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Council defends snow clearing policy after Tallinners' complaints

A snowy pavement in Tallinn.
A snowy pavement in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Tallinn's pedestrians are finding it difficult to move around the capital due to snow-covered roads. But the city council says maintenance work is constant and blame the changing weather conditions.

Friday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" spoke to residents about their winter mobility problems. Some people believe the city needs to do more, while others said it is simply a matter of finding the right footwear.

"There is ice under the snow. That is the worst part. So let's hope it gets better. If the thaw comes, if the rain comes, it will be fine," Anne said.

"You have to find the right shoes," Jaanika added.

"I can't get through at all. Especially here, on Sõpruse puieste. Here the snow is very loose on the roads. I am not happy," Zinaida told AK. "I am very upset. My feet hurt, I can't even walk to the store."

Tarmo Sulg, deputy head of the Tallinn Urban Environment and Public Works Department, said employees are carrying out maintenance work well. But warmer weather, and a mix of salt and snow, are making conditions difficult.

"Either salt on the pavement or salt on the pavement carried by shoes, and this creates a kind of snowdrift with icy slush underneath," he said. Extra attention is currently being paid to sidewalks and crossings.

Sulg said snow cleaning is going on all the time and companies are working on maintenance cycles at eight-hour intervals.

EKT Teed carries out street cleaning in Põhja-Tallinn, Haabersti, and Mustamäe. Over the last three weeks, they have removed approximately 20,000 cubic meters of snow.

Elmo Meier, head of the company's street maintenance department, said there are enough vehicles for snow removal, but a lack of manpower.

"There is a shortage of quality labor. People do not want to come and clear snow /.../ The work is complex and difficult," Meier said.

Jaanus Kivi, chief inspector of the Tallinn Municipal Police Department (MUPO), said, that in addition to snowy sidewalks, there is growing concern about dangerous icicles.

"The more snow there is on roofs, the more icicles there are. In the city center, for example, we've sent 70 notices to property owners this month about dangerous icicles," said Kivi.

He said property owners should keep an eye on icicles and, if necessary, call someone to remove them.

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Editor: Meril Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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