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Businesses dissatisfied with bike lanes in Rīga center

Bicycle lanes have recently been installed on Bruņinieku Street in the center of Rīga between Krišjāņa Valdemāra and Avotu Street. Businesses located on the street are unhappy with the new infrastructure since it leaves no parking space for delivery vehicles, Latvian Radio reported June 21.

Owner of repairs shop Coffee Machine Service, Jānis Urbo, said: "We've just crawled out of coronavirus trouble because we had fewer customers, too. It seemed as if we starting to breathe again, but then again we face problems with customer service, and we are sinking. I sometimes have a person come, I run out onto the street, pick up that coffee machine, and they drive on. Because there's simply no place to stop. There are two places to park for 30 minutes a little farther. For the whole section of the street.” 

He was pleased that the street had finally been repaired, but as a result of the repairs, the businessman decided to move his shop several houses down, where he could use the parking lot in the courtyard. That is not too convenient either since the area is closed and he would have to unlock the gate for every customer.

Entrepreneurs also pointed out that there are three schools along the renovated street section. When schools reopen, many cars will have to stop to let the pupils out.  Supply of goods ordered, management of waste, and other day-to-day processes are also difficult.

The Transport Department of Rīga City Council promises to look at the problems. At the same time, there is no change expected in the street planning.

“Rīga looks at other European capitals and developments in them. Rīga also wants to introduce a safe environment for pedestrians and cyclists, so the new solution on Bruņinieku Street is exactly what it is. This is one of the first such projects to move towards the priority of pedestrians and cyclists in the center of Riga, but yes, we will review opportunities for additional delivery parking,” said the transport department representative Lelde Rudzika.

There are other problems on the Bruņinieku Street section in the context of unfinished repairs: last week, shortly after the setting-up of the border posts, they are moved a few centimetres to the side.

Residents believe that water will accumulate in the spots where they were previously and damage the asphalt.  on the fact that in previous post-winter areas, water will rise and the asphalt will be damaged. The Transport Department promises to draw attention to the quality of jobs, as well as further listening to residents' views before the transformation of street sections. 

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