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Tartu city leaders at odds over cancelled cycle lane plans

Tartu city leaders at odds over cancelled cycle lane plans

Tartu’s Car-Free Avenue. Source: Tõnis Arjus. Monday’s decision by Tartu Mayor Urmas Klaas (Reform Party) to no longer open cycle lanes on Riia tänav has…

Wednesday, Jun 22

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Tartu’s Car-Free Avenue. Source: Tõnis Arjus. Monday’s decision by Tartu Mayor Urmas Klaas (Reform Party) to no longer open cycle lanes on Riia tänav has caused unease among coalition partners. A health and safety assessment of the proposed project found no reason for it not to go ahead.

Tartu City Government has decided to cancel the planned opening of experimental cycle lanes between July 1 and the end of September on the city’s Riia tänav. Mayor Urmas Klaas explained the decision as necessary in order to reduce the risk of traffic accidents in the area.

"There are still safety concerns regarding the narrow spots which have been left – (such as) the movement of operational vehicles, public transport (and) the situation on side streets. /…/ The road safety audit identified risks, eight of them of minor injuries and two of serious injuries. It is clear that we must not create more dangerous situations," Klaas explained to "Aktuaalne Kaamera."

However, according to the safety auditor, these risks could have been minimized, enabling the experiment to continue as planned.

Gea Kangilaski (Social Democrats), who is one of Tartu’s five deputy mayors, only learned of the decision to cancel the Riia tänav cycle path project via the media. "Initially, we had an agreement in the municipality that we would discuss the matter further. Later we read in the newspaper that it will definitely be cancelled," Kangilaski told ERR.

The decision not to proceed with the Riia tänav project was taken by the city government, following the presentation […]

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