It is only 196 days until Christmas but for those who are expecting to be involved on the business or on other fronts at this time of the year, much forward planning is essential.
The current concern about whether the traditional Christmas market will take place in the Old Town as usual this year is related to the major works on the railway lines on the eastern side of the lake, when rail services will be suspended and replacement bus services in operation. With additional vehicles on the roads, the authorities are keen as little as possible congestion should occur, hence it is thought Zeughausgasse, where part of the market takes place, should be kept free of additional hindrances such as market stalls.
Speaking on the occasion of an information evening about the effects of the railway line closure in Walchwil earlier this year, Florian Weber, the director of planning, said Zeughausgasse would not be closed to accommodate the Christmas market, though no written confirmation of such has been evident so far. It is known the afore-mentioned street is used as a rat run, and in addition to more buses being on the roads, commuters who previously took the train on the eastern side of Lake Zug will be resorting to their cars.
For his part, core city councillor Urs Raschle said that while he understands the need to keep traffic flowing during this temporary period, he feels there is no need to prevent traditional activities, such as the five-day Christmas market, from taking place as usual, after all, one of the goals of the council is to ensure the Old Town is livened up.
He has been in contact with the organisers of the market, not least Fredy Weller, who is on the market’s organising committee and responsible for its infrastructure and related traffic matters. The latter mentioned, for example, that the additional traffic was primarily expected in the mornings. “So far we have always kept Zeughausgasse open until 10.30 am,” he said, “apart from the two days when everything was set up and dismantled, as well as the Sunday,” adding that one compromise could be to keep it open on one of these three days. “If this is not acceptable then we may have to consider moving it away from Zeughausgasse and Hirschenplatz,” he said, mentioning Landsgemeindeplatz as an alternative location, though one disadvantage here would be that the stands could not be positioned so closely together and it is known this density set among the beautiful buildings in the Old Town adds to the market’s attraction. And additional Christmas lighting would be needed on Landsgemeindeplatz, too.