Rīga City Council says that the material used was agreed with the National Cultural Heritage board since the place is part of a UNESCO heritage site, Latvian Television's 4. studija reported March 2.
A viewer, Normunds Ceipe, told LTV: "Yet another example of a wrongly used material. I have a question for the Rīga City Council Transport department: do you learn from your mistakes? This material, which is sanded granite, is very bad to use on a pedestrian crossing because it is slippery. It used to be on Krišjāņa Barona Street [..] I have seen people fall there, when it's raining, so I hoped it would be taken into account in the next project and something more abrasive would be put on, but I feel nobody learns from their mistakes."
Rīga City Council Transport department replied that there was no other option because of strict requirements in place.
Representative of the department Jānis Vaivods said: "Ģertrūdes Street, in this place, is in the UNESCO heritage territory. In fact, we had to get the permit from National Cultural Heritage Board. This is a type of cobblestone agreed upon by them. A concrete covering was not agreed to."
Vaivods said that this was not in fact sanded granite but a burnished surface specially made for the object and delivered from Ukraine. The department also said that "less slippery cobblestone was not allowed here, and grooves were not possible either."
"It might be slippery but not more slippery than the ordinary Swedish cobblestone," said Vaivods.
He added that several materials had been under consideration but the red cobblestone was chosen as the best one.
The dissatisfied viewer, however, maintained that "traffic safety must be considered. Cars brake here, cars turn here, and there's an elevation. It's slippery!"
As previous reported by LSM, it is far from the first time Ģertrudes Street has experienced problems with its basic fabric. In recent years it developed an unfortunate habit of swallowing up cars.