'Car-Free Avenue' brings temporary traffic changes to Tartu city center ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Social distancing sign in Tartu by Kaarsild bridge.
Social distancing sign in Tartu by Kaarsild bridge. Source: Helen Wright/ ERR

Several traffic changes will be in place in the center of Tartu throughout July and early August when the Car-Free Avenue initiative launches next month.

From July 3 until August 2 a section of Vabaduse Avenue will become Car-Free Avenue, in order to attract residents of Tartu to the city center.

Preparatory works will begin on June 28, and the section of road from the Kaubamaja intersection to Kaarsild Bridge will be closed to traffic until August 6.

During this time, traffic will move along Narva Highway, to which bus lines 6, 7 and 13, and night lines 21 and 22 have also been temporarily directed. During that time, buses will not be stopping at Raeplats and Vabaduse Avenue stops, the Palmihoone bus stop has been temporarily moved to Lai Street. Travelling in the direction of the city centre, only buses from line No. 7 will stop at the Vene stop. Information on the traffic changes will be provided this week via direct mail arriving in the mail boxes of city residents and residents of the region.

The car parks at Tartu Market Hall, Kaubamaja, and the City Library will remain open to cars. Additional parking spaces will be created for tour buses by the monument to Oskar Luts, near the Magistri Street car park. Three stopping places will be created for taxis at the Kaubamaja car park on Uueturu Street, and three spaces by the monument to Oskar Luts, near the Magistri Street car park.

The purpose of creating Car-Free Avenue is to enliven the city centre, connect the Emajõgi River and the heart of the city, offer exciting recreational opportunities, bring together different generations, and strengthen the sense of community after the end of the emergency situation.

Visitors will be able to use a labyrinth of swings, a beach bar, outdoor reading room, picnic tables, meadow boxes with diverse flora, food trucks, a meeting area, market and flea market, programmes and workshops, a ping-pong table, an outdoor cinema, and much more.

Car-Free Avenue activities will end at 10 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday but will be extended until 12.30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Police and security staff will be helping to maintain order in the area.

The whole area has been designed keeping the 2 + 2 distance rules in mind, reminders of which are given by the markings on asphalt and green areas.

A map of the road changes which will be in place in Tartu during 'Car-Free Avenue'. Source: Tartu Linnavalitsus

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Editor: Helen Wright

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