On Saturday it was all about the planned light rail system in Kiel: kick-off event with public dialogue and many questions in the Kiel Council Hall on March 4th, 2023 in Kiel City Hall.
Saturday afternoon, the public launch event for the planning of the Kiel Stadtbahn took place, the first major information event about the planned Kiel Stadtbahn. Admission was free and registration was not required. Around 300 interested visitors did not miss this opportunity and thus ensured a full council chamber. The grandstand on the top floor was also well attended. The great interest in citizen participation naturally also reflects the scope of the project in certain wines. Because the planning and construction of the Kiel Stadtbahn will be a long-term mammoth project worth billions. According to the current status, it will take more than 10 years until the first light rail system can be put into operation. Because after the route study, preliminary planning as well as draft and approval planning will be carried out, among other things. During this period, an application for funding is also submitted to the federal government, after all, in the best case, around 90 percent funding beckons. The actual construction phase is not expected to begin until 2030, and the first section of the light rail system could be put into operation from 2033/2034. This will then be line 1, which will start at Kiel University of Applied Sciences and will run via Gaarden, Hauptbahnhof, Bergstrasse, Dreiecksplatz, Holtenauer Strasse, CAU, Steenbeker Weg to Suchsdorf.
Urban rail planning is done in sections and will require compromises
Due to the construction of the Stadtbahn, the street space has to be redefined or redivided along the entire length of the line network. After all, the Stadtbahn needs tracks and these will not be able to be used by other road users, such as cars, trucks and delivery traffic or by cyclists. Every now and then there will also be stops for the light rail, this also takes up space and must be planned for. It is clear that this will partly be at the expense of car traffic. Where there are currently two lanes in each direction (e.g. on Holtenauer Strasse or at Dreiecksplatz), there will only be one lane in each direction in the future. Numerous parking spaces at the roadside will also be eliminated as part of the redesign of the streets. At the same time, there must still be parking spaces in the street concerned and there must also be enough space for cyclists.
Understandably, many of the questions from the visitors present were about the concrete implementation on Holtenauer Straße. After all, a particularly large number of retailers are located here, for example near the Holtenauer Arkaden. Other issues included possible noise pollution from the Stadtbahn, expansion of cycle paths, expansion of free Park & Ride parking spaces for drivers in the vicinity of the terminal stops and the inclusion of the northern districts of Holtenau, Friedrichsort and Schilksee in the Kiel Stadtbahn network.
Construction phase: Duration of construction activities can vary greatly from section to section
Understandably, local residents and retailers are also very interested in the probable length of construction activities during the construction phase. After all, construction sites usually always mean restrictions in terms of transit restrictions, parking options and the accessibility (or inaccessibility) of shops and apartments. But the length of the individual construction measures cannot be answered so generally. Rather, it depends on what is under the ground. After all, no lines and pipes should run directly under the tracks of the Stadtbahn in the future. It is particularly time-consuming if there are pipes for district heating or waste water in the relevant construction phase. If this is the case, local residents and tradespeople will have to prepare for much longer construction work on their doorstep or business.
And how long it can take when extensive work is carried out on the district heating network can be experienced live from day to day for months, for example, in Feldstrasse near the Hebbelschule and Forstbaumschule.
Next step with public participation: route walks at the end of March
As early as the end of March 2023, interested parties will have the opportunity to take part in free route walks. The route walks will take place over a total of three days, starting at 5:30 p.m.:
- 03/27/2023 Town center of Wellingdorf: from Schönberger Straße corner Kuchelstraße to Schwentine
- 03/28/2023 Downtown I: Sophienplatt at the corner of Ringstraße to Berliner Platz
- 03/29/2023 Downtown II: Holstenfleet to Dreiecksplatz
Missed the kick-off event on March 4th, 2023?
The event in the council chamber on March 4th, 2023 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. including all speeches and discussions was recorded by Offener Kanal Kiel. The video of the kick-off event is expected to be available online a few days later at Kiel.de/Stadtbahn. In addition, there is a lot more information about the Stadtbahn Kiel on this page.