So here it is. One of the signs with which they fought for a long time here in Moorrege (Pinneberg District). Rounded corners, white background, red circle. Inside: black 30. The sign, however inconspicuous, signifies a political issue. It marks the start of District 30. While a few meters away, traffic rushes through town at 50 km/h on the highway, only 30 km/h will be allowed here – as on almost all other streets in the community of 4,500 breeze.
Mayor: “We had to be very persistent.”
The municipal council had already decided on the Tempo 30 nationwide regulation in 2019. However, it is only now being implemented. That’s how long it took to get the necessary permits from the district of Bainberg, says Mayor Wolfgang Palassos. “We had to be very persistent for things to work out.”
A spokeswoman for the district confirms, in fact, that Moorrege is the first municipality in the district to apply for such nationwide speed regulation. Other communities have since followed suit: Bönningstedt, Tornesch and Borstel-Hohenraden issued similar decisions. And they’re not the only ones arguing for a more comfortable ride on the road.
Meldorf and Kiel have joined the alliance
The cities of Meldorf (Dithmarschen district) and Kiel also spoke in favor of the over 30 km/h boundary. You have joined the National Alliance Cities Deserve to Live at Reasonable Speeds. The initiative calls on municipalities to be able to enforce speed limits more easily if they deem it necessary.
So why would a community like Moorrege choose 30 km/h? The initiative for this came from the Municipal Council’s Green Party, among others. “It was very controversial. Then people came up to us and said, ‘So you want to stop us,'” says Thorbin Repenning, a community representative for the party.
Community representative:We didn’t want to act after an accident.”
Rebining says the initiative was primarily about more road safety. He tells of a playground that was located on a street where the speed limit was 50. “You always had to be careful that the kids wouldn’t go down the street.” The general speed limit will make traffic safer, and more children will be able to play on the street again. “We didn’t want to act just after an accident, but rather preventively,” explains the community representative. An interesting side effect is that the traffic is much quieter than before.
Tempo 30 brings three decibels lower noise
If you want to know if there is an audible difference in the number of kilometers per hour allowed on the street, you can ask Mirco Bachmeier. Bachmeier is the managing director of a Hamburg company called “Lärmkontor”. Prepares street noise reports – eg so that municipalities know if they should install noise protection walls in the street. “Tempo 30 is a quick noise reduction measure,” says Bachmeier. Calculations have shown that such a speed limit can reduce noise levels by three decibels compared to the 50 speed limit. This is equivalent to cutting traffic in half.
The tire noise is noticeably louder at high speeds
So, if you follow Bachmeier’s analysis, it means that if five cars pass through zone 50, the sound is as loud as if ten cars pass through zone 30. This is mainly due to the fact that tire noise at speeds over 30 km/h is much higher than Engine noise. So the noise expert calls for a rethink of traffic policy. “One should have less fear of the Tempo 30 as the standard speed,” says Bachmeier.
Abu Dhabi Airports Company fears slow traffic
The idea of introducing full coverage areas of 30 km / h in cities was not only met with enthusiasm. An ADAC spokesperson wrote that these are “ideology-driven measures that disrupt citizens and want to force them to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle through educational measures.” 30 km/h in the city leads to alternate traffic through residential areas and to poor air quality due to increasingly slow traffic. In addition, the attractiveness of local public transport is affected because buses have to travel more slowly, according to a spokesperson for the Abu Dhabi Airports Company.
Hope: Fewer serious accidents
On the other hand, the environmental company Verkehrsclub Deutschland (VCD) supports the Tempo 30 regulation. Fredrik Meissner, director of the VCD office in Schleswig-Holstein, writes that in 30 regions, 40 percent fewer accidents involving personal injury will occur than in similar departments at a speed of 50. He says : “Especially when cyclists have to ride on the road because there is no bike path, a speed limit of 30 km/h must be requested in towns and cities.” VCD demands that municipalities be given more leeway to order Tempo 30.
Municipal Day wants more participation for municipalities
This requirement is also made by the Schleswig-Holstein Municipal Council. However, it does not make any general recommendations for or against this speed limit. “Whether Tempo 30 is appropriate across the board depends largely on the structure of the municipal area and the consequences for traffic,” wrote Jörg Polo, head of office in Kiel. “Not all methods are suitable for this.”
Meanwhile, the mayor of Mörig, Wolfgang Palassos, is convinced that the vast majority in the village is behind the concept. “Maybe we won’t be able to convince the last major foot disciple,” he says. “But I’ve already received a lot of encouragement.” The community will soon want to put pictograms on the road to draw attention to the new regulation. It’s also a matter of time before everyone gets used to the new driving experience, says the mayor.