Mayor contemplates low-salt Rīga

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Rīga Mayor Mārtiņš Staķis told Latvian Radio January 18 that although residents dislike slipping-prevention salt coatings on the streets, it would not be plausible to keep the city sodium-free in winter.

The Transport Department of Rīga City Council has carried out a study, and it is clear that “we cannot do completely without salt”. At the same time, Staķis said that he had asked to do three things to reduce the use of salt on the streets of Rīga.

Firstly, some zones of Rīga would be salt-free, for example, parks.

He also wants residents to know exactly where there are no other options, for example, on bridges.

But the biggest problem, according to Staķis, is the generous sprinkling of sodium chloride on sidewalks, managed by landlords and street cleaners under their authority. It is therefore considered that, as a pilot project, the municipality should take over the cleaning of pavements from the owners of buildings in one region.

“I think we could try this option, too, maybe it deals with this salt problem,” Staķis said.

More worrying than the coat of seasoning on the streets are icicles hanging from roofs, given that a thaw is expected in the middle of the week. Staķis said there was a plan to deal with the snow and icicles on rooftops of Rīga municipal buildings, while letters have been sent to private house owners to take care of their properties.

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