Swiss roads become wider due to SUVs – SonntagsZeitung

Bold off-road sedans are in fashion. In 2016, every third was new traffic put a car with a so-called SUV. Especially because of this moving colossus cars are nowadays on average much broader than in the 90s. According to a study by the University of Duisburg, the width of passenger cars has since then increased statistically by 12 centimeters. This has enormous consequences: Swiss roads are too narrow for many new cars. Crossing and overtaking has become dangerous on many routes. In many places you have to drive slower if an SUV is waiting for you. Experts from the Association for Transport Professionals Switzerland (VSS) see a significant safety risk.

Now the association responds, supported by the federal government: "As the vehicles become wider, the road must be wider, otherwise the risk of accidents increases," says VSS chairman Jean-Marc Jeanneret. The association is working on a revision of the standard for street widths. "The lanes must be adapted to the widened vehicles," he says on request. The goal is to implement the revised standard in one year. The same applies to Jörg Röthlisberger, director of the Federal Roads Office (Astra). He is also on the board of the VSS: "Many roads are too narrow today to meet the needs of all road users." The director's conclusion: "Wider streets can make an important contribution to safe coexistence on traffic-oriented roads in the future to ensure that the width of the roads is not yet clear, probably 10 to 50 centimeters per lane. .

It is discussed violently behind the scenes

The fight behind the scenes is furious. A year ago, the VSS transport experts in expert circles presented their first proposal for the revision of the standard. This resulted in significantly broader lanes, up to a meter in the city. The association had already put the rules into effect last year. However, the cantons and the accident prevention center (BfU) stormed. The VSS had to withdraw under pressure at the beginning of August – even before it became public. It has been shown that authorities and the various road users sometimes have completely different ideas about the increase of roads, says VSS President Jeanneret. "We wanted to relax the heated discussions a bit."

But the second attempt will be a spit race. This is shown by the answers of the consultation of the failed first version. While some cantons liked it, others were critical of the principle. The Ministry of Economy of the canton of Zurich wrote that the question arises whether street widths should follow the trend of the car industry. You see no need for action. Probably the biggest critic of the new standard is the BfU. She criticized that streets would be up to a meter wide in urban areas. The BfU sees no improvement in this, but a deterioration of road safety: "The crash rate would have increased considerably, because wider lanes would lead to faster driving," says BFU spokesman Marc Kipfer. In contrast, the canton of Basel-Landschaft decided in 2015 to adjust the width of new roads to off-road vehicles. And the truck assistance Astag explicitly requires a widening of the roads.

"The road width guidelines have not only a technical, but also a transport policy dimension."Claude Janiak, SP Council of States

Now politicians also want to participate: «Guidelines for road widths have not only a technical but also a transport policy dimension. They influence safety and driving behavior, "says Janiak, the SP Council of States, which is why, according to Janiak, such questions should also be decided politically, he would ask the Astra to present the company to Parliament, and he personally sees no need for action. for wider streets.

Otherwise the FDP sees National Council and traffic expert Thierry Burkart. He thinks that the road width must be adjusted to the wider car's. The question is so controversial that ultimately a political decision is needed. (Sunday newspaper)

Created: 19.08.2018, 19:40

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