Züleyxa Izmailova: Walkback on Reidi Road compromise undermining trust
The Tallinn City Government's possible withdrawal from an official agreement regarding the limiting of the Reidi Road construction project undermines the trustworthiness of the city government itself, writes former Tallinn Deputy Mayor Züleyxa Izmailova (Greens).
The city government's announcement about the possible widening of Reidi Road is startling, albeit not very surprising, given everything going on on Toompea Hill in connection with the research funding agreement, because when the worldviews of those in power don't take current knowledge into account in their decision-making, these decisions will lead not to advancement, but rather chaos and economic losses.
Regarding Reidi Road, the city government has cited an unpublished study, but this secretive study allegedly has yet to be shown even to the Urban Planning Department or other relevant authorities. Appearing on ETV news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera," however, Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Centre) presented the alleged results of the study in a declarative mood.
No decisions with such a broad impact should be made so lightly these days, and the compromise solution signed between the Tallinn City Government and the Merelinna Kaitsjad group remains enforceable.
Why the Tallinn City Government actually wants to violate this agreement is another matter altogether.
It is clear that the alleged traffic throughput cited for the limited Reidi Road project would only manifest if calculations were taking a growth in the number of vehicles into account, i.e. if the city government did not follow strategies currently in force to curb increasing numbers of vehicles, but rather sought to further encourage it. Speak nothing of the amplification of the heat island effect or the application of urban planning and land use measures during the climate crisis era.
Unfortunately, a lot of voters and people who didn't vote in the Riigikogu elections left Estonia's fate in the hands of concrete-happy political parties that are drowning in debt. In the fluctuations to follow the elections, the capital also appears to be taking a giant leap backward in development as well. Doubt has been cast on concluded agreements, and results that were achieved in the name of inclusion look to be headed for the trash. Perhaps things will be a bit clearer come next week.
Just 80 kilometers away from Tallinn in Helsinki, three Green ministers were just sworn into office, indicating there is hope that, one day, a retreat from Potemkinism and asphalt-worship may become the norm on this side of the Gulf of Finland as well.
In February 2018, the City of Tallinn and Merelinna Kaitsjad reached an agreement regarding the construction project for Reidi Road, a significant new road being built along the port in Central Tallinn, and signed a 16-point memorandum of adjustments to the road's construction project. Compromises involved matters such as the speed limit, the number of lanes, the width of the median strip, and the specific trajectory of the future road as it related to an adjacent park.
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Editor: Aili Vahtla