Capital Lacks Money for Street Repairs (1)
Tallinn has 1.2 million euros - the same as last year - in its traffic management budget for 2011, which means that the city will need to keep a tight budget so that essential work, such as traffic light repairs and lane markers, gets done.
At least another month will pass, head of transport Andres Harjo told Postimees, before the snow has completely melted and his agency can set its priorities by evaluating which streets have worn out the most.
How the money will be distributed between maintenance jobs has yet to be revealed. Although many traffic lights are in bad shape, the Transport Department lacks finances to replace the old ones - the same story as last year. In 2010, to install lane markers on Tallinn's streets, the city allocated 230,000 euros, which officials said is not enough.
"It is evident that the years 2010 and 2011 have degraded Tallinn's traffic to such that there are practically no visible traffic indicators remaining," said Ats Tamm, head of the enterprise Signaal, which installs the city's street lanes.
The transportation agency is partly in trouble because of the excessive quantities of salt - spread on streets to decrease slipperiness during wintertime - are deteriorating the city's already pothole-ridden roads. In winter Finland and other Nordic countries focus on cleaning up the snow as soon as possible in order to avoid having to use large amounts of salt. But Tallinn does not have enough money for road maintenance.