Tallinn to tackle sidewalk parking using bicycle patrols

MUPO. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The city of Tallinn has decided to tackle the problem of cars parked on sidewalks by installing physical obstacles, ordering maximum fines, introducing bicycle patrols and working with courier services.

The growing problem of people parking and driving their cars on pedestrian and bicycle paths has caused the city of Tallinn to come up with four new measures, Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet said.

First, Tallinn will start to physically restrict cars' access to sidewalks and bicycle paths. These efforts will initially be concentrated in the city center.

"Tallinn's Municipal Police (MUPO) has mapped out ten problematic locations. We will be blocking access to sidewalks and bicycle paths in these places this spring and early summer. This will happen in the form of bollards in some places and patches of greenery in others. New roadbuilding projects should see walkways separated from vehicles from the first," Svet said. The deputy mayor said that bollards and/or urban furniture will be set up near the Forum mall on Narva maantee, between Freedom Square and the Kosmos movie theater, on Mere puiestee and near the Stockmann mall on Liivalaia tänav.

Secondly, MUPO will be launching bicycle patrols in May that should be able to get to violators faster and more conveniently.

The bicycle patrols will be out until fall and will be deployed mostly in and around the city center, said Valdo Põder, head of MUPO's patrol department.

"Bicycle patrols have several advantages. We will be faster getting around the city center, can use shortcuts and access parks that larger vehicles cannot get to. We can respond more effectively," Põder said, adding that rainy weather could still put bicycle patrols out of action.

Thirdly, MUPO will increasingly be ordering the maximum fine amount of €40 for parking violations, Svet said. The deputy mayor admitted that this might only have modest effect as the fine amounts are from 2014 and should clearly be hiked on the whole.

Fourth, Tallinn will soon be sitting down with representatives of delivery companies, major retail chains and van rental firms to try and solve the problem of couriers who often stop and park illegally.

MUPO head Aivar Toompere said that while the municipal police force issued 14,000 parking fines five years ago, this grew to 33,300 last year. The figure will likely be greater still for this year as MUPO has already issued 9,000 fines.

Toompere said that this is just the tip of the iceberg and the actual number of parking violations is much greater still.

People are also reporting more parking violations. While MUPO received 29,000 calls to that effect in 2019, this has grown to 60,000 by last year.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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