It was supposed to take on a pioneering role and trigger imitation effects internationally, but the project of a car-free Vienna city centre failed.
For months the project to free parts of Vienna's inner city from motorised private transport kept the Viennese citizens and the international press busy. Advance praise was given, Vienna was exactly the right city in its pioneering role, and the imperial city would set an international example in terms of transport technology - but as so often in life, things turned out quite differently than one thought. After it already looked as if nothing could stand in the way of the implementation of the ambitious "Vienna Car Free" project in the middle of summer 2020, the first voices from government circles began to stir (publicly) almost six weeks ago, sharply criticising the project. Now it is official: Vienna's inner city remains accessible for motor vehicles. The mayor of the Austrian capital, Michael Ludwig, has now come to a corresponding decision. He has thus given a clear and, for many, surprising rejection to the plans of Transport City Councillor Birgit Hebel as well as those of the Head of the Vienna City Centre District, Markus Figl. The reason given by the town hall is that there are "legal doubts" that the regulation on the car-free inner city is contrary to competence, i.e. unconstitutional, and fulfils the legal facts of the case of unequal treatment of individuals. A lack of comprehensibility was also part of the decision, as the mayor emphasises. For some people, the pullback just before the end of the day is just plain despondent and undignified. Vienna has thus missed the unique opportunity to act as a pioneer in Europe, similar to Barcelona, to set an example and trigger a domino effect. What a pity, Vienna! The Logistics Association, on the other hand, is satisfied, as it believes that the current international "trend" towards traffic-calmed planning of streets in metropolitan areas is massively endangering and hindering the work of delivery traffic everywhere.
What does this decision mean for us in Germany? We will continue to monitor the matter for you.