We call on all interested citizens to participate in the redesign of Schweizer Straße, organised by the municipality of Frankfurt am Main. We are very happy that the municipal administration and parliament decided to design this process so transparently. The action week from November 7th to 12th, the evening event on November 8th at 6.30 pm in Freiherr-vom-Stein-Schule and the online survey starting on November 1st will reach a wide audience.
What it looks like at the moment
We are happy that the redesign is proceeding. The current situation is untenable: dangerous and unpleasant for pedestrians and cyclists. Public participation and a subsequent design competition are the right way to arrive at a good solution.
Schweizer Straße currently is characterised by an abundance of car traffic, but it has the potential to become a shopping street for Sachsenhausen (analogous to Berger or Leipziger Straße), where people like to go to meet their neighbours, read a book, let their children play or enjoy the first rays of sun in the spring. Local shops and restaurants would benefit, and livability would rise. To achieve this, the speed and number of cars on Schweizer Straße needs to decrease a lot!
What has to happen now
A redesign will likely stay in place for decades; and standards for street design are shifting rapidly at the moment. It would be a missed opportunity not to redesign Schweizer Straße truly sustainably and future-proof right now. Studies show that such redesigns cause drivers to use nearby residential streets, but in the medium to long term car traffic in the entire area shrinks. Schweizer Straße would not just become more beautiful, at the same time it would contribute massively to the mobility transition and protect us from climate change.
Schweizer Straße can become a much more beautiful centre for Sachsenhausen and a focus point for the whole of Frankfurt. The trees forming a boulevard and the ensemble of Schweizer Platz offer great possibilities. We call on the administration and the politicians: have courage! Do not be cowed by naysayers and pessimists. In other cities similar measures are criticised sharply, only to be celebrated after implementation.