GENERAL: Austrian Motorway Problem.

From: IN%"[email protected]" "Central European Regional Research
Organization" 15-JUN-1993 09:51:39.64
To: IN%"[email protected]" "Multiple recipients of list CERRO-L"
Subj: Resistance against a new motorway in Styria/Austria

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Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1993 15:35:23 -0100
From: "Herwig G. Hoeller" <[email protected]>
Subject: Resistance against a new motorway in Styria/Austria
Sender: Central European Regional Research Organization <[email protected]>
To: Multiple recipients of list CERRO-L <[email protected]>
Reply-to: Central European Regional Research Organization <[email protected]>
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Unrecognised outside Austria a new conflict is raging in the ENNSTAL valley
in Styria / Austria. The conflict is about a new motorway through this narrow
Alpine valley along the river Enns between the towns of Stainach and Liezen.
This motorway would destroy the beauty of this unique Alpine landscape and
would divide this narrow valley, which is surrounded by high mountains
(Grimming, the highest of them, is around 2300 metres high), into two halves,
with a massive concrete track inbetween. Further according to biologists, it
would threaten the survive of some seriously endangered species, which still
can be found along the drafted motorway.

Local politicians pretend that the just want to build this motorway to
relieve the population which lives along the actual motorway (the so called
B 146) and not for transit traffic. But according to the minister of economics
of the republic of Austria Wolfgang Schuessel, this motorway is build to become
a new route for the transit-traffic which is to supposed to grow enormous within
the next years, if nothing is done. Adequate solutions to relieve the population
along the B 146, which would preserve the beauty of this valley, have been
available for many years, but the local politicians don't even ignore them. They
are still thinking and acting like in the sixties, when the motorway which they
want to be built now, was drafted: Concrete is progress, why should we preserve
our environment ?

Recent studies reveal the pointlessness of this motorway for the
population which lives along the actual motorroad. According to these studies,
the same amount of traffic is expected on the old motorway (B 146) within 10
years due to the supposed enourmous increase of individual traffic within this
period. The conclusion out of these studies should be should and has to be to
think about a new traffic policy (not only in Austria) and not to keep on
thinking in the ways of the time, when everything was good. To build motorways
is no more a solution to relieve people from dust, noise, exhaust fumes and so
on. New motorways attract more traffic!

To fight this pointless and destructive motorway a local iniative has
been formed a few years ago. A wide range of Austrian environmentalist and
other organisations (Global 2000, WWF, Naturschutzbund, Oe.H. and Oe.H.TU.Graz,
etc.) joint them in fighting this motorway. They have been pleeding for a local
plebiscite for this obvious anachronistic solution or for other solutions, but
nevertheless politicians ordered that the building works for this motorway
should begin, and expropriated land of local farmers for this motorway, whose
first drafts date back to the Third Reich. Soon after the works for this
motorway began, a first resistance camp at the building site was introduced to
fight this motorway putting up non-violent resistance. The camp was dissolved
a few days after its introduction by around 400 policemen, among them even
members of the Austrian anti-terrorist forces. After the dissolving of the
first resistance camp the building site between 30 and 80 policemen guarded the
building site day and night, even on weekends. On Sunday, the 6th of June, a
second resistance camp was introduced, and on the following days around 350
policemen temporary imprisioned around 60 enviromentalists who had peacefully
blocked the entrance of the building site. This time some of the policemen
acted quite rude and a few demonstrants were lightly injured. The actions of
the opponents of this motorway are going to be continued. Their temporary aim
is a local plebiscite, in which the local population might say NO to this new
motorway. But the politicians have not decided yet for a plebiscite ...

herwig g. hoeller

P.S.: If you want further information on this topic (Contact addressed, what can
be done, scanned photographs, etc.) don't hesitate to contact me.
[email protected]
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