After much to and fro, it's as good as certain that Frankfurt will become the second city in the state of Hesse to have diesel driving bans.
In 2019, a total of 119 road sections in the banking metropolis exceeded the legal limit of 40 micrograms of nitrogen oxide per cubic metre of air. After the organisation Deutsche Umwelthilfe filed a complaint, the city reacted in panic with a comprehensive package of measures, including faster public transport and more bicycle and bus lanes, which will be used by buses with lower emissions. Estimates, however, showed relatively quickly that even if these measures were complied with, more than 60 of these mentioned road sections would still be above the limit value. In view of these developments, diesel driving bans could no longer be averted and would have to be implemented by spring 2021 at the latest if the values were still above the magic 40 micrograms limit by then, Environment Minister Priska Hinz (Greens) confirmed to the news magazine t-online with gritted teeth. Frankfurt would thus be the second city in Hesse, after Darmstadt, to have a diesel driving ban. In Frankfurt, a metropolis of millions, a Zone 40 is also planned at certain points. According to Hinz, such zones would mean that more people would drive in third gear (as opposed to second gear in 30 speed zones). Whether this example of calculation with the gears works out successfully, or is just another helpless and headless attempt on the part of the government in office to keep the extent of damage as low as possible, remains questionable.
Klaus Oesterling (SPD), head of the city's transport department, is emphatically optimistic despite the hopeless situation, apparently believing in a miracle of a scientific nature: "We will continue to work on reducing this figure in order to avoid driving bans". Oesterling now has an entire professional field against itself, as the Frankfurt-Rhine-Main Chamber of Trade and the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce and Industry expresses reservations about the latest developments in Frankfurt City Hall, which would make working conditions much more difficult, especially for craftsmen.
Anyone who has ever tried to transport several tool boxes including construction site materials in an underground crowded by commuters at 6:45 a.m. knows what the representatives of the IHK and Chamber of Commerce are talking about.
So we will continue to have a lively and unworldly way of governing in Frankfurt that meets the needs of the citizens? At least it seems so...