Tallinn Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet (Center) told ERR that the city plans to restore the part of Pärnu maantee between Vabaduse väljak (Freedom Square) and the overpass prior the reconstruction of the main street, which has now been postponed.
The city government has decided that the street space beyond Vabaduse väljak should extend at least as far as the overpass, if not farther, in addition to the main road running from Pronksi tänav to the square. This part will be also completely rebuilt, including resurfacing, additional landscaping and separated bike lanes, Tallinn Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet said.
"A suggestion to improve the area around public transportation stops is at the heart of the plan: we would like to relocate the tram stop to the intersection of Liivalaia and Pärnu maantee, closer to the Kitseküla train station, to provide a stronger multimodal public transportation connection. We would also like to see public transportation elevated to a single lane in the center of the road, as has been partially accomplished on Pärnu maantee. In addition, we want to improve pedestrian safety by constructing separated bike lanes and resolving parallel parking issues."
"Because it is a central location with many diverse interests and space constraints in some areas, I believe it will take at least a year and possibly up to two years to complete this project design. As a result, construction will not begin before 2024 and it is more likely to start in 2025," Svet said.
Svet added that it is unclear whether the Pärnu maantee overpass will also be renovated.
The main street reconstruction may begin later
The Tallinn Main Street project, which was relaunched this year by a separate working group within the city administration, remains unfinished, and negotiations are ongoing, Svet said. This could mean that work on the Vabaduse väljak overpass section might begin sooner.
"The final solution for the main street has not yet been determined and this work is ongoing. The idea is that Pärnu maantee will carry on the general concept of the main street, where all groups of road users will have their own space, separate from others, safe and comfortable. Because the main street has its own history and the coalition has already decided on how to approach it, these two redevelopment plans are progressing at a completely different pace. It is likely that work on this stretch of Pärnu maantee will begin before the main street, but the time difference will be minimal," Svet explained.
This does not mean that cars will not be allowed on the Pärnu maantee and Narva maantee, Svet added.
"Rather, we are focused on making sure that all road users feel safe on the city's busiest streets. We all agree that the main roadways in the city center require a thorough update and modernization. The pedestrian routes on these streets need to be perfectly rational, there should be segregated cycle paths and more landscaping and trees, especially given the hot summers we've been experiencing."
Svet added that bringing businesses to the streets is no less important.
"We have an opportunity to better organize this space from the perspective of businesses as well — to create a natural space so that, for instance, cafés can open onto the street from the first floor and that there is also a clear possibility for parallel parking, which is not available everywhere."
Editor: Kristina Kersa