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Southern Highway is what worries Luger the most

Southern Highway is what worries Luger the most
photo: volker weihbold meeting zone country road traffic linz
Image: VOLKER WEIHBOLD

In the fall, passers-by at the Taubenmarkt were invited to mark “special places” in the city center. Blue points for favorite places, red for those with room for improvement. A total of 16,000 points were posted and 11,000 comments were made. On the one hand, the results show that different places are perceived very differently by people. “What one person likes is too much for another,” says planning councilor Dietmar Prammer (SP). Often the same place was marked twice by the same person, for example the main square as a favorite place, but at the same time the traffic volume there was identified as a problem. Most of the blue dots are concentrated on the main square, the Alter Markt and the OK-Platz, which are the favorite places of Linzers.

More on the subject: Linz city center concept: Now the citizens have their say

Making Linzer City fit for the future

The survey is one of the foundations for the city center concept that is currently being worked on and will be presented in the fall. The city wants to respond to the rapid changes in trade or the climate crisis and make Linz city fit for the future. “The city center should be a place for living, work, leisure, gastronomy and for the entire economy,” said Mayor Klaus Luger (SP) today at a press conference on the timetable for the city center concept. 40 years ago people went downtown to shop. But people’s demands have changed massively. Today it is also about leisure activities, culture and gastronomy. Last but not least, more and more people in Linz want to live in the city center. With 25,000 inhabitants, it is statistically the largest district.

The process has been going on since the summer

When redesigning, Luger does not want to focus on individual areas, such as comprehensive traffic calming or longer restaurant opening times, but rather on a wide range of measures. The central fields of action are the different types of use, public space and mobility. The process has been running since the summer, with an interdisciplinary planning team from Vienna, Gmunden and Copenhagen working on it together with the Linz municipality and numerous stakeholders. Based on the survey, in which 4,000 people took part, there will be three focal points for the redesign: the main square, the Neustadtviertel and the southern Landstrasse with Volksgarten and Schillerpark.

Redesign of the main square

According to Prammer, who is leading the process, the main square could be closed to through traffic once the Westring Bridge is completed in the fall. The basis for use should be developed in the summer. A design competition will then be announced. One million euros are reserved in the double budget for the redesign measures. It is not yet possible to say how much time will pass between the opening of the bridge and the closure of the main square.

The information remains vague Neustadtviertel, for which there has not yet been a separate workshop. The focus will be on making the street space more attractive and designing the inner courtyards.

Hchallenge southern country road

The biggest challenge awaits the planners on the southern highway. According to Luger, the vacancy rate there is low, but the quality of the tenants is not satisfactory. “What’s the point if everything is rented out and nobody goes,” says Luger. The structure is not good and that needs to be taken care of. All attempts to make the area more attractive, such as the introduction of the meeting zone, have not really helped. The hoped-for appreciation through musical theater also failed to materialize. A workshop on the southern highway took place at the end of November. Individual measures such as defusing the situation at the Goethestrasse tram stop (the OÖN have reported) are already being implemented. What is needed, according to Luger, is a commitment among business people and homeowners, as there was ten years ago on Herrenstrasse, which Luger certainly sees as a role model.

VP wants children’s focus in the southern country road

Vice Mayor Martin Hajart (VP) speaks out with a concrete proposal. Although he welcomes the fact that the problem areas are now being identified, he would like to see clearer statements about future design and more speed here and there. The southern country road wants Hajart mwith concrete offers for children and their parents. For this target group gThere is almost nothing there. Specifically, Hajart beats Children’s play and exercise stations in public spaces, a family café, more seating and child care while shopping. ““The country road should literally become a children’s country road,” demands Hajart. And the VP boss brings up another idea: Linz should set up a children’s museum based on the Vienna model. He brings up the Schillerpark complex as a possible location.

Hajart criticizes the announced design competition for the main square. This came far too late; the ÖVP would have submitted the corresponding application in November 2022, which was then assigned to the planning officer’s committee.

FP: Parking spaces versus trees

FP-Stadtrat Michael Raml, on the other hand, misses the topic of “parking lot situation versus tree planting offensive” in the citizen survey. “Of course, the inner city concept should go far beyond the parking situation. But we cannot stand by and watch as drivers are driven out of the city into shopping centers as customers. That also increases vacancies.”

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