The world stands still, the coronavirus turns everything upside down. But for the politicians in many cities around the world, this is no reason to neglect the daily transport policy. Below is a small comparison between three cities showing opposite choices.
Düsseldorf, for example, is suspending its three reserved lanes with immediate effect. This was confirmed by the capital of the Land in response to inquiries from, among others, the Rheinische Post.
The reason was quickly identified: in times of the coronavirus, which can cause the lung disease Covid-19, the city does not want to encourage the use of public transport. After only a few days, it becomes clear that there is generally no need at all: reduced numbers of passengers, whether in trams, underground and suburban trains or even buses. In addition, the frequency of public transport in the entire metropolis has been adjusted, with some buses running on a weekend basis.
In Stuttgart, as in Düsseldorf or elsewhere, the above-mentioned measures are of course already being considered. However, diesel driving bans are still in force, as a spokesman for the city hall confirmed.
At the end of March, London already suspended all city toll charges and LEZ regulations for delivery vehicles until further notice. This should ensure a continuous and reliable supply chain for food, hygiene and other products.
In New York, where the virus is currently raging particularly hard, traffic-related measures are currently being discussed. Efforts are being made to open several lanes exclusively for bicycle traffic, as Mayor de Blasio confirmed to several media. The principle is the same as in Düsseldorf and in many other metropolises of the world: the less crowded the public transport space, the lower the risk of direct infection.
Can cycling save lives?
At present, nothing seems impossible.