Cops Bust Traffic Control Stoolies; Basel Ranks Tops For Traffic; Unusual Finder's Fee For House; Margarethentisch Tram Project Not Dead Yet

News For 3 October 2017

No doubt you've heard about the perils of sharing the location of police traffic control locations on Social Media sites.  A few years ago, a woman in Zurich was fined 1000 Francs when she posted the location of a roadside speed trap in a public Facebook group.  Well, it appears the authorities have become even more crafty.  A resident of canton St. Gallen posted the location of a police checkpoint in a private WhatsApp group and received a fine notification for 850 Swiss francs.  There's no word on how the authorities became aware of the posting as WhatsApp claims to have full encryption of messages between its recipients.  Nor is there any clear definition by the law defining what constitutes a public or private group. 


A recently conducted study comparing car friendly cities ranked Basel number 5 out of 100 global metropolises. The cities were compared based on 10 criteria, most notably volume of traffic and wait times resulting from traffic. Basel is also one of the least affected cities of Switzerland regarding traffic. Other criteria included gas prices, road quality and number of accidents or injuries. Places 1 through 4 are held by Düsseldorf, Dubai, Zurich, and Tokyo.


The housing market in Basel has so few vacancies, that someone has taken the unusual step of offering a free Bentley to anyone helping to find a family house.  The advertisement on the real estate website, explains that the car, worth 300,000 francs new, will be given to anyone that can help the owner purchase a home, priced up to 4,000,000 CHF, for his family in the Basel region.  Normally, real-estate agents charge between 3 and 5 percent of the sales price of a home as a brokerage fee.


After the clear “no” to the referendum question for a Margarethenstich tram line in Baselland last week, pro campaigners are urging to build the tram line anyway. They say that the Margarethenstich is an important piece of the future development of the city, for which the federal government has already allocated 20.8 billion CHF. If the Margarethenstich project were modified to fulfill federal funding criteria, it would receive a portion of this fund. Also, most of the property on which the tram line is planned is in Basel-Stadt except for a lone traffic light at the intersection of the two cantons.  Pro campaigners hope that these facts will persuade the cantons to change their minds.