Local news translated – Nov. 14, 2023

Graphic by U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

Host Nation Update, Nov. 14, 2023

Expansion of the A 81 near Böblingen – Christmas shopping with obstacles – Sindelfinger Straße will be closed again

There will be some obstacles in the way of Christmas shopping at the city centers of Böblingen and Sindelfingen this year: Once again, Sindelfinger Straße will be closed, from Sunday, November 19, until December 22.  Anyone who has to commute between the two towns of Böblingen and Sindelfingen by car will need strong nerves in the coming weeks. This is because the Sindelfingen/Böblingen road, one of the few connecting roads between the two towns, will once again be completely cut off as part of the A 81 expansion. The road between Jahnstraße in Böblingen and Steinenbronner Straße in Sindelfingen will be closed to traffic from Sunday, Nov 19 until probably December 22.  This means that an important link between Böblingen and Sindelfingen is once again blocked.  For several months now, getting through between the two cities has been much more difficult than usual: Leibnizstraße, which actually takes drivers between Böblingen and Sindelfingen under the Autobah, has been closed since January and is expected to reopen in December. Leibnizstraße has also been closed between the Smart-Areal and the “Dream Bowl” bowling center since August and will remain closed until the end of 2023. This time, however, a much longer closure is planned, lasting just under five weeks – and even just before Christmas.


IKEA, Hornbach and other stores will be more difficult to reach

This means that the roadworks will literally stand in the way of Christmas shopping. After all, city center shops in both cities will certainly suffer from the closure.  The reason why the road has to be closed again is that the bridge needs to be demolished as part of the major A 81 project, and a new one is currently being built right next to it. This has now been completed to such an extent that it has to be connected to the existing road in Böblingen and Sindelfingen. For reasons of road safety, this can only be implemented with a full road closure.  Various detour routes to the south of Böblingen, to the city center and to the east of Böblingen will be signposted during the closure. In order to make it easier to reach stores and parking facilities in the city center in particular, the one-way regulation of Mühlbachstraße will be lifted during the full closure. This is intended to relieve the “Kellerkreuzung”.   The city administration will put up early signage on the Autobahn, which will point out that access to Böblingen via the Böblingen/Sindelfingen exit is more difficult and recommends to use  the alternative exit Böblingen-Ost. The major project is expected to be completed in 2027  The closure is part of the expansion of the A 81, one of the largest construction projects in the southwest. Between the Böblingen-Hulb and Sindelfingen-Ost junctions, the Autobahn is being widened from four to six lanes plus a temporary hard shoulder. The most time-consuming and costly part of the project is probably the highway lid, which is to be built between the Leibnizstrasse underpass and the Smart buildings. The project is expected to be completed in early 2027. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 14, 2023)


Reduced daycare hours in Weil im Schönbuch – What this means to families

Due to a lack of staff, the administration in Weil im Schönbuch wants to cut childcare hours in daycare centers. For many parents, this is no longer possible with the current childcare situation in daycare centers. Such a scenario is also looming in Weil im Schönbuch. Many parents are now afraid of losing their jobs and have planned a demonstration.  The daycare centers in Weil im Schönbuch are now facing what is already commonplace in other municipalities in the Böblingen districts. From April next year, children will no longer be looked after until 5 pm, but only until 3 pm. Many parents are very concerned about this cut: Many parents can no longer manage a full-time job with childcare from 7.30 am to 3 pm. This Wednesday at 6 p.m., some parents will therefore meet for a protest action in front of the town hall in Weil im Schönbuch.  For many families, reduced childcare hours mean real existential fears: where is the income supposed to come from if there is not enough time to work?  On Wednesday at 6 p.m., parents will meet for a protest action in front of the town hall in Weil im Schönbuch. A meeting of the parents’ council will take place on the same evening. (Stgt Nachrichten, Nov 14)


Medieval Christmas market in Esslingen will begin long before the 1st Advent (November 23 – December 21)

Soon Esslingen’s city center will once again be teeming with musicians and stilt walkers, storytellers, artists and craftsmen. In a week and a half, Esslingen’s medieval Christmas market will open, attracting around one million visitors to the former imperial city every year with its medieval flair and historic half-timbered backdrop. 

According to the event director, around 70 artists from various countries will be performing, including musical groups, dancers, jugglers, fire breathers, acrobats, a tightrope walker, a harpist, puppet theater and storytellers. In addition, numerous craftspeople such as spoon carvers, pewterers and glassblowers will be presenting medieval production methods and bringing them to life in hands-on activities. 

In addition to many established traders, restaurateurs and craftspeople, as well as new suppliers will be at the market this year. For example, there is a new booth selling slippers and socks at the Christmas market on the market square, another with high-proof and non-alcoholic drink specialties and a restaurateur serving sourdough bread, among other things. There will also be a booth with South Tyrolean wood carvings. There will also be a glass workshop, a booth selling natural furs and a stonemason who will be showing interested visitors his craft. Another new addition is a booth selling wool products, such as sweaters, pants and vests. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 14)