Concerns raised over Moscow road signs on Latvian highway

Following a 60-kilometer stretch of road from Tīnūži to Koknese, the Latvian Television's broadcast 4. studija counted 34 roadsigns pointing to Moscow. Journalist and traffic expert Pauls Timrots is of the opinion that reminders like this can cause negative emotions, 4. studija reported November 17.

For long-distance drivers, every day passes behind the wheel on the roads of different countries, but to avoid getting lost, they rarely look at road signs because they use navigation.

“I don't really know anyone who looks at those [signs] these days,” said Gatis Roze, CEO of AEEG transport Ltd. “For example, in Poland, where road repairs are constantly being carried out, it is worse with navigation, then maybe you have to look more at roadsigns. Where roads are completed, you can use navigation, there is no problem.”

The road Tīnūži-Koknese description says it has ten two-level intersections. So, in theory, a very distracted driver who wants to go to Moscow can take a wrong turn ten times. However, the number of signs far exceeds ten.

Traffic and car expert Timrots is categorical – at this time of the war started by Russia, signs to the capital of the aggressor state should not be there because symbols, signs, and words play a huge role, according to Timrots.

“Even if there are some standards, of road building principles in peacetime, then during the war we can ignore that standard by showing it is our gesture and our attitude,” Timrots admitted. “If I see that we knocked down that object in Pārdaugava, if we rename the streets in Rīga, what the hell do we leave on our own highways, for our own money, a sign for a city we rather hate and don't intend to drive there?”

The solution would be to indicate a location of Latvia on the same road before the border. Otherwise, one can specify any other city in the East direction.

“We write that we can go to Ulaanbaatar or to Tokyo; somewhere down the road!” Timrots suggested. “Why should we write that city? We can go to Georgia. We need something like that, a friendlier place for us.”

As the traffic expert stressed, maintaining and illuminating a sign to the city bombing Kyiv, “we are making the environment toxic to ourselves.“

Meanwhile, 4. studija received the following explanation from the company Latvian State Roads as to why there is a need for so much information about the Russian capital:

“Direction indicators shall be positioned at intersections indicating the endpoints of the routes concerned. In this case, each multi-level road node shall be preceded by a large poster sign showing the whole node and direction. When entering a node, directional indicators of a particular route have been installed, while after the node there are distance indicators, where the populated area behind the node also appears - on the principle closest, medium, farthest.“

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