Less traffic: Munich rehearses Superblock at Gärtnerplatz – Munich

Barcelona has long been overrun by tourists. But at some point the city realized that it also had to do something for its residents and give them more space again. In 2016, for example, she began to systematically block traffic from residential areas. In the so-called superblocks, in Catalan superilles, Only residents and supply traffic are allowed to drive at a maximum speed of ten kilometers per hour.

It all started in the Poblenou district. In the future, the traffic-calmed districts, which will stretch over three by three blocks, will be found throughout the city. The images that the city has on its official website barcelona.cat on the internet show that people’s quality of life can be increased with simple means – and that it goes down well with people.

Munich should also get a super block based on the model of Barcelona as a test. The green-red city hall coalition has already written this into the coalition agreement. Now she has applied for the mobility department to examine implementation in the Gärtnerplatzviertel and in southern Lehel. The idea should have been implemented last year, but ultimately failed due to a lack of staff in the mobility department. The green-red application therefore explicitly provides for a half-time position and material resources of 20,000 euros.

What works well in Barcelona could be more difficult in Munich

In the super block, through traffic will be diverted with the exception of bus traffic, and the remaining parking spaces will only be available to residents and to delivery and commercial traffic. When creating the concept, you want to closely involve not only the residents but also the tradespeople and the district committees. “Particular attention should be paid to the artisan businesses that remain in the district, the preservation of which we consider particularly important,” the application says.

There should be a lot to talk about: What works relatively easily in Barcelona because of the streets arranged in a grid is likely to be a little more complex in Munich. It will have to be clarified where the flow of traffic will be shifted to and whether some roads will not be overburdened as a result. If you look at the experiences in the Catalan metropolis, the surrounding districts are not doubly burdened. In fact, the city has noticed that many people leave their cars at home more often.

The Gärtnerplatz is already an attraction…

(Photo: Stephan Rumpf)

Green-red advance: ... in the future, flaneurs could have even more fun there.

… in the future strollers could have even more fun there.

(Photo: Andreas Gregor)

The traffic-calmed zone around Gärtnerplatz is not the first attempt in Munich to give residents back public space. Since 2020, the city has temporarily designated 32 streets as so-called summer streets, and the mobility department is still working on the final report on this year’s summer streets. In a survey in which 371 Munich residents took part, the streets came off well with more than two thirds of those surveyed. According to the administration, some of the citizens would have liked even more traffic calming, stronger controls in these areas and an expansion of summer roads.

The summer streets at Am Kosttor, at Holzplatz and in Schöttlstraße were particularly well received, and due to their success they were extended into October. The wood yard in the Glockenbachviertel is now to be permanently redesigned. There are similar considerations for Am Kosttor in the old town.

The valley will soon become a permanent pedestrian zone with limited access, as will Westenriederstraße. Its western section between Radlsteg and Frauenstraße was Sommerstraße in 2020 and 2021 and has been a traffic-calmed area ever since. In order for a reclassification as a pedestrian zone to be legally watertight and withstand possible lawsuits, the administration still has to check a few aspects. This includes dealing with the hotel access, supplying the Viktualienmarkt and the exceptions for residents.

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