Prague 6 seeks a solution to traffic jams

Traffic lights at the edge of Prague 6 have been proposed to stop cars

Prague 6 has proposed a solution to regulate traffic headed for the Blanka tunnel in case of traffic problems. The district wants traffic lights at the northern edge of the district to regulate cars coming from Central Bohemia. Not everyone is in favor of the plan, though, and city officials would like better cooperation with Prague 6 on more functional solutions.

Streets in Prague 6 can turn into long traffic jams when the Blanka tunnel is closed. Traffic jams in Prague 6 impact on traffic across the upper part of the city.

The tunnel closes temporarily when the exit roads reach capacity, as cars are not supposed to be stuck in traffic jams in the tunnel. The closures can be a few minutes or much longer. The closures happen about once a week, according to tunnel operators. Peak times for the tunnel are during the morning and evening rush hours and on Friday afternoons.

Residents of Prague 6 are impacted since they cannot fully use the local streets when they are jammed with stagnant traffic. Some residents have been vocal on social media and at district meetings about the issue.

The proposal to add a barrier of traffic lights at the edge of Prague 6 comes ahead of the municipal elections in the fall, giving politicians several months to take some action to solve the problems.

The traffic lights would be coordinated with the Blanka tunnel and would keep traffic out of Prague 6 when the tunnel is closed. This would prevent lines of cars stalled and waiting throughout Prague 6.

The reduction of traffic jams should also help to improve the air quality in Prague 6.

Prague City Councilor Roman Mejstřík (ANO) told daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD) that the city was preparing materials to better regulate traffic in Prague 6 so the area “does not become a parking lot and road accessibility is increased.”

The project should start in trial operation this year at Suchdol, Sedlec, and Lysolaje. Traffic, in particular, should be regulated heading toward Jugoslávských partyzánů Street, which feeds into Vítězné náměstí at the center of Prague 6.

If the measures seem successful they will be expanded to include Patočkova Street.

Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD), responsible for transportation issues, was not fully impressed with the plan. He considers it a populist approach on the part of Prague 6 officials that doesn’t address the real issue.

Dolínek added that the city is able to reach real traffic solutions with the town halls in Prague 5, 7 and 8, but that there are problems cooperating with Prague 6, even though that district is very vocal about traffic.

Suchdol Mayor Petr Hejl (SOS) also was not in favor of the plan. He told MfD that he was not consulted and has no information. He says that 10,000 students travel every day to Suchdol to attend school at the Czech University of Life Sciences (ČZU).

Jakub Karlíček, the spokesman of the Safra, the firm that operates the Blanka tunnel system, says the proposed traffic lights will simply move the problem but not solve it. Cars will simply wait in traffic jams in a different location.

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