The focus of this paper is an assessment of the question whether, and to what degree, aims and principles for the Salzburg transport policy that the 'Gemeinderat' (district authority) agreed on are being achieved with the present methods - or why they have been missed. The preparatory stage of the paper involves a general analysis of the methodology and benchmarking of traffic-related effect analyses, combined with examples from other European cities that are far ahead in this field. A chronological and methodological examination of the aims postulated since 1945, alongside the realised traffic control measures, provides a first overview. The result also mirrors the outcome of a mutual learning process and paradigm change between the professional and political will to design, as well as the critiques and approvals of the citizens towards traffic policies as an 'art of the possible'. The results of the indicator-based effect analyses show the highest compliance in the areas of: pedestrian zones, bicycle traffic and traffic calming; medium compliance with city and regional public transport; and only inadequate compliance with aims in moving traffic, pedestrian traffic and stationary traffic. Regarding bicycle traffic, Salzburg ranks first among the regional capitals with 17% of all routes covered by bike. The causes and backgrounds to the failed achievement of objectives will be assessed based on 20 hypotheses from the areas of: aims, actors-processes, measures, system monitoring, effect analyses. Ten internal experts have placed three theses as the most applicable (in short): "information policy and political role-modelling creates a sense of community", "there is no demand for official explanations for why aims have been missed" and "planning needs a political will to cooperate". Altogether, a change towards sustainable traffic and future development policies will not be possible without stronger commitment from the political actors (mayor), and the development of clear strategies. The exemplary aims and mission statements will remain shelved forever. The paper concludes with a critical summary and offers possible options for a more sustainable traffic planning in the city of Salzburg.