Business people against one-way street – “Now it’s against each other” – Dachau

The 720 bus in the direction of the district office trundles leisurely up Augsburger Straße – contrary to the one-way rule. An oncoming car brakes abruptly and pulls to the side of the road. The small car can easily push past the bus. But with larger vehicles, millimeter work is required: in the past, accidents and traffic jams have occurred more frequently as a result. Since the introduction of the one-way street regulation last October, cars are only allowed to drive clockwise from Konrad-Adenauer-Strasse to the Volksbank on Augsburger Strasse. The city hopes that this will make the old town more attractive and prevent through traffic.

Cyclists and buses are exempt from the regulation: Lines 720 and 722 can continue to run in both directions. This is intended to ensure that local transport in Dachau remains attractive and that the turnaround in transport is promoted. The special regulation recently caused discussions in the city council: In May 2021, the CSU parliamentary group submitted an application to the municipal utilities to examine how an expansion of the one-way regulation for buses would affect it. The results have now been presented to the environment and transport committee: All alternatives to relocating the ring bus routes would make local transport less attractive. Passengers would have to plan more time or change to another bus line to get to the old town. The decision of the Environment and Transport Committee is therefore: Everything will remain as it is.

The CSU is disappointed: The way the situation is now, it is “nothing half and nothing whole”. However, current passenger counts show that the bus system works. In December 2020, the frequency of bus lines 720, 722 and 726 was increased from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. Despite the corona pandemic, more people have been using these bus lines since then – the number of passengers has increased by more than 20 percent. In view of this, the city councilors – with the exception of the CSU – vote not to change the existing bus system. The ÜB brought in the proposal to introduce a traffic-calmed zone at the town hall beyond the one-way street. The trial phase for the one-way regulation ends in October – then the city council will make a new decision.

Buses, vans, cars and cyclists are on the move in Dachau’s old town, but the new one-way regulation does not apply to everyone. Some criticize this as inconsistent, some would prefer to turn the entire old town into a pedestrian zone. And some would rather have it back the way it was before.

(Photo: Toni Heigl)

Local residents and business people are already dissatisfied. So does Beate Stapfer, branch manager of the Rübsamen department store: “If I just have to get something quickly, I don’t drive around the whole city again.” In addition to the pandemic and the 2-G regulation, the one-way regulation represents an additional burden for business. Stapfer is annoyed: “It’s crazy! When I drive to work in the morning, I have to plan ten to 15 minutes more travel time. I have to go over the Dodge Mittermayerstrasse. Sometimes it backs up all the way to the hospital.” Cars are still allowed to drive from Mittermayerstraße to the entrance to the parking garage at the Volksbank. After that, a traffic fence and a large, bright yellow sign that says “Stop” prevents them from continuing. The jeweler Ludwig Stöckl finds it “ugly as a grotto”. “This is a forest of signs par excellence. It looks so horrible,” he exclaims indignantly. He has been running his business on Augsburger Strasse for 40 years. In his opinion, the one-way street is “nonsense” and is destroying the old town.

As early as 2003, the city tested a one-way system for the Altstadtberg. This ran from the east to the west end of Gottesackerstrasse and was intended to calm traffic. The test phase was broken off again after six months at the urging of the Dachau business people – above all Ludwig Stöckl. This time, too, Stöckl is doing everything in its power to stop the one-way rule. She is “harassment,” he scolds. “You signal to the visitor: stay out, stay away or drive around in a complicated way if you want to come to me.” The jeweler disagrees with the city’s argument that the one-way street makes the old town more attractive: “I don’t know how people come up with such outrageous ideas that they make it more attractive by making it more difficult for customers to get to the city.”

The jeweler wrote two open letters to Mayor Florian Hartmann (SPD) in November and December 2021 and has collected almost 260 signatures to date. Now he has filed a lawsuit. On November 5, an urgent application was also received by the Bavarian administrative court. Regular processing could take ten to 14 months – longer than the trial phase for the one-way regulation is actually planned. Stöckl hopes that a judge will take care of his application within the next two months.

Business people against a one-way street: Jeweler and resident Ludwig Stöckl.

Jeweler and resident Ludwig Stöckl.

(Photo: Toni Heigl)

Before introducing the regulation, the city had asked residents and business people how they felt about a one-way street. 59 percent voted for the new traffic routing. Many residents hoped that this would result in less traffic and noise. However, the response rate was only 35 percent, which means that only 170 of the 820 households and tradespeople surveyed voted. “This survey was not representative,” says jeweler Stöckl.

A one-way regulation has also been in effect on the inner Brucker Straße since December 3, 2021. Since then, cars have only been allowed to drive from the Wörmann bakery in the direction of the district office. Just like in the old town, the regulation applies on a trial basis for one year. The Greens and Alliance/Left factions voted for a permanent one-way rule on Brucker Strasse, but were unable to get it through. Christian Aschbichler lives on Brucker Strasse. The new regulation annoys him: Brucker Straße invites you to drive fast. Wrong-way drivers would drive in the wrong direction despite a one-way street. “Just recently someone came towards me again,” he says.

For him, the new regulation means more time and fuel costs: In order to get to the old town, he has to drive around the outside of the city. “It used to be together. Now it’s against each other. Now people race and nobody cares anymore,” criticizes Aschbichler. The new regulation is also more dangerous for school children: “According to the city council, the one-way regulation was introduced to protect children who go to the monastery school. But the children don’t expect wrong-way drivers to come out here.”

At the end of the twelve-month trial phase, the city councilors will make the final decision as to whether the one-way street will remain or not. The most recent environmental and transport committee already considered expanding the old town into a pedestrian zone. The results of traffic counts before and after the introduction of the one-way regulation will show whether the measure has proven its worth.

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