The expansion of Šámalova Street in Brno is causing mixed reactions in the cycling community

Publikováno: 17. června. 2024, 6 min. čtení
Aktualizováno: 15. června. 2024
Úvodní foto: Brno, projektová dokumentace
Publikováno: 17. června. 2024, 6 min. čtení
Aktualizováno: 15. června. 2024
Úvodní foto: Brno, projektová dokumentace

The expansion of Šámalova Street in Brno and the modification of the tram track on Zábrdovická Street will last for two years. Work, costing nearly 138 million Czech crowns without tax, began in early June with a symbolic laying of the foundation stone. However, the street redesign itself has been criticized by representatives of the Brno on Bike association.

The development is being carried out by developer CPI in cooperation with the city. CPI is transforming the adjacent brownfield into the modern district of Nová Zbrojovka. The company has provided project documentation and building permits and covers 55 percent of the total costs. According to Miroslav Pekník, project director of Nová Zbrojovka at CPI, transportation connectivity is crucial for the district.

„We have committed to massive construction for this connectivity. Thanks to it, we can start the residential part in the autumn. We will focus on the southern zone, where we have permission for 110,000 square meters,“ Pekník said. He added that each major expansion of Zbrojovka will be preceded by transportation and technical infrastructure. „We do not want to create a ghost town here. We will reach the full 550,000 square meters after connecting Šámalova with the main city ring road at Tomkovo náměstí. This should be achieved in ten to 12 years,“ he concluded.

With the extension of the two-hundred-meter section between Zábrdovická and Lazaretní, Šámalova Street will become the main access road to Nová Zbrojovka. „Thousands of Brno residents will find their homes there. However, every new location needs to be properly served by transportation first. The street will be expanded from the current six meters to more than 30. The investment also includes the modification of Zábrdovická Street from the railway underpass near the Kuldova stop to the main entrance of the Military Hospital. This section measures 326 meters. A new intersection will also be created on Lazaretní Street,“ said René Černý, deputy mayor for investments (ANO).

The intersection solution is criticized by the Brno on Bike association

„Given that a new turning lane onto Šámalova will be added on Zábrdovická towards Stará Osada, it will be necessary to relocate the tram track over a length of 240 meters, including traction poles. Unfortunately, this will require the tram line closure for a certain period, likely in the summer of 2025,“ said Petr Kratochvíl (ODS), councilor for transport, regarding the planned traffic changes and complications during reconstruction.

The Brno on Bike association [Brno na kole – ed.note] criticizes the final design of the street itself. While the subsequent section from Lazaretní to Nová Zbrojovka will feature comfortable segregated bike lanes, at the intersection between Zábrdovická and Lazaretní, there will only be designated bike lanes.

The association’s strongest criticism is directed at the actual solution for the Zábrdovická and Šámalova intersection. While the bike lane guides cyclists to the intersection, within the intersection itself, any cycling facilities suddenly disappear. Moreover, for straight-through cycling, cyclists need to cross the car traffic lane; the bike lane does not seamlessly lead up to the stop line.

„The newly constructed street, particularly the width of Šámalova, is supposed to guide cyclists away from traffic, just as planned in the adjacent section with Zbrojovka. Bike lanes are often used for parking in Brno; additionally, this bike lane disappears right before the intersection, as the city apparently expects cyclists to teleport somewhere to the river. Due to the absence of a crosswalk, pedestrians are expected to cross three arms of the intersection, but they must remember to press the pedestrian button at each one, or they’ll be waiting. The city is primarily building this intersection for cars and trucks,“ said Michal Šindelář of the Brno on Bike association regarding the planned reconstruction.

Councilor Petr Kratochvíl acknowledges that the cycling solution is not entirely ideal but believes that the expanded Šámalova will meet the requirements of all traffic participants. „Considering the requirements regarding parking and the preservation of a significant amount of greenery, a bike lane couldn’t be created here. We are limited by surrounding buildings. However, a separate segregated bike lane is planned in the next section from the Šámalova and Lazaretní intersection towards the major city ring road,“ the councilor added, explaining why a less protected solution is planned at the Zábrdovická intersection compared to the intersection with Lazaretní.

This article is supported by the Ministry of the Environment. The content may not reflect the views of the Ministry of the Environment. The project aims to raise awareness about conditions for cycling through regional reporting in the online „Městem na kole“ magazine.

This is an adjusted machine translation using Automat’s CycleLingo Translator (ChatGPT) of this article:

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