Yes Bernhard Schmidt missed the election to the city council of Dietiker on 4 March. What the non-party leader and newly elected Rector of Aesch raised above all the votes was his commitment against the Limmat Valley Railway. He is the chairman of the commission "Stop the Limmat Valley Railway – from Schlieren", a regionally anchored, relatively small but active group that competes against the gathered authorities of the region. They like to take the photo of David's fight against Goliath.
Mr. Schmidt, the two former city presidents of Dietikon and Schlieren and almost all the leaders of the local communities believe that the Limmat Valley Railway is good for the region. Can they really all be wrong?
It is not about whether they are right or wrong with this opinion. What is important is that they do not have their own population behind them. We must form our region together. A clear majority of Limmattalerinnen does not want this tram. In Dietikon, 64 percent said no. This alienation between politics and people is deadly. If we do not overcome that, we can bury our democratic system.
Which people do you mean? In the canton, 64.5 percent of voters approved the project. The canton council talked about enforcement.
Coercion is to impose a train on a region he does not want. If voters now say no to the initiative, it means: we force you on the path, whether you like it or not.
Would it be in your eyes that this project crashes halfway? Is half a Limmattalbahn really better than a whole?
It is not so much about the number, but about the goals we set for our region. Do we really want to continue growing, as clearly inevitable for the proponents? Our capitalist system needs growth. Economic growth is seen as given. But it scares many people. We have to start here.
What happens in the Limmat Valley if the train does not arrive? Does it no longer grow automatically?
The lawyers were never ready to consider, together with the population, what the aim is for this region. It takes time. Growth not only has to do with population growth, but also with constantly increasing mobility and constantly increasing consumption, resource consumption.
But now you can reach very high! You can not solve a global problem so far.
We have to solve global problems. The search for new solutions and ways happens first to yourself, then locally to the neighborhoods and communities.
Their posters say "Yes on public transport with a future". What do you mean?
Within five to ten years, there will be public transport technologies, with train-bound trams that are just getting in the way. Electric buses with own drive.
They only have about a third or half the capacity of a tram.
In rush hour they will drive more often …
… and get stuck in a traffic jam, if they do not have their own way.
Traffic will soon become much smoother with self-driving cars. The development there is fast. But again: my concern is that together we take the time to decide where we want to go with the Limmat Valley. And then think how we can achieve this goal.
Your poster also says "Yes to the initiative on the Limmat Valley Railway". Is not that misleading?
No, that's not it. If we say yes to the right to self-determination of a whole district, yes to public transport with a future, then it is absolutely essential that we say yes to this initiative on the Limmat Valley Railway. I would like the voters to deal with the bill again, knowing that the district does not want the Limmattalbahn.
no Almost the entire political celebrities of the Limmat valley are in favor of the further construction of the Limmattalbahn, although the project in the district during the first vote in November 2015 significantly failed. Until recently, Otto Müller (FDP) was the mayor of Dietikon, the largest city in Limmattal. He presides, together with Toni Brühlmann (SP), the commission "No against half Limmattalbahn". Brühlmann was Mayor of Schlieren until June. Zurich City Counselor Raphael Golta (SP) is also represented on the committee. The Cantonal Council also recommends rejecting the "Stop the Limmattalbahn" initiative. With only one voice against.
Mr. Müller, the executives of the local communities are still closed behind the Limmattalbahn. How do you want to explain to voters in the canton that they have to build this railway, even if it is not welcome in the region?
In fact, it is unfortunate that we have not shown the Limmattal Limmattalers that this railway is a decisive improvement for our region. But actually it is no longer a problem. The voters have clearly said yes and according to our understanding of democracy, people will. I feel the restoration as Zwängerei.
You have not taken the concerns of your constituents seriously …
, , , that is not true. But it is difficult when a whole bouquet of diffuse fears is projected onto such a project. It was about growth idicism, stress, fear of alienation, increased housing. There were also discussions about the lines. Our region is even under enormous pressure. Due to its central location and proximity to the city of Zurich, the Limmat valley is undergoing a dynamic development. The Limmattalbahn is not the trigger, but the answer.
An answer that ensures further growth, say the critics.
The politicians do not want unlimited growth, but the growth that has already taken place and has yet to be predicted. We do not just want to watch how we are built. It is a targeted renovation of the building along the route. This has already begun in Schlieren and to a certain extent in Dietikon. It is not just about building expensive apartments. That would not work. We want to upgrade our centers and benefit all residents.
That does not seem to have arrived with the residents. Would it not be logical to start such a mood first in the affected region?
This is not how our system works. It is not the case that only parents with obligatory children vote for a new school building. The Limmattalbahn is a superior traffic concept. It is a general transport project for the entire canton that coordinates public transport, car traffic, cycling and pedestrians. Behind it is a lot of planning work at cantonal and community level. Our urban design concepts are based on this project. And that the two cantons and the federal government contribute to the costs show how important this project is. The canton needs a functioning transport system in the Limmattal. So all voters in the canton are involved. But we no longer vote for or against the Limmattalbahn, but more than half a train or a whole train.
What happens if the Limmattalbahn is only half built?
If we demolished the construction halfway, we would stand in front of a pile of shards and put a lot of money into the sand. Even the expansions on the road network would be stopped. A demolition would mean after years of planning a sidetrack without real added value. That would be a real coup. We do not want half a thing!
Created: 28.08.2018, 00:11 clock