Zug, 15.06.2015

Locals say no to City Tunnel

In a referendum held yesterday the people of Zug voted definitively against the construction of a CHF 890 million City Tunnel and related Zentrum Plus project by 62.79%.
Not one municipality in the canton voted for the project. The list below shows the results of the voting in the individual municipalities starting with the ones most opposed to it. The percentage given is for "no" votes in each case.
Menzingen: 66.2%
City of Zug: 65.9%
Unterägeri: 65.5%
Neuheim: 63.9%
Baar: 62.6%
Oberägeri: 61.5%
Cham: 60:5%
Hünenberg: 58.3%
Risch: 57.7%
Walchwil: 53.3%
The turnout was 61.3%
In all, 27,898 citizens voted against the project, compared with 16,538 for.
Not unsurprisingly, high-profile political figures such as Heinz Tännler, the cantonal director of planning, and Dolfi Müller, the mayor of Zug, both of whom had vociferously supported the project, were very disappointed. "Better to have a clear result like this than a narrow one," said Tännler. "Perhaps the congestion problems we have in the city are not as acute as we thought."
It seems the huge cost of the ambitious project was the main reason for its defeat. For their part, the Alternative Green Party was pleased to see the majority of the population had seen sense and rejected this "sham solution" to the canton's traffic problems. They now looked forward to seeing the public transport system extended and the city made more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists. Dieter Nussbaum of the "City Tunnel? No, Thank You" campaign was also pleased the whole project had been so clearly rejected.
For his part, Bruno Werder, the chairman of the "Yes to a City Tunnel" campaign said he was waiting to see what solutions those who opposed the project would come up with. "In all these past weeks they never came up with one at all," he said.
So what happens now? It seems everyone must take a deep breath, analyse the results in a calm way and look out for alternative solutions. Much re-thinking is called for.