Cyclists to get more road space in Tallinn centre

The Tallinn City Government has developed solutions that create more than 16 kilometres of safer lanes and routes for cyclists in the city centre.

Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart stated that by the summer, better and safer opportunities for cycling around the Old Town and in the city centre will be created. "We have thoroughly analysed the existing cycle paths in the city centre in order to find solutions to get through the places that currently hinder uninterrupted cycling. This initiative will not solve all the bottlenecks that prevent smooth cycling in the city centre, but in the future it is planned to build more fundamental and more expensive cycling infrastructure on the same routes."

In the city centre, cyclists will get more space to move in different ways. A total of approximately 3.8 kilometres of new bicycle paths are planned in the city centre, including 1.6 kilometres on Narva maantee and Petrooleumi street, 700 meters on Mere puiestee, 550 meters on Pärnu maantee and 950 meters on Gonsiori and Estonia streets. It is planned to improve the existing bicycle paths in the city centre by about 5 kilometres.

The solutions of the city centre are diverse. In some places, for example, car lanes are reduced to give cyclists a total of one kilometre of additional cycle paths on the roadway. By redistributing the sidewalk, cyclists will be given 2.7 kilometres of additional space. Moreover, on the streets of Väike-Ameerika and Hariduse, change in traffic management and better marking will make the streets more accessible to cyclists (total length 1 kilometre).

"Our goal is to redistribute the road space with simpler solutions that do not require large-scale design or construction work. This summer, we will reorganize the urban space of the city centre with simpler means. We will mark and separate bicycle corridors on the roads with bollards, expand the space for bicycle traffic, lower the curbs of the streets and mark the road surfaces better than before – in some cases, this also means reducing the number or width of car lanes,” explained Deputy Mayor Andrei Novikov. "But every time we undertake a more thorough reconstruction of a street, we plan separate bicycle paths there. In this way, it is possible to gradually make the faster solutions currently being planned more sustainable."

The work to improve the cycling facilities in the city centre is planned to be completed in June and will cost approximately 1.5 to 2 million euros.

The preparations for the construction of the facilities have so far lasted nine months in cooperation with the Tallinn Environment and Public Utilities Department, the Tallinn City Planning Department, the Tallinn Transport Department, the Tallinn Strategic Management Centre and the infrastructure holders in order to reach the necessary agreements.

In addition, the city is investing in completely new cycle paths, of which the cycle path on Poska street, the second stage of the light traffic road connecting Filtri tee with Kadriorg and Ülemiste common terminal, the first stage of Pärnu maantee - Viljandi maantee light traffic road and the second stage of Viljandi maantee light traffic road - connection to Järvevana tee, are planned to be completed this year. Reconstruction of Jõe and Pronksi streets and construction of a light traffic road in the port area will also be started.

From next year, it is also possible to implement the €42 million from the European Regional Development Fund planned for this purpose, for the construction of cycle paths in the heart of Tallinn, Tartu and Pärnu.

The photo depicts an initial outline of the proposed rearrangements; the plan may change slightly during the course of the works.

See also the video on the proposed solutions: https://www.dropbox.com/s/9hvhc2dcee86iak/KiiredJalgrattateed_20210517.mov?dl=0