Koněvova and Husitská streets to be renovated

Political factions disagree on how extensive the changes should be

One of the major thoroughfares in Prague's Žižkov district, Husitská and Koněvova streets, is set for renovation in the spring of 2017. The Prague 3 Town Hall wants to renovate the two contiguous streets as soon as possible, but an opposition group want to make zoning before construction starts so more can be done.

Husitská and Koněvova streets connect the Florenc area in Prague 8 to Ohrada in Prague 3. Thousands of cars use the thoroughfare daily. Prague 3 Deputy Mayor Lucie Vítkovská (ODS) said the repairs could take up to two years.

The opposition does not oppose the idea of renovations to the streets but would like to see the goals changed. Prague 3 paid some Kč 2.27 million for a study on how to repair the streets, but the delivered study did not comply with the instructions to respect the current zoning conditions. Deputy Mayor Vítkovská said Prague 3 has informed the company that the study did not meet requirements. The Town Hall is seeking compensation. The district is now trying to make the best use of the parts of the study that are in compliance with current zoning in developing the plans for the reconstruction.

The head of the opposition party Žižkov (nejen) sobě, Ondřej Rut (ŽnS), says that zoning rules should be changed so more of the study can be implemented. Rut, who is also a former deputy mayor of the district, wants the sidewalks to be extended to allow for streets to be revitalized with restaurant gardens and more trees. Without these zoning changes, the basic character of the streets will not be improved. He told the media that the district should carefully reconsider the project, which will cost up to Kč 200 million and affect the neighborhood for up to the next 50 years.

The majority in the Town Hall, however, supports starting renovation work right away as the streets have long been in need of basic repairs. At the end of September the Town Hall moved to start as quickly as possible.

Deputy Mayor Vítkovská said that making changes in zoning to accommodate the entire study and rewriting the already approved project would delay they start of construction by up to four years.

She also does not want to widen the sidewalks at the expense of parking in the district. Residents also don't want the sidewalks extended for the entire length of the streets, she maintains.

Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD) also favors a quick start to the renovations. He agrees that local residents want the street repaired but to not want to reduce parking. Making the street more attractive is largely a matter of fixing the facades of houses along the street, but those are privately owned and do not fall under the city's direct jurisdiction, he added. The people who want to create a new type of street are not the ones that live on it, he said.

The current plan also calls for keeping one traffic lane open at all times and creating several alternate routes during construction.

Koněvova is named for Ivan Stepanovich Konev, a Soviet military commander during World War II. Before 1946 it was known at various times as Poděbradova, Brněnská and Vídeňská street. Husitská is named for the followers of religious reformer Jan Hus. It was known at other times as Horská silnice, Husova and Huttenova.

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