MUNICH — ( MunichNOW NEWS) — Cyclists, taxis and buses have been banned from Marienplatz due to the renovation work of the Hugendubel building, but there are also further plans to extend the pedestrian zone in the long term.

The project is controversial – 3000 citizens signed an online petition against this.

Pedestrian-only Marienplatz: Cars, Buses, Cyclists Banned -- munichNOWPedestrian-only Marienplatz: Cars, Buses, Cyclists Banned — munichNOWNext Monday the closure of Marienplatz will be put into action, virtually anything on wheels will be banned. Cyclists, taxis and buses of Munich public transport company (MVG) will not be allowed to pass through this area. The Kreisverwaltungsreferat (KVR), will signpost a diversion via the Viktualienmarkt and the Sparkassenstraße for cyclists.

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The reason for the ban is the planned major reconstruction of the Hugendubel building, which is situated directly at Marienplatz. Because there is very little space, a crane and building container must be set up on the road. From the KVR point of view the passage will be too narrow to accommodate two bus lines, taxis and 8,000 cyclists who cross the Marienplatz on average each day. Due to security reasons there are no other alternatives, the cramped conditions and the exceptionally high pedestrian volumes leave no other options.

The pedestrian area will increase in the long-term

However, the closure due to the construction site is only the first test run for a more extensive project: CSU and SPD have agreed increase the pedestrian area in the years to come and work towards banishing the moving traffic completely from Marienplatz. Cyclists have to maneuver around the construction site, which is why many (including structural work) measures in the coming years are planned along the alternative routes.

The renovated building will re-open in the summer of 2017 -- munichNOW

According to KVR, rickshaw drivers are allowed to set up at the usual place, next to the Fischbrunnen fountain during the next few weeks. Their fixed location will be discussed during a meeting later in February.

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Taxis and buses also have a new route they must follow. The taxi drivers will have to distribute themselves among different locations along the Tal, Rindermarkt, in Rosental and in Dienerstraße. From Monday on bus number 52 will start at the bus stop Blumenstraße and go to Sendlinger Tor and then turn back around there. The 132 buses will turn around at Isartor, which will save you the detour through the Tal, Viktualienmarkt and Rindermarkt.

Who’s for and who’s against

MVG has spoken out in favor of maintaining the station at Marienplatz. The station is one of the main transfer hubs with around 6500 passengers each day. CSU Vice Michael Kuffer however sees the plans as a logical step to adapt the pedestrian area to current conditions. At Marienplatz the pedestrian are the majority. Ingo Mittermaier (SPD) defended the procedure as a ” big win for pedestrians”.

The Businessmen Association City Partner has a similar viewpoint and is encouraging the extension of the pedestrian area. Elsewhere, however, there are also protests: The relocation of the bus stops has angered two district committees. Around 3000 citizens have signed a petition against the new rules on the Internet. Another petition has found 1100 supporters who are against the lockout of the cyclist. On Mondaythe 14th, environmental organizations, the “Rathaus-Grünen” and two rickshaws – entrepreneurs protested at the Marienplatz.

The current changes have pros and cons and will definitely counteract traffic conditions at Marienplatz, but this is no long-term solution. An agreement has to be made to satisfy both the pedestrians and the other commuters.

Fischbrunnen fountain at Marienplatz -- munichFOTOFischbrunnen fountain at Marienplatz — munichFOTO