Locals push for better access to beach in Rīga

After almost a decade of political promises, plans to clean up a relatively small but important street in Daugavgrīva, Rīga, could come to reality. Flotes Street is important because in summer it is the only proper access to the sea for thousands of people in the Bolderāja district, Latvian Radio reported December 6.

Flotes Street in Daugavgrīva is an important traffic line for servicing port terminals, but a critical situation has developed there.

According to Artūrs Veispāls, chairman of the board of the company WT Terminal: "Flotes Street links Bolderāja and the lighthouse of Daugavgrīva. It is in a very degraded, distressing state, and freight transport goes down this street - about 50,000 cars a year, about a million tons [of freight] a year is transported. At the same time, there is a flow of pedestrians and cyclists along this street, car holidaymakers who want to get to the sea, Daugavgrīva beach and Daugavgrīva lighthouse."

But getting to the car park at the end of the street, which has also been degraded, is not easy. brought up, Rīga City Council has been aware of the terrible street for nearly a decade since its situation was first updated.

“There's up to half a meter-deep potholes. For the last few years, Ukrainian grain machines come to the terminal and stand in lines and there are hazards. In spring, it floods like a tub, that street and then the [cars] drive down the pavement or try to get around somewhere. Then there was [Andris] Ameriks in Rīga City Council, and he wanted to show, with great pomp, to the electorate that the road of cyclists was cleared and the parking lot. Then they were designed, forgetting that there were also businesses and infrastructure and sidewalks and big road transport," Veispals said.

Veispals' representative company has engaged in the reworking of the Flotes Street building project, so that eventually the Free Port of Riga, in cooperation with the City Council, simultaneously and sensibly organizes each part of Flotes Street under its responsibility.

Will Rīga City Council find another two million euros for its part of Flotes Street? Jānis Vaivods, head of the City Council's Outdoor and Mobility department, has not provided a clear answer yet, but he promised to get to the street at the latest next year.

Thousands of Riga residents are waiting for the revival of Flotes Street. This was emphasized by Gaidis Balodis, representative of Rīga neighborhood residents center.

"There are a lot of complaints from residents, especially in the autumn when the grain was being transported, probably from Ukraine or from some other places. Then there was traffic, public transport was difficult, the movement was stopped in principle, and cars were even driving on pavements. Chaos, let's say so," said Balodis.

Port businessmen added that the history of Flotes Street would also be interesting and worthy of wider exploration. During the Soviet period, it was a closed area, home to an underwater naval marina and also a bunker shelter. Several years ago, an ancient wooden sailor wreck was washed out of the sea.

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