Anti-GCO points to weak beneficial effects of highways

While the county has praised the traffic fluidity associated with the GCO, highway opponents have condemned the misleading communications. Eurometropolis vice president Alain Jund shows that the number of cars on the M35 has fallen by only 2% since the opening of the bypass.

The county announced Tuesday, August 30, that since its opening in December 2021, the Grand Bypass West (GCO) motorway has streamlined traffic in Strasbourg, attracting some heavy goods vehicles (PL, over 3.5 tons). Did. Comparing the period from January to June 2019, before GCO operation, to January to June 2022, after opening, the state found that users cut travel time during peak hours by 15 to 20 minutes. I’m assuming it did. Bruno Dalpra, a member of the GCO Non merci collective, disputes this version of the facts.

“It is impossible to attribute this excellent liquidity to the GCO. From January to March 2022, there were specific instructions to maximize telework. A35 saturation could become more frequent if telework declines, above all due to air pollution in Strasbourg, which has been one of the main arguments for motorway proponents. It has no beneficial effect.On the contrary, GCO causes very significant noise pollution to local residents and possibly air pollution around the route.»

“In June 2019, before the opening of the GCO, 162,000 light vehicles (VL, <3.5 tonnes, Ed) were passing through Kronenbourg on the A35 every day. 159,000 VL in the same location every day, that's a drop of just 3,000 cars, a drop of 2%, and maybe this very small drop is still related to telework. Is that all?The project has unfortunately cost 560 million euros for very limited impacts, apart from impacts on biodiversity and agricultural land…”

Alain Jund is a historical opponent of GCO. (Photo Pascal Bastian / Rue89 Strasbourg)

Increase in overall number of trucks

Yves Laugel, director of Sirac, explains that on average, 7,000 trucks are lost on the A35 every day. Opening, now 14,000.

As Alain Jund analyzes: The project lead has set a goal of half that. Bruno Dalpra also fears the arrival of additional trucks in Alsace, attracted by the prospect of a quick detour around Strasbourg.

Solution Proposed by Opponents

“GCO is still an inadequate solution to a real problem,” argues Bruno Dalpra. To reduce the negative impact of traffic congestion and road traffic, GCO Non merci has for many years provided a public transport system and implemented an environmental tax in the Alsace region, which makes trucks more expensive when passing through the region. case in Germany. For now, trucks are being encouraged to move to the Alsatian side to reduce costs.

The consortium, GCO Non merci, continued to oppose the highway, citing its nuisance and its consequences even after it opened. (Photo TV / Rue89 Strasbourg / cc)

This is also Alan Jund’s line. The vice president of Eurometropolis explains that they are working to increase the supply of public transport “in connection with the Grand Est region”.

“We have been working for a long time on the European Metropolitan Express Network (REME, rapid increase in train speeds, editor’s note), which will go into service on 11 December. We want to improve the number of trains, which will be achieved by 2025, for example, for the 220 line between Kochelsberg and Strasbourg.

As was the case with the 230 route from Wasseronne to Strasbourg, it also aims to develop a means of transport on its own site (bus lanes that significantly reduce travel times, editor’s note). It is most used in the sector used by 700,000 travelers annually. It is these kinds of solutions that we always advocate and implement today to reduce private car use and traffic congestion despite the GCO. »

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