The schoolyear will be off to a convoluted start for many Tallinners as several important intersections and streets remain closed. While trams 2 and 4 will return to service and a few intersections will open, this will being little alleviation in the grand scheme of the capital's traffic situation.
Both Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart and Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet have said that the traffic situation in the heart of Tallinn will be even more difficult this fall than it was throughout summer.
There will be more cars and public transport vehicles on the roads as Tallinn switched to the winter timetable on September 1.
But trams 2 (Kopli-Ülemiste) and 4 (Tondi-Ülemiste) returned to service on September 1 to make life a little more convenient for those who don't drive.
Tram 4 will not be going all the way to Tallinn Airport, however, as work to prepare for the construction of the Rail Baltica rail terminal will get in the way for the next few years.
Svet told ERR Tuesday that it is possible the number 4 tram will temporarily go as far as the airport should there be longer stoppages in the Rail Baltica terminal work.
A temporary additional stop will be added for bus number 2 where the airport tram stop is, while the number 15 bus will also stop at the airport going in both directions. The number 52 temporary bus line put in place to replace trams 2 and 4 will be discontinued.
Trams 1 and 3 will return to service from October 1, with the temporary number 6 line continuing until the end of September.
Bus number 3 returned to its standard route on September 1 with the opening to traffic on Vana-Kalamaja tänav. The number 40 bus will be departing from the Viru Terminal again, while number 58 will return to its usual route to Majaka põik.
Old Harbor tram line construction work will continue to affect buses 1, 2, 5, 9, 11, 14, 15, 18, 18A, 20, 20A, 23, 29, 31, 34, 35, 38, 42, 44, 46, 51, 55, 60, 63 and 66.
There are changes to bus stop locations in September. The Hipodroomi stop of bus 16 will be moved to Mustamäe tee on Õismäe heading. The Supelranna stop will be added for bus line 35, and the Vabaduse väljak stop of bus 46 will be moved to the bus stop in front of the Freedom Square R-Kiosk.
Streets to reopen gradually
Things will not be getting any easier on drivers with the start of the schoolyear.
"The traffic situation will get worse from September 1 and especially September 4 due to increased school-bound traffic. We need to be prepared for that. The situation will start to get better from mid-September, which will continue at the start of October and finally in late November when major roadworks should be finished," Mayor Kõlvart said Wednesday.
Three intersections were partially opened to traffic on September 1: the intersections of Pronksi tänav with Raua, Gonsiori and Kunderi streets. The Gonsiori reversible lane will be used for traffic into the city, while cars will be leaving the center via Raua and Kunderi.
This temporary traffic situation will persist until September 15, which is when the Tartu maantee and Pronksi tänav intersection should open, allowing drivers to cross the tram tracks to Liivalaia tänav once more.
"The city wants to open the intersection to traffic as soon as possible, while this depends on how quickly the concrete used in construction will dry. Special sensors have been installed to monitor the situation, and the intersection will be opened as soon as the conditions allow," said Indrek Gailan, head of the Tallinn Transport Department.
For access to the City Center Russian High School and the Tallinn 21st School, the city recommends taking the Gonsiori-Pronksi-Kunderi or Gonsiori-Pronksi-Raua routes. Because Pronksi will get another layer of asphalt, temporary disruptions remain possible in the evening or at night. The street will have 1+1 lanes during the daytime.
Vana-Kalamaja tänav will open to traffic from September 4.
The next set of roadworks should be finished by mid-October. Ahtri tänav (October 4) and the intersection of Põhja puiestee and Kursi tänav (from September 30) will be completed. Traffic will also be restored between Tondi and Kotka streets.
Construction work at the Narva maantee and Pronksi intersection, as well as Jõe tänav should be finished by October 20.
The Hobujaama intersection should open to traffic from November 17.
Editor: Marko Tooming, Marcus Turovski