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The "Stolpersteine" project

QUESTION BY MAURICE BAUER

A report on Luxembourg television on the "Stolpersteine" project and its completion in Grevenmacher drew my attention.

A "Stolperstein" is a small concrete or metallic square 10 cm wide and stuck into the ground. The top side is covered with a brass plate honouring the memory of a victim of Nazism. This initiative has already been organised in several cities abroad.

  • Has the City of Luxembourg not yet been asked to take part in this important initiative?
  • To honour the memory of the victims of Nazism who resided in Luxembourg City, shouldn't the City act proactively and contact the initiators of the project with a view to supporting the initiative and being part of it?

RESPONSE BY LYDIE POLFER

The Mayor replied that, two years ago, the City, together with the national government and the Consistory, decided to erect, behind the cathedral, a 4-meter tall, pink-granite monument created by the artist Selinger, to honour the memory of the victims of the Shoah.

Given that the "Stolpersteine" project drew criticism and raised controversies in Germany, in particular from the Jewish community, the City decided to take another path.

Access to the National Animal Shelter in Ban de Gasperich

QUESTION BY LAURENT MOSAR AND CLAUDINE KONSBRUCK

Currently, the Asile national pour animaux (National Animal Shelter) located in Ban de Gasperich is only accessible via a small street that crosses the Gasperich residential neighbourhood. It goes without saying that this access point causes safety issues (in particular the risk of accidents), as well as affecting the peace and quiet of the residents.

Ban de Gasperich is currently undergoing redevelopment. Plans include the building of a municipal park next to the animal shelter.

In light of the foregoing, we would like to ask the following questions: 

  • Can the College of Aldermen confirm that road access to the above-mentioned shelter is provided for as part of the development work for the municipal park in Ban de Gasperich? 
  • If yes, in view of the urgency of the situation, can the College of Aldermen provide information on the time frame for this road access? 

RESPONSE BY SAM TANSON

Alderwoman Tanson answered that access to the Shelter from Boulevard de Kockelscheuer is planned. However, as long as the park development work has not begun, the only access to the shelter will be via Rue W.A. Mozart and that, according to the information provided by the Service Parcs (Parks Department), the start of work is planned for 2018. The car park must first be built before Rue Mozart can be closed and access to the shelter adapted. Moreover, as it turned out during a recent visit to the site, the car park in front of the shelter was accessible. If such was not the case, a solution would have to be sought.

Incivilities in Parc de Merl

QUESTION BY TOM KRIEPS

Parc de Merl will soon have a freshly refurbished cafeteria, with premises for City staff. Parc de Merl is, without a doubt, a haven of peace and quiet and is very important for the residents of Merl, Belair and Hollerich.

However, an increasing number of incivilities have been recorded recently, committed daily by different persons who are not all city residents.

Entire areas of the park have been "privatised" for rather disorderly picnics, which take a heavy toll on the park benches. Dog poop can be found almost everywhere, and furniture (chairs) are stolen almost as fast as it is installed. Since the closing of the gatekeepers' lodge, which had become unsanitary, it would be appropriate to restore some order in the park, which deserves it.

  • Shouldn't we take advantage of the new facilities (and future laws) to have more City agents stationed in the park to stem the rising number of incivilities?

RESPONSE BY LYDIE POLFER

The Mayor replied that she is convinced that the situation described will improve when the new restaurant begins to operate, and that the municipal officers, when they have more power under future legal provisions, will be able to further improve the situation. In the meantime, City staff has been instructed to show greater presence in the park.

Bicycle traffic in Luxembourg City.

QUESTION BY TOM KRIEPS

As bicycle traffic continues to increase in Luxembourg City, which is good, its infrastructure should evolve as well, where possible in anticipation of future needs
Bicycle parking places are slowly but surely starting to fill up.

  • Can you tell me how many bicycle parking places there are in Luxembourg City?
  • In any case, wouldn't it be a good idea to increase the number of places, where appropriate, by more innovative solutions such as those implemented in cities like Toronto?
  • In addition, throughout Europe we are starting to see the use of bicycle share schemes without dedicated docking stations.

The company O’Bike, for example, rents out bicycles in other European cities such as Amsterdam, Munich, London and Zurich.

The bicycles can be checked out via mobile app, and can be picked up and, above all, returned anywhere in these cities (but not without a certain number of inconveniences).

  • Has the City been approached by O'Bike, and if not, do you share my opinion that such a business activity should require the City's authorisation?

RESPONSE BY SAM TANSON

Alderwoman Tanson replied that the City would not like to be involved in a situation that could lead to bicycles being left in a disorderly fashion all over the city.

There are currently 956 bicycle parking places in Luxembourg City, and the City is currently conducting an inventory of all its bicycle parking places, including the secure boxes and the open-air parking places.

Bicycle crossing at the Pont Adolphe

QUESTION BY CATHY FAYOT

The Pont Adolphe has been renovated and was reopened to traffic several months ago. Although automobile traffic is smooth, the situation for pedestrians and cyclists is still difficult and often dangerous, given the endless finishing works.

In light of this, I would like to ask the following questions:

  • How long are these works – which are a constant nuisance for everyone – expected to last?
  • Is the City involved in this? Can it do anything to accelerate the completion of the finishing works?
  • In addition, many cyclists hesitate to take the new passage specifically created for them under the bridge. What does the City plan to do to encourage cyclists to use the passage so that pavement of the bridge can be reserved for pedestrians?

RESPONSE BY SAM TANSON

Alderwoman Tanson replied that the bicycle passageway was developed under the Pont Adolphe since no solution had been found for bicycles on the bridge, due to the lack of space. It is, however, good to have a link for bicycles between the park and the Gare district and thus the passageway solution was decided upon, bearing in mind that the passageway would be also interesting for pedestrians. The traffic code has no specific provisions governing this type of mixed use, but ground markings have been drawn to delimit a zone for pedestrians. Naturally, cyclists can also cross the Pont Adolphe at surface level, but they must use the road and not the pavement. The alderwoman feels the current signage in place for this passageway is adequate. The work currently in progress is being supervised by the National Roads Administration (Administration des Ponts et Chaussées), and the City has no control over these works. These works are separate from the development works for the bridge, and should soon be completed.