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A ‘killer sign’ of climate change

A ‘killer sign’ of climate change

It is one of the Major issues in the Traffic Light Coalition: widening the motorway in Germany. 144 expansion projects are now scheduled for high priority, 23 of which are in Bavaria alone. Prime Minister Markus Söder also announced his desire to tackle other projects.

In the Munich area, for example, the A99 will be expanded. Another major project is the A8 between Munich and Salzburg. The federal government plans to widen the road from six to eight lanes in the section between Munich and Rosenheim.

Bund Naturschutz criticizes this

The representative of the Bund Natureschutz in Bayern, Martin Gellhoff, criticized that the upcoming construction projects will permanently destroy areas that urgently need fauna and flora. In addition, bigger roads mean more cars, and therefore more emissions. This is a “killer sign” in times of climate change, Gelhoff said at a press conference held by Bund Natureschutz in Munich.

Chiemsee is also affected by the expansion of the A8. Around the Chiemsee Achendelta Nature Reserve, for example, underground water streams and swamps are cut through, the Bund Naturschutz criticizes.

Transport Minister Bernreiter supports expansion plans

Bavarian Transport Minister Christian Bernreiter (CSU) has defended the plans: It is known that traffic will increase by 2050. “It just needs a reasonable expansion so that we can get traffic flowing again,” says Bernreiter. The A8 expansion is expected to cost around €2 billion.

Bad for the climate – but good against traffic jams?

Traffic scientist Professor Heiner Monheim says that the expense of more expansion – less traffic jams does not add up. On the contrary: the more highways are built, the more traffic jams there will be.

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It has been empirically proven that new highways entice people to ride their cars more often and for longer periods of time and travel new routes. Traffic scientist said at the Bund Natureschutz press conference that after three to five years, there will be as many traffic jams on the A8 as there were before the expansion.

Therefore, the Environmental Protection Association is calling for billions to be used for railways instead of highway expansion: the rail network is old and overburdened.

And as the road widens, the opposite of what the federal government really wants to promote is being achieved: getting more people to switch to public transport, for example to a €49 ticket.