Black poles separating bike and car lanes in the capital will be removed at the start of winter to speed up snow clearing, Tallinn said on Wednesday. It promises that bike lanes will be cleaned faster than last year.
The black poles sprung up overnight this summer and stop cars from being able to drive in cycle lanes. At the time, they caused a lot of controversy among drivers, Wednesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.
The majority of the barriers will be removed on December 1, said head of Tallinn Public Utilities Board Tarmo Sulg. A deal has been struck with the Transport Administration that they will be removed at the start of winter.
"The posts will remain in a few places where the cycle path is at least two meters wide, such as on Narva maantee, Rannamäe tee and Petrooleumi tänav. Last winter, cyclists were upset that snow was pushed onto the cycle paths and not removed," Sulg said.
He said snow must be cleared from streets within 24 hours under current contracts but it is planned to remove it much quicker from cycle lanes.
"In the new maintenance contracts, we have identified the most heavily used and priority cycle paths and maintenance procedures will be carried out in half the time required by current requirements, i.e. in four hours instead of eight," Sulg said.
Longtime cyclist Andrei Lobanov told AK that Tallinn does not clean bike lanes fast enough and that piles of snow and slush often cause obstructions. Sometimes piles of frozen leaves remain underneath which can be slippery and dangerous.
"You don't need to clean so that the red color [paint] is visible, it's enough just to make sure there are no piles of snow," he said.
Veloplus workshop manager Hans Lillemets advised cyclists to clean their bikes once a week because salt-slush will cause the frame to rust quickly. He also recommended cyclists invest in studded tires.
The black posts cost approximately €100,000 to buy and install. It will cost around €6,000 to remove them, AK said.
Editor: Mari Peegel, Helen Wright
Source: Aktuaalne kaamera