Project coordinator Edīte Matuseviča of the External Communication Department of Rīga City Council (RD) explained that in places where flower pots are now located, there is an intention to plant trees in the future.
“Previously there were cars instead of flower pots and, let's face it, cars were also far from improving visibility at this junction, and in fact, flower pots are far from a worse option than parked cars. Enough spaces have been left between flower pots,” Matuseviča noted.
4. studija, while filming drivers twisting their necks for to turn from Krāsotāju to Tallinas Street, made sure that visibility had far from improved. On the contrary, the area of visibility created by getting rid of parked cars is closed again, and there is room for snow drifts to accumulate, which further limits visibility.
Matuseviča, on the other hand, insisted that employees of the RD's Outdoor and Mobility Department, installing these flower pots, have evaluated their placement to ensure that drivers are safe. She also recalled that on Tallinas Street the speed limit is 30 km/h, and on Krāsotāju Street the traffic intensity is not high.
“The flowerpot, which is positioned closest to the junction, is positioned far enough to allow enough visibility,” Matuseviča said.
However, residents surveyed by 4. studija said visibility could be further disrupted in the summer when planted plants grow and bloom.
Riga City Council had a counterargument again, saying that flower pots have not yet been placed “where they should be.” “This will happen over this week and then, of course, the municipality is ready to listen to the views and feedback of residents and then, if necessary, these flowerpots can be moved without additional costs,” Matuseviča said.
The improvements on the stretch of Tallinas Street from Aleksandra Čaka to Jāņa Asara Street cost €262 thousand. This sum consists of benches, planted flower pots, garbage bins, bicycle racks, and plants.
“Admittedly, they were originally meant to be placed on the carriageway rather than on the pavement, precisely because of the comfort of traffic. They are on the pavement for now, but could potentially be placed in the originally conceived location on the carriageway,” Matuseviča said.
Other streets of Riga are planned to be 'improved' in a similar manner in the coming years, and this is a trial.
“We can learn some lessons from this. If those flower pots are too large, then they will be moved, more accurately, smaller will be installed and these will be moved somewhere else, but at the moment, the flower pots do not interfere with pedestrians,“ said Matuseviča.