Tallinn mayor: City to move on with Tallinn City Hall even without Tallink

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Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center). Source: ERR

Tallinn is planning to move forward with the construction of the Tallinn City Hall (Linnahall) even if planned cooperation with shipping company Tallink doesn't work out, due to the coronavirus, Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) said.

"This project is not finished. Maybe no one has noticed, but when we signed a contract with Tallink, I said we also have an alternative plan. We will continue to ask the European Commission for permission to invest there. Hopefully, this permission will come this year and if it does, we will want to start this project," Kõlvart told Vikerradio's morning program "Vikerhommik" Tuesday.

He added that the overall budget of the project is about €120 million, of which €40 million in support is provided for in the state budget strategy.

"I think this is a project that definitely needs to be fixed and we have not abandoned this plan," Kõlvart confirmed. Kõlvart said that tourism is currently existentially important for Tallinn, and the completion of the concert hall and conference center in the current city hall is definitely one of the measures that will contribute to tourism.

Large road works will bring new congestions in the autumn

Speaking about the major road works starting in Tallinn, Kõlvart said that the design of the reconstruction of the Petereburi tee is underway, and it is possible that the works may start already this year. However, the reconstruction of Jõe and the intersection between it and Narva mnt will also start in the autumn, which will probably lead to congestion in the city center, the mayor said.

Responding to the criticism of Tallinn's bicycle lanes situation, the mayor admitted that compared to another northern European capital, our bicycle lane infrastructure is not yet at the required level. "But I do not agree that nothing has been done," Kõlvart added. "Our main problem is the city center. The network of bicycle lanes in the districts is gradually developing, but there is a lack of bicycle lanes in the city center, which would connect the districts with each other," the mayor said. At the same time, he emphasized that the city center also has the least space to build bicycle lanes.

Kõlvart said that Tallinn has both a long-term and a short-term plan in this regard. "We want to implement the short-term already this year - in the summer the so-called quick solutions will come in the city center," Kõlvart said.

In his opinion, it is not possible to guarantee 100 percent satisfaction in the space of the city center because there is simply no space for that. "But since the priority is public transport and in the future pedestrians and cyclists, the reconstructions of the roads will come in the future," Kõlvart explained.

The mayor said that he himself rode a bicycle in Tallinn a year ago, but before that, he had not ridden a bicycle in the city for years.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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