Center of Tallinn to become 30 km/h zone under new plans

Plans for Tallinn's roads in the draft mobility 2035 strategy.
Plans for Tallinn's roads in the draft mobility 2035 strategy. Source: Tallinna LV

Tallinn's busiest roads will have 30 km/h speed limits in the future if proposals included in the capital's draft mobility 2035 strategy come to fruition.

Speed limts on Pärnu maantee, Narva maantee, Liivalaia, Endla tänav and Luise tänav will be capped at 30 km/h under new plans that will split Tallinn's roads into nine categories. (See the image below.)

The color-coded scheme determines the atmosphere of the area and future reconstruction work needed.

It takes the "value" of the area into consideration, such as the surrounding nature, atmosphere and number of homes, Madle Lippus, deputy mayor of Tallinn, told ERR.

The nine categories of street. Source: Tallinn City Government

Places with a higher "value" will have lower speed limits.

"Understandably, where a car travels at 50 km/h, there is significantly more noise and we do not feel safe. [...] Most of Tallinn's city center belongs to an area of high local value," Lippus said.

The council wants to stop roads from being seen as places that have no value and act only as places of transit. As a result, it is planning to reduce the function of main roads in the city center.

"These are no longer main streets, but they are also important places for local life," he said.

Speed limit scheme. Source: Tallinna LV

Giving an example, the official highlighted Liivalaia tänav and said the current higher speed limit creates a lot of noise which then reduces the atmosphere and possibilities for local development.

"Liivalaia is a good example, especially the area between Veerenni and Juhkentali. There is a lot of greenery there but the speeds and noise levels are what make this area unpleasant. The [reduced] speed limit lets you change that," Lippus said.  

In areas where there are a high number of houses, the limit will also be reduced to 30 km/h. This will make it safer for people to cycle on streets where there are no designated bike lanes.

Parking changes

The council plans to reduce the number of parking spaces on the street. It is hoped this will encourage the use of public transport and urban development.

The draft plan says "parking will be designed according to the specifics of each region" in the future.

Building underground parking lots will be encouraged and there are plans to build similar spaces in Mustamäe, Lasnamäe and Väike-Õismäe residential areas. Parking on the street will not be developed in new residential areas and will only be green-lit in the suburbs.

Tallinn does not want the number of parking spots in the capital to increase by 2035 and hopes to stick to 245,000 which was the total in 2019.

Mobility Plan 2035

The main goals of the capital's action plan for 2035 are:

  1. Complete and safe street space
  2. Fast and convenient public transport
  3. Convenient cycling
  4. New technology and services
  5. Regional and international mobility
  6. Parking suitable for the city environment
  7. Sustainable financing
  8. Traffic control and planning

You can read the draft, in English, here.

The draft is currently on display and can be commented on.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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