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Cyclists can now use bus lanes in Tallinn midtown

A sign in a bus lane which shows cyclists can ride in the lane,
A sign in a bus lane which shows cyclists can ride in the lane, Source: ERR

A change in bus lane regulations allows cyclists and buses to use the same lanes in the center of Tallinn which have a speed limit of 30 km/h. But not all cyclists think the new solution is a good idea.

There are new road markings on Estonia puiestee, which allow for cyclists and buses to share bus lanes. In the eyes of the law, both vehicles are now equal, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported earlier this month.

Hannes Kullamäe, head of traffic control at the Police and Border Guard Board's North Prefecture said: "I would like to remind cyclists that they should keep in mind that larger vehicles use the lanes as well. Bus drivers will have blind sports where they might not be able to see cyclists and that should be considered. Bus drivers should also be more careful."

In addition to the large blue markings, there's also a 30 km/h speed limit on the sections where buses and bicycles can both travel. The speed limit is already in place on Tehnika Street to Kaubamaja and will potentially span the entirety of Tallinn's Pärnu Road in the future.

Andrei Novikov, Deputy Mayor of Tallinn said: "The changes in traffic regulation can certainly be unusual and this has also brought forward a fresh relining on bus lanes and intersections. You should definitely not drive by memory, always use signs and consider others."

He added: "We've seen that the solution works in other countries. Our specialists say that it is safe and I would also dare use it."

Bicycle enthusiast Tõnis Savi, who is one of the authors of Tallinn's bicycle strategy, said: "I've cycled for years and consider myself a pretty good cyclist, but I keep thinking woulf the developer of this solution allow their mother or children on this road. I don't believe so.

"It is a poor solution, which will not bring new cyclists onto the streets, it will also not bring cyclists off sidewalks. If someone's used to using these lanes, then they might use them. I rode my bicycle here and was thinking if I had a different feeling than before. But I don't. This does not add any additional value."

The new road markings do not give cyclists an obligation to use them and they can still ride on the sidewalk.

The new bike lanes will probably be used by the boldest. It should also be considered that one can only cycle on a bus lane individually, not side-by-side with someone else, and bicycles should try to keep to as right as possible.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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