankets and on sofas on the street, the band “Early Boys” is playing, passers-by find out about the demands of the activists of the so-called traffic turnaround day of action on the posters hung up. Cars are not allowed to drive here for about four hours. Traffic will be diverted. Only the trams are on the move. The event caused criticism from one party.

An elderly man who happens to be passing by on his e-bike stops and studies the posters. “Why we don’t like e-cars” is there, for example, and the explanation that the expansion of e-mobility is not part of the solution, but only a continuation of the problem. “We need a real traffic turnaround and not a drive turnaround,” says the appeal. The activists from the environment of the climate camp, to which co-organizer Florian Lenz belongs, demand in augsburg the expansion of tram lines and cycle paths. “We want to set an example with the day of action and show what still needs to be done in Augsburg,” says 22-year-old Lenz.

Cars was diverted around the Red Gate on Saturday afternoon.

Photo: Michael Hochgemuth

The activists had already organized such a day of protest on Karlstrasse last year. That seems like too much zeal for the elderly man in a bike helmet pushing his e-bike from poster to poster. “There are enough bike paths in Augsburg for me. And if there were more, my dear, then the others would have to pay for it,” he says succinctly. Of course, Florian Lenz sees things differently. For him and his comrades-in-arms there is still a lot of room for improvement in the expansion of the cycle path network in Augsburg, as there is with the tram network. “People keep telling us that cycling in Augsburg is too dangerous and that the tram connections are not attractive enough,” he says.

Road closure and demo in Augsburg: activists call for bicycle axles

“We need central bicycle axes, for example from the city center to the university district”. Lenz believes that Augsburg should make more traffic attempts, such as the cycle path on Hermanstrasse or the car-free Maxstrasse. For the day of action, which was registered with the city, a temporary cycle path was set up on the two inner lanes on Rote-Torwall-Strasse and Eserwallstrasse to give the people of Augsburg an idea of ​​what a cyclist-friendly city could look like. Criticism of the action came in advance from the FDP.

Posters informed about the required traffic turnaround.

Photo: Michael Hochgemuth

The blockade of traffic at the Red Gate crossing annoyed the liberals. “If the future vision of the climate camp for a big city like Augsburg is that people play badminton at crossroads or have a picnic in beach chairs, then remember that even in a climate-neutral world there will be people who will not have a bus stop in front of their door , but still have to drive to work or take their children to daycare or to a club,” said Ralf Neugschwender, district chairman of the FDP Augsburg in a press release. Shops also need to be supplied, he noted. The FDP also misses a clearly recognizable concern of the activists. They are more than satisfied with the event.

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There are traffic delays in downtown Augsburg

“We constantly had around 150 visitors, at the peak there were over 200,” he claims to have counted. According to the police, there was “very high traffic congestion” around the Red Gate. In addition to the demo, the construction site at the Oberen Graben, Saturday and inner-city traffic caused considerable disruption.

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