Tallinn Main Street project to be completed by 2021

Pärnu (top) and Narva Highway in renderings of the Tallinn Main Street project.
Pärnu (top) and Narva Highway in renderings of the Tallinn Main Street project. Source: ERR

Begun in 2016, Tallinn's Main Street project, which among other things includes the renovation of Tammsaare Park and the surrounding areas, is about to continue. Works were suspended last year, when the city commissioned another traffic analysis to assess the impact of the project on city life.

The new analysis is almost ready, but has already pushed the project's deadlines to a critical point, daily Päevaleht wrote on Monday (link in Estonian). According to city architect, Endrik Mänd, and chief planner, Jaak-Adam Looveer, reducing traffic through the city center is an inevitable part of completing the €10-million project.

New safety islands, broader sidewalks, and bikeways along Narva and Pärnu Highway will mean narrower streets and reduce both streets' capacity by some 500 cars a day.

This is controversial in Estonia, where the understanding still prevails that road construction is part of the measures that drive the local economy. This view of things, though, is by now obsolete and applied to industrial societies, rather than current developments, Mänd and Looveer argue.

An initial analysis commissioned by the Estonian Centre of Architecture confirmed that with well thought-out changes to the organization of traffic, a big portion of transit traffic can be directed away from the main street without creating significant problems.

As an earlier stage of the project and following extensive renovations, Tammsaare Park was reopened to the public in September 2018. New features included new paved paths, white benches, and a series of frames that are already proving a popular place for visitors to pose for pictures.

Nearly 80 linden trees were planted throughout the park, in addition to dozens of ornamental plants and nearly 400 bushes.

The updated park also features spaces for counters that can be used during cultural events and fairs, as well as both more open and more intimate areas. The Monument for the Revolution of 1905 was moved slightly as well.

Part of the park will remain closed through at least 2020, however, as construction work there continues.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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