Náplavka, Petřín to see changes

Noise rules begin on the waterfront and barriers will stop traffic in Petřín

Two of Prague’s popular recreation areas will see some changes. Barriers will block unauthorized cars in Petřín and new noise rules will make Náplavka less disturbing to its neighbors. The creation of a floating pool at Náplavka, though, is not seen as a priority project.

Náplavka, the waterfront area adjacent to Rašínovo nábřeží, has been the subject of complaints from people living nearby. The area has had a big revival in recent years, but this has meant a large increase in noise.

According to the new rules, every Sunday will become a quiet day. Musical productions will be banned on Mondays and Tuesdays after 8 pm. Large events over 5,000 people will be allowed only once a month. On other days, events should end by 10 pm.

Restricting entry to Náplavka by an entry fee will no longer be allowed.

“We prefer more events that do not have a commercial dimension, and we will limit events that have a big impact on noise,” Trade Centre Praha’s Jiri Sulzhenko said. City-run company Trade Centre Praha operates Náplavka.

“We are trying to improve the quality of life of the residents around Náplavka by structuring the weekly program and guaranteeing at least three really quiet evenings a week. After the first season of operation, we will evaluate the rules and, if necessary, modify them,” he added.

The rules should not interfere with events like the farmers market. “The new rules are set up to support events with a full-scale impact on the country, family programs and traditions, history, and event with an educational or a community-wide focus. Events related to farmers markets and related activities, and authentic events, whether traditional or innovative, will prevail over commercial interests,” City Councilor Jan Chabr said.

Prague 2 Mayor Jana Černochová (ODS) said that she did not want the waterfront to be a dead place where people can just feed swans, but it also shouldn’t be a place filled with drunken people all night long.

Náplavka is currently undergoing a renovation. In 2018, work was done to 12 cubicles set into the stone retaining walls and is now being completed. Most of these rooms had long been disused and inaccessible to the general public. Some of the rooms are being turned into cafes and galleries. Other rooms are being turned into public bathrooms.

The city plans a tender to find occupants for the new spaces. New benches and waste containers are also part of the plan.

But building a floating pool is not a priority for the city. The possible construction of the pool must be preceded by discussions with the public, professionals with the relevant state administration bodies before City Hall makes a decision.

“The priority of Prague’s management is not the construction of floating baths but the solution of traffic and housing issues in the capital,” according to a recent statement on the City Hall website.

The changes in Petřín are smaller, but should make the park a bit friendlier.

People have been increasingly taking unauthorized vehicles into Petřín, the hillside park in Malá Strana, blocking the narrow paths.

The city’s Department of Environmental Protection is installing five pop-up posts to ensure that only vehicles with permits issued on the basis of strict rules will be able to enter the park.

“I believe that the installed posts will increase the safety and well-being of the visitors of this beautiful park in Prague,” Deputy Mayor Petr Hlubuček (United Force for Prague) said on the City Hall website.

The posts are controlled by a magnetic card, so it is possible to monitor the number of entries by individual users and check that the rules are followed. The total cost of installing columns, including the provision of power supplies, amounted to Kč 1.6 million.

The posts are in addition to several other projects to renovate the park. The area around the Petřín Lookout Tower (Petřínská rozhledna) is being repaired after decades of neglect and the Chapel of the Holy Sepulcher, also in the upper part of the park, has had a complete restoration.

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