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Čaka/Marijas Street in Rīga to have temporary bicycle lanes

On an experimental basis, temporary bike lanes will be introduced on Marijas and Aleksandra Čaka Street, as decided at the meeting of the Traffic and Transport Committee of the Riga City Council on Monday, November 2.

The Riga City Council announced that the experiment with temporary bicycle lanes will be launched in December and will last until April. 

“There are newly finished repairs on Čaka Street, and there is a variety of proposals what this street should look like. It is in the interest of the people that the street is not only in good condition but also comfortable and pleasant, so we called on the Transport Department to also listen to Members' views on the future of this street in order to find the best and most appropriate options. Both traffic intensity and other measurements will be carried out in the street so that we can carry out an experiment analysis and decide on the way forward,” said Olafs Pulks, Chairman of the Committee on Traffic and Transport (New Unity).

The main benefits of creating bike lanes on the street would be the center's connection to Purvciems, increase in the number of cyclists, reduction of exhaust gases and visual improvement of the street, but at the same time there would also be a negative impact.

Possible negative aspects would include delays in public transport and a possible negative response from society, a fall in transport capacity and an increase in congestion on other streets.

Riga Transport Board member Janis Golubevs was skeptical about the introduction of the lane on Čaka Street. He stressed that the city's development plan does not provide for the introduction of the lane. In addition, according to Golubevs, 46% of passengers commute via public transport in Riga, but only 2-3% cycle.

On the other hand, Oto Ozols, representative of the union City for People, said that it was not just about bicycle infrastructure, but about the development of the city as a whole. He pointed out that the street was not pleasant to live on or trade, so it would be necessary to improve pedestrian movement on this street.

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