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Rejection of tourists: Excursion sites want to put car traffic in its place

Overcrowded parking lots: not uncommon in summer in the mountains.  A control system should now remedy the situation.

When the temperatures rise, Bavaria’s mountains quickly fill up. Many excursion destinations want to steer car traffic better after sometimes chaotic conditions.

Kochel am See/Bad Hindelang – In the summer, day-trippers are taken on car trips to the Bavarian Alps encountered more guidance systems when parking than last year.

Overcrowded parking lots: not uncommon in summer in the mountains. A control system should now remedy the situation. © Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa

At Lake Walchensee in Upper Bavaria, which is particularly popular with visitors, a barrier will close the toll road as soon as 1,000 vehicles have been counted there, said the head of the Bavarian State Forests in Bad Tölz, Rudolf Plochmann.

According to Allgäu GmbH, tourist destinations in the Allgäu have submitted more than 90 funding applications for parking guidance systems. These are to be built up “gradually over the summer”, said managing director Bernhard Joachim. Such systems have already been set up in Bad Hindelang (district Oberallgäu) and at the Alatsee in Ostallgäu.

A spokesman for the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs said that a total of 198 applications for almost two million euros had been made in Bavaria for the funding program to control visitor flows. The governments are “making good progress with the permits”.

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Many residents have bad memories of the 2020 pandemic summer in particular: Because people could hardly drive anywhere, they stormed the nearby excursion areas.

At the lakes around Munichincluding Ammersee and Starnberger See, and in the hiking regions there was a regular threat of leisure collapse when the weather was nice.

When all parking spaces in excursion regions are occupied, no more cars should be allowed to drive onto the site. © Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa

At Walchensee, among other places, the narrow toll road on the south bank was often so full that ambulances could not get through.

During the day there were sometimes 3,000 to 4,000 cars on the lake. “The conditions were catastrophic,” said Plochmann. Now the barrier should fall at around 1000 cars this season.

For this purpose, automatic vehicle counting via induction loops is being put into operation on the toll road for the first time. “If all parking spaces within the toll booths are occupied, it doesn’t make sense to drive in because you would then obstruct rescue workers,” said Plochmann. “We have to make sure that only as many cars drive in as we have parking spaces.”

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Consequently, this summer, when the lake is crowded, guests will have to walk. There are paid alternative parking spaces near the toll booths.

The toll booths were moved last year and parking spaces were created.

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