I’ve mentioned before that there is a harebrained scheme in the offing to lay yet more tarmac on the fields by our village, and last week there was an information evening where a local traffic planner was giving us details of what they were going to do. I naturally felt I had to go: I’m a local resident, I had a duty to both of my readers to blog about it and besides, there may be food.

We live in a fairly small village just outside of Stuttgart which happens to be between an Autobahn to the south and a port and industrial centre to the North. There is a bypass to the east and west, but we still have a lot of traffic through the village (about 13500 cars and 1500 trucks every 24 hours). Almost everyone wants a bypass because they believe it will ‘finally’ solve the problem. Like the last bypass was supposed to.

Now the city of Stuttgart is offering to build a nice new road under the village to connect to one of the existing bypasses. This will take the traffic well away from the village and the noise, and no-one will have their view spoiled.

Why would a city offer to spend taxpayers money on an infrastructure project in another administrative district? The answer is geography. The north-south and east-west autobahns meet to the West of Stuttgart, but none to the east, so traffic going from the North-west going to the South East has to curve around three sides of Stuttgart and climb a major hill.  For about 20 years the Strassenbauamt has been quietly working on a plan for a bypass to the east of Stuttgart avoiding the hill, and it’s a section of this road that will go under our village. The road isn’t for us, but for Stuttgart, and we are in the way, but that’s not quite how it is being presented.

The economy is now going fast down the toilet, and the transport industry is going with it. As the majority of the traffic is cars, and about half of that is internal traffic, we could reduce traffic in the village simply by making less parking spaces and more bike infrastructure, because traffic expands and contracts to fit the space available… I’m being rational, sorry.

Not that any of this matters, because no-one has yet committed to the €20-30 billion that this white elephant will cost, so I suspect it’ll be a while before any diggers turn up, but rest assured the Strassenbauamt is out there somewhere, building pointless roads to link up their fantasy network…

Freiburg looks ever more attractive…