Nov 08 2011
Today I had to drive across southern Stuttgart to continue the long and laborious process of getting set up here. Thanks to the miracle of my new GPS-I was able to find a pretty decent route that took me away from the “STAU” (A German word every one learns here-it means traffic jam). Along the way I drove through several suburbs towards Mohring. Along the way I came across a lot of signs like this:
In other words-opposing Stuttgart 21. Stuttgart 21 is a massive — and massively controversial — railway and urban-development project for the city proposing to lower the tracks to below ground, renovate the historic train station and reclaim abotu 100 hectares of land in the city limits. It is expensive ( 4 billion Euros). The project has three main parts: creating a high-speed railway connection to the city’s airport; transforming its main railway station from a terminus station to a through station; and creating a 60-kilometer high-speed rail line between Stuttgart and Ulm, nearly halving travel times between the two cities to only 28 minutes.
The project has been heavily opposed by a disparate group of folks. Some just object to the cost and some are more focused on the historic nature of the Hauptbahnhof. These folks have even tried to get the train station designated as a world heritage site. (To no avail).
It is expected that there will be weekly demonstrations-and perhaps daily in the week leading up to the election on the 27th of this month. The Green party has benefited from all the opposition, picking up a lot of seats in the Landtag for Baden Wurttenburg.
You see mostly signs urging a No vote-but you do see a lot urging a Ja vote too.
It will be interesting to watch over the next few weeks.