Taide’s Weblog

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A Problem, and a Recommended Solution

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Every day, it’s the same picture around Verden’s hospital, on the Burgberg and other neighbouring roads: cars seemingly cruising around – if only it was for fun. They are people with business to do, but searching for a place to pull in their cars instead. People who come to the hospital, car-owning students who attend secondary school next door, parents who deliver or collect their kids there (many of them would probably be happy if they could drive up the stairs inside the buildings, too, to deliver and to pick their offspring up right at the school desks). Then there is a seminar for prospective teachers, and then there are more doctors’ practices on the site of the hospital. Some cars also keep roaming around the place to find the hospital itself – its official postal address refers to a drive which has been out of existence for fourty years. Last but not least, there are the actual residents of the Burgberg Road, the Eitzer Road, the Sedan Road, and the Shakespeare Square, and others (all Burgbergers here, to keep things short).

Who, more recently, have become targets of accusations from the rural district’s chief executive Peter Bohlmann (SPD, Social Democrats), and Verden’s mayor Lutz Brockmann (also SPD).

The hospital site is expanding – some new modern departments are in the making. That makes the scope of available parking lots even smaller. A pretty big parking area has therefore been created on the hospital’s site, too. The bone of contention: it’s subject to charges. Consequently, a barrier keeps hopeful car drivers out until they’ve bought their ticket. The city council took a vote in April and decided to open the barrier, to make the space available for free. The district’s chief executive and the city mayor, Bohlmann and Brockmann, then rejected the council’s decision, and Brockmann refused to implement it – according to the Verdener Aller Zeitung of May 13.

“The barrier is going to stay,” says Bohlmann. “We’ve done our homework. The barrier isn’t the problem. The lacking magagement of parking lots is. Corresponding arrangements were announced for April, but aren’t implemented yet. One reason for the lack of results probably is the insubstantial and partisan advice from the residents’ study group.”1) Partisan doesn’t refer to political parties here – Bohlmann apparently alleges that the residents around the hospital – the  Burgbergers – put their particular interests above those of other Verden citizens. Mayor Brockmann seconds him: [By opening the barrier and making parking free of charge,] “the problem won’t be solved, but procrastinated.”2) If the Burgberg residents were ready to agree to a management of parking space in the residential area, there would be less difficulties, says Brockmann, according to the Verdener Aller Zeitung.

Lutz Brockmann: ¡No pasaran! (Archive)

Lutz Brockmann: ¡No pasaran! (Archive)

Brockmann’s problem: the vote by the city council apparently commits the mayor to act in accordance with it (technical term: Ausführungsbeschluss). Both Bohlmann and Brockmann are at odds with groups within their political parties in the city, as both Verden’s CDU (Christian Democrats) councillors, and a substantial share of the SPD council group, voted for opening the barrier. The CDU’s council group chairman, Gebhard Rosenthal, suggests a directive resolution (Weisungsbeschluss) by the city council in order to enforce the Ausführungsbeschluss. This would put the SPD councillors who supported the Ausführungsbeschluss in a difficult position between their view on the technical question on the one hand, and matters of loyalty to the SPD mayor on the other.

Apparently another problem, for Bohlmann and Brockmann alike: an existing contract with the hospital requires a substantial reduction in traffic caused by people searching for parking space. As long as the involuntary cruising – see para 1 -continues, this contract can hardly be regarded as fulfilled.

Possibly not least, the incriminated study group of Burgbergers may not have been pleasant partners for the rural district’s chief executive and the mayor. But one can’t say that they had been lazy. According to a paper distributed by the study group itself on April 20th, they gathered data and presented an analysis of the situation, at the request of Mayor Brockmann. The study group sees a lack of 63 parking slots. And the market council (Marktausschuss) – also according to the study group’s paper – decided unanimously on March 11th to have the City of Verden see to it that the hospital should open the barrier immediately. Howsoever, the mayor didn’t agree.

The hospital and its neighbourhood will be in limbo, at least until the council enforces the opening of the newly-added parking lot free of charge (if it really does pass such a resolution). Or until the State of Lower Saxony, or its courts, have decided the matter (in the event of  Brockmann choosing to ignore the city council, which doesn’t look too unlikely either).

Meantime, I suggest that Bohlmann and Brockmann study this old poem by Bertolt Brecht (in lieu of “the uprising of the 17th of June”, read “the city council’s vote”):

After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had thrown away the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

All for solutions:



1) In German, quoted from the Verdener Aller Zeitung of May 13:
“Wir haben unsere Hausaufgaben gemacht. Das Problem ist nicht die Schranke, sondern die fehlende Parkraumbewirtschaftung. Entsprechende Regelungen wurden für den April angekündigt, sind aber bis heute noch nicht umgesetzt. Ein Grund für die Ergebnislosigkeit liegt wahrscheinlich in der substanzlosen und interessengeleiteten Beratung durch den Arbeitskreis der Anwohner.”
2) From the same article and source: “Das Problem wird nicht gelöst, sondern vor sich hergeschoben.”


Written by taide

May 23, 2009 at 9:31 pm

One Response

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  1. […] taide Verden means “world”, explained Rolf Specht of Residenz-Gruppe Bremen. And added that Verdeners hadn’t always reacted to his corporation’s building plans in the Süderst…. The Residenz-Gruppe is building a health-center there, on the hospital site. And Mr Specht is […]

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