Since yesterday morning, the reconstruction measures in Hamburg for a car-free Jungfernstieg in the historic city centre have begun.
Long hotly disputed and a bone of contention, but now the Alster is finally on its way! First of all, the old cycle path will be taken up to the collar, which is on the Alster side. Then the complete and extensive redesign of the Pracht Boulevard can begin, as the transport and urban development authorities have announced in a joint statement. It is expected that the Jungfernstieg will be completely closed to private traffic from 17 October. Apart from cyclists, bus routes and taxis, access will only be permitted to waste disposal and delivery services during a time window from 21:00 to 11:00.
Confident sounds also from the Hamburg City Hall. Urban Development Senator Dorothee Stapelfeldt (SPD) explained to media representatives: "With the start of the first phase of the redevelopment measures at Jungfernstieg, our plans to increase the attractiveness of Hamburg's inner city will become very concrete". In this year's Advent season, however, the conversion measures will be significantly scaled back in order to avoid further endangering and weakening the Christmas business of local retailers in pandemic times.
The trend to clear more and more city centres and certain streets from traffic has gained even more support and tailwind from the pandemic. Berlin, for example, is planning to redesign Friedrichstraße and now also other neighbourhoods and streets to reduce traffic congestion and leave them to pedestrians and cyclists. Recently, the capital has decided to revise the traffic concept in the Wilmersdorf district. The touristically interesting miner's neighbourhood in Kreuzberg and the historic Unter den Linden between the university quarter and the Brandenburg Gate are also being discussed to be "released" from individual traffic.
However, the final expansion of the Jungfernstieg in Hamburg is not scheduled to begin until spring 2022, and no concrete reasons have been given for this timetable.