Frozen sidewalks force Tallinn pedestrians to walk on roads

A slippery sidewalk.
A slippery sidewalk. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Negative degrees and snowfall could be a welcome sight for pedestrians that have had to manage Tallinn's frozen sidewalks for the past few weeks.

Although some say sand would be better suited than gravel for anti-slip works, it is not used on the streets because it creates a dusty environment, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" heard from a driver of an anti-slip vehicle.

"We have 12-hour days - two days and then you get two nights. But there is a lot of gravel to sprinkle around with these temperatures. /.../ There is quite a bit of ice, it has not been removed at the correct time and then more ice develops and that is how it will remain," Arne said.

Each vehicle has its certain region and roads need to sprinkled over again after snowfall. "We are currently sprinkling. It will snow (on Thursday night - ed), plows will go out and push all the gravel from the roads," the driver noted.

The sprinkling vehicle, however, cannot work on sidewalks, where pedestrians have all developed techniques to beat the slippery conditions. "It is really slippery in some places and I have seen some very slippery places recently. I have taken two walks today (Thursday - ed). You have to walk on roads," said Ilona, a pedestrian speaking to ERR.

While you might think pedestrians are happy to see anti-slip vehicles working the streets, that is always not the case. "Once you start driving, they walk in front of you - cannot see, cannot hear. You give them the horn. Then they hit your car. My car got hit with a snow shovel, for example," Arne said.

The state weather service has issued "slippery roads" warnings quite consistently since the end of December.

A fairly representative picture of the situation on many Tallinn walkways in January. Source: ERR


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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