Mayor Boris Palmer: »At three in the morning there are hardly any people on the streets and certainly no children«
Photo: Bernd Weißbrod / dpa
In Tübingen, Mayor Boris Palmer takes the call to save electricity in times of the energy crisis seriously.
More serious than he should.
More seriously than the Federal Energy Saving Ordinance prescribes.
Palmer not only has the lights on the historic town hall turned off, but also turns off the electricity for the street lamps for a few hours at night.
This could soon be over for legal reasons.
In a fire letter to Climate Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), Palmer vented his anger.
The university city has received a letter from the Tübingen regional council, he tells the minister in it.
For traffic safety reasons, the lighting at zebra crossings must not be switched off at night, it says there.
Exceptions are not provided
Boris Palmer, whose membership in the Greens is suspended, is stunned.
The 11,000 lights in Tübingen are interconnected in groups of 100 street lamps each.
The pugnacious mayor argues that it would not technically be possible to only illuminate those at zebra crossings.
All lights off or all on?
Security risk is zero
In his passionate letter to Habeck, Palmer continues: "I am happy to take responsibility for unlit zebra crossings at night because I know that the real risk of this decision is close to zero and that people can take enough personal responsibility to look around at night, before crossing the street."
They cling to “outdated regulations” and “throw truncheons in the legs of those who act”.
In this way, “progress in the expansion of renewable energies or the digitization of our country has been consistently prevented”.
The vice chancellor, who said that every kilowatt hour saved helps, should speak his mind, Palmer asks.
"If you, as the Minister responsible, come to the conclusion that
Transport Minister Hermann keeps his distance
Baden-Württemberg Transport Minister Winfried Hermann (Greens) welcomes "when cities and communities use legally compliant ways to save energy via street lighting." Various technical options are available for this, he clarifies and distances himself from the approach of the Tübingen town hall chief .
»We have informed the city of Tübingen which legal regulations apply.
Mayor Palmer is responsible for his decisions.”