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Salzburg’s old town will be transformed into a car-free zone

Salzburg’s old town will be transformed into a car-free zone

The city plans a new mobility strategy

The city of Salzburg plans a new mobility strategy which was presented on Tuesday, 4 May 2021. The new plan will support a car-free old town district where only public transport and taxis will be permitted. These measures were presented by the Greens through an extensive mobility strategy proposal which is to be discussed in the municipal council and also at the state level with the other parties in the coming weeks and months.

The new strategy envisages the left side of the old town to be completely car-free. The old town of Salzburg is divided by the river Salzach and in order to achieve this, a driving ban will be applied. Only public transport, taxis, residents, emergency vehicles and delivery traffic would then be permitted. According to City Councilor Martina Berthold, this will greatly boost public transportation while also providing more space for bike paths.

Harald Frey, traffic expert at the Vienna University of Technology commented that blocking the left side of the old town to car traffic would not increase traffic in the neighbouring districts but reduce car traffic overall. 45 % of car traffic goes through the city and these high level have kept for years. Therefore, according to the expert, a fundamental change of strategy in transport policy is needed to get the congestion problem under control.

Building more park-and-ride spaces

A call for more park-and-ride parking spaces for the 60,000 daily commuters and day visitors is also planned. In the case of public transport, new expansions are planned to be integrated into the S-Bahn network, and in the case of cycling, the east-west connection in the city with cycle paths must be better developed.

Furthermore, the mobility strategy will provide for the demolition of oversized intersections in order to create more space for cyclists. Some lanes will be converted into cycle paths and roundabouts will replace traffic lights to facilitate traffic regulations.

At the same time, cycle path connections between districts will also be strengthened. In terms of local railway, certain underpasses are planned to create more spaces for pedestrians and cyclists.

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