Munnerstadt: saving the city from traffic gridlock

The relief road is now as much a part of munnerstadt as the historic city center. It was not so long ago that all traffic was forced through the city center, and at that time traffic jams formed in the city’s thoroughfare. 30 years ago in august, the first passable section of the new municipal relief road was opened to traffic. This did not mean any real relief for the traffic-plagued old town, because the relief road from the reichenbacher strabe intersection only went as far as the northern entrance to the town at the meininger strabe/coburger strabe intersection. But the first hurdle was completed, including the bruckenau in the laueraue.

The city representatives, however, had actually slept through the date of this semi-official partial opening. Half an hour was spent waiting for the mayor, and munnerstadter hildegard dallner even brought a bottle of champagne to celebrate the day, according to an edition of the munnerstadter zeitung from august 1989. At some point, the representatives of the construction company decided to carry away the traffic signs themselves. The strabe could be used from then on, even without the mayor’s blessing.

In march 1988 the construction works for the relief road were started. It was preceded by years of planning. It took ten years, remembers bernd eckert, the head of the city hall at the time. He also knows that the strabe was not without controversy. As early as the 1960s, the city council had rejected a rough bypass favored by the state. At that time, and for many years to come, the route through the town was a federal road, the B19. Eckert looks back and says that business people in particular feared that a long-distance bypass would have the poppenhauser effect – the town of munich would be deserted economically because the road would bypass the town too far.

However, as a result, traffic through the city center increased more and more. This is how the decision of the city council matured to build a municipal bypass for the federal highway close to the old city center. Hence the name "relieving strain" and not "bypassing strain", explains eckert. If they had waited for new federal planning, the strabe probably wouldn’t have been completed before the 2000s, eckert guesses.

Bernd eckert sees parallels between the discussion back then and today’s debate in nudlingen. The municipal relief road also had supporters and opponents in the city council and among the population. City archivist klaus-dieter guhling was a city councilor and opponent of the project at the time. At that time, it was believed that this road would damage the high school and cut the unity between the seminary and the school, he recalls. "That’s why we thought the road was wrong". Bernd eckert still remembers the demonstrations that took schoolchildren to the city hall. In homemade coffins they symbolically buried the gymnasium. But despite the protests, construction went ahead.

However, a change in thinking soon took place when the border was opened, remembers klaus-dieter guhling. Everyone was happy that strabe had come into being. "We were permanently immersed in the haze of the trabants", eckert explains figuratively. With the opening of the border in november 1989, the people of munnerstadt got an idea of how much traffic they would be facing in the future, and everyone seemed glad that the construction of the relief road was already well advanced. And the grammar school, notes klaus-dieter guhling in retrospect, was well protected by the earthen ramparts. After completion, he himself never heard any complaints that traffic store. A few years later, the construction of the autobahn was a similarly attractive topic, emphasizes klaus-dieter guhling. In the meantime, he also takes a positive view, especially since it has become clear that the negative impact on munnerstadt will be limited.

But back to august 1989. At that time, 7,000 square meters of land had been acquired by the city of munich for the construction of the road, among others from the augustinian order, because the route ran across the seminary’s recreational facilities. At the end of march 1988, the "zur eisenbahn" inn had to be closed down which also stood in the way of the project. In the spring of 1989, work started on the railroad station road, the new route of which became part of the relief road.

The municipal relief road for the B19 through the town was not completely passable until a good year later. In october 1990, mayor ferdinand betzer cut the ribbon together with then-county administrator herbert neder. Bernd eckert is still impressed today that the pure tram construction costs (not including ancillary costs such as land acquisition) remained largely as projected by the planning office despite the long planning period. Nevertheless, the construction was a financial feat. Tramway construction cost over 14 million euros. The purchase of the land amounted to approximately 5.5 million euros.

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