Sunday, 9 August 2009


The local elections are coming up and as an auslander - I am allowed to vote automatically for the first time (normally I have to register weeks beforehand). I don't really know who to vote for though, I have lots of "issues" with our current Burgermeister "Herr Schrammer" - but I doubt anyone will be able to wipe out the inherent "Köln Klüngel" (Cologne Mafia = bribery and corruption). It all goes hand in hand with the karnival committees and seems to work well for those in positions of power (e.g. the head of the KVB who has got away with building a collapsing subway tunnel.....).

So I was very happy to meet some people today who are hoping to drum up support for their campaign. You probably all know the new building development on the Rheinufer to the south of Cologne - the Siebengiberge buildings etc. When they built them it was widely assumed that they would sensibly build a tunnel for the big Rheinuferstrasse that runs in front of the new developments - this would bring the city a little closer to the river and make it more accessible. Düsseldorf has done this and created a fantastic Rhine promenade which stretches from the Hafen to the Altstadt. But no - Cologne didn't do that they just built a whole stretch of underground parking under the road instead. Now the new idea is to pull down all the lovely trees which line the Rheinuferstrasse (about the only nice thing about that whole stretch of road) and turn it into a six lane highway. So the city can boast a brand new building development right on the river...... next to an Autobahn..... nice.

This city never ceases to amaze me with its fantastic planning abilities.

So here we go people - if you're going to vote for a new Burgermeister - find a party who support sensible city planning - who are against building an autobahn to the south of the city - and who are anti Klüngel (if you know of one please let me know!).

If you'd like to know more about the campaign to stop the 6-lane highway on the Rheinuferstrasse visit: Burgerinitiative Rheinuferstrasse

And if nothing else gets you voting remember:

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