From Monday, January 22, a shared zone will be established along the tram stop near the Letmo department store at Brno’s train station. This will replace the pedestrian zone which was abolished earlier by the regional office. This is likely to be the first shared zone created in the Czech Republic. Its establishment has only been allowed by legislation since the beginning of this year, and it is defined in a way that allows pedestrians, cyclists, and cars to enter, with everyone respecting each other. The maximum permitted speed is 20 kilometers per hour, as stated in a press release by the city spokesperson, Filip Poňuchálek.
Thanks to this, the space created last year can remain as it is, and there will be no barrier separating the tram stop from the roadway.
Last year, Brno transformed the area, raised the roadway to the level of the sidewalk and tram stops, removed barriers to the stop, and prohibited parking there. The pedestrian zone was created in April, but in December, the regional office, prompted by an individual, canceled it because the city did not sufficiently justify why pedestrians should have priority over cars. At the same time, the office evaluated the placement of traffic signs as unclear and illegal.
The city, although it disagreed with the opinion of the regional office, had to comply with it because there was no possibility to appeal against it. At the same time, it wanted to preserve the advantages that the pedestrian zone provided to pedestrians, namely the free movement between the sidewalk at Letmo and the tram stop. While cars are relatively scarce in this area, thousands of pedestrians pass in front of the station daily.
„The shared zone is ideal for the area in front of the station, and it was designed for such spaces. Based on discussions with the regional office and police, we proposed new signage, which will be installed here on Monday, January 22. In this accelerated mode, we want to resolve the current situation, which is uncomfortable for everyone. Pedestrians should not have to worry about heavy traffic. Thanks to the left-turn bans introduced from Nové sady to Koliště and from Koliště towards Benešova, only residents from the nearby Novobranská area or vehicles belonging to guards, the police, and traffic services will use the road on Nádražní Street. Therefore, by adhering to traffic regulations, it is not possible for the number of vehicles in the specified area to increase due to the new traffic signage,“ said Petr Kratochvíl, councilor for transportation (ODS).
In the shared zone, trams have priority over others. Pedestrians and cyclists can use the entire width of the road, and parking for bicycles and cars is only allowed in designated areas. Local businesses can be supplied for a period of 30 minutes in the morning. At Letmo, drivers will find turning points for parking, which are available all day.
Wardens and police will oversee compliance with traffic signs and regulations, and the city is preparing to install cameras in the summer to monitor no-turn restrictions.
(1) A shared zone is a built-up area marked by the traffic sign „Shared Zone“ at its beginning and „End of Shared Zone“ at its end, intended for use by all road users.
(2) In the shared zone, participants in road traffic must exercise increased consideration towards other traffic participants and must not endanger them. Other road users must not impede tram drivers, and trams always have the right of way.
(3) In the shared zone, pedestrians and cyclists may use the road in its entirety. Sections § 53 and 54 do not apply to pedestrians, and § 57 paragraphs 2 and 3 (riding on the right edge of the roadway and only individually, note by the editor) do not apply to cyclists. If a vehicle with the right of way approaches, pedestrians must promptly clear the space for the passage of this vehicle.
(4) In the shared zone, drivers are allowed to travel at a maximum speed of 20 km/h. Parking of motor vehicles is only permitted in designated parking areas. Parking of bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles is only allowed in designated areas.
(Source: Law No. 361/2000 Coll.)