Multiple cableway plans for the metropolitan region
The Rhine-Main Transport Network, the City of Frankfurt, the Hochtaunus District or the Regional Association Frankfurt / Rhine-Main – numerous interest groups can now imagine having urban cableways in the Frankfurt Metropolitan Region. Multiple routes are under discussion. The reason for this development is that cableways can present a practical solution to the issues of unending trac congestion around the entire capital of commuters, Frankfurt, and of the imminent ban on driving die- sel cars in the Rhine-Main agglomeration. According to the plans, large car parks should be built on the city out- skirts from which commuters will be transported through the air to underground and tram stations.
The reason for this development is that cableways can present a practical solution to the issues of unending trac congestion around the entire capital of commuters, Frankfurt, and of the imminent ban on driving die- sel cars in the Rhine-Main agglomeration. According to the plans, large car parks should be built on the city out- skirts from which commuters will be transported through the air to underground and tram stations.
To verify the project’s feasibility, Thomas Horn, initiator of the discussion, has com- missioned the preparation of concepts and submission of proposals for a ref- erence route from the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt by the summer of 2019. The Director of the Regional Association Frankfurt/Rhine- Main justi es his approach to the newspaper “Main-Spitze” with these words: “We need new solution mod- els that can be implemented quickly.”
The party responsible for the study is Professor Jürgen follmann who is enthusiastic about the possibilities that a cableway connection can provide both to commuters and leisure travelers. He believes it could also serve as an “intermediate technology” to bridge acute traffic bottlenecks until new railroads are completed.
The plans in a nutshell
For example, one cableway line could be built in south Frankfurt between the Waldstadion (Forest Stadium) and the S-Bahn station Stresemannallee. Soccer fans and commuting professionals would be equally pleased. A car park is situated directly at the main street, a federal highway, currently o ering space for 1,250 cars. A new multi-story carpark would create additional park- ing space.
Another possible cableway route could lead along the Main to Kaiserlei at the edge of O enbach where a large multifunction arena is planned. Transport expert Follmann told the online newspaper “Merkurist” that a routing along the Main offering views of the city skyline would have an added value as a tourist attraction.
The Koblenz cable car serves as a model for many projects in and around frankfurt. Photo: Skyglide Event Deutschland GmbH
A cableway connection to another stadium was proposed by a repre- sentative of the Green Party, Thomas schlimme, who believes, according to the Frankfurter Neue Presse, that the city council should examine whether a cableway could be installed to connect the S-Bahn station “Frankfurt-Höchst Farbwerke” with the Fraport Are- na (a ball sports hall).
Schlimme is convinced that connecting this short distance (only 300 meters of linear dis- tance), which includes a railway crossing, with a cableway would be cheaper than building a bridge. So far, visitors have had to make a detour of more than one kilometer on foot to get to the Fraport Arena. According to Follmann, connecting the municipalities located on the way to Taunus could be another project.
Commuters who have to take the highway to Frankfurt could park their cars outside the city at the Taunusblick service area and continue by cable car over a distance of more than one and a half kilometers to the U-Bahn station Heerstraße – and reach Konstablerwa- che in the city center in just 15 minutes.
The head of the neighboring district of Hochtaunus, Ulrich Krebs, would like to see a cableway built over the mountain Feldberg – with the terminal stations in Schmitten and at Hohemark – and not only for tourist purposes. He considers it a sensible addition to the local public passenger transport system.
Cableway plans Frankfurt
• Waldstadion – Stresemannallee – Offenbach
• Frankfurt-Höchst – Fraport Arena
• Taunusblick – Heerstraße
• Schmitten – Feldberg – Hohemark
• Neu-Isenburg: North – South
A cableway soaring above it all
A cableway soaring above the town center is the subject of discussion also in Neu-Isenburg, a Frankfurt sub- urb. The Frankfurter Rundschau reported that the head town councilor Stefan schmitt proposed a two-kilometer-long cableway across the “Frankfurter Straße”.
Its route would start at a tram stop and lead from the north entry into town to the town’s south boundary. Schmitt believes a cableway would o er a great advantage because it requires little space. No need to build a tower “every few meters”. And space is a major issue at the much-frequented Frankfurter Straße.
An extension of the tramway line has been the subject of discussion for decades here. But the space is simply not wide enough for trams, cars, pedestrians, bikes, buses, parking spaces, business supply deliveries, trees and things that make one’s time on the street pleasant.
Advantages of all the proposed cableways according to their proponents: they are comparatively fast and inexpensive to implement. While planning and building rail connections usually takes several decades, a cableway connection can be implemented in just a few years for a fraction of the cost. As one of the supporters, Mr. Horn, pointed out: “when a rail route is planned, its planner does not live long enough to see it implemented”.
A cableway, on the other hand, can be im- plemented within less than two years from the date of the permit. S-Bahn and U-Bahn are naturally more efficient but a cableway as a building block within a mobility concept makes a lot of sense. Where rail tracks take long to be laid or cannot be implemented at all, cableways can ll the gaps.
As regards noise or landscape interference, neither Follmann nor Horn have any reservations – both con rm that a cableway is a very quiet means of transport. Follmann also emphasizes that if the right structure is selected, a cableway needs only a very few supporting pillars. “If it is skillfully positioned, there can be no negative impact.”
It is just the possibility that cable car riders may be able to look inside private areas through building windows that still makes both supporters skeptical. The privacy of people beneath the cableway naturally has to be guaranteed. Ensuring it is a central issue during the planning. The rst of the planned cableways should be launched in five years. ts