Following the recommendations made by the Seimas Ombudsman, Vilnius Street in Vilnius city will be safer both for pedestrians and cyclists

17 March 2020 

Milda Vainiute MG 8888

Milda Vainiute, Seimas Ombudsman of the Republic of Lithuania, investigated a complaint of Vilnius resident regarding lack of traffic safety on Vilnius Street. During investigation concerns were raised by information obtained from the policethat 6 traffic accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists were registered on this street between 09.09.2016 and 01.01.2018.

The Seimas Ombudsman established that Vilnius City Municipality unreasonably had not referred the applicant's request to the Municipal Traffic Safety Commission (Further on - Commission) for examination under its competence and stated that the establishment of a cycling team in the Municipality does not eliminate the competence of the Commission in matters of road safety established by the Law on Road Traffic Safety of the Republic of Lithuania. 

Moreover, during the investigation, Vilnius City Municipality did not explain what specific additional traffic safety measures were applied to the traffic of the bicycle riders on Vilnius Street, especially to the general bicycle and pedestrian traffic on this street, and did not provide the applicant with a final answer/information regarding specific safety measures on Vilnius Street that were taken or if none of the measures were taken, for what reason.

Only after the recommendations made by the Seimas Ombudsman, the Administration of Vilnius City Municipality, following the established procedure and competence, submitted the problem raised by the applicant regarding the provision of traffic safety on Vilnius Street to the Commission for consideration. The question regarding the safety of pedestrian-bicycle path on Vilnius Street (between Labdarių St. and Gediminas Ave.) was discussed in the Commission meeting of 19 December 2019.

After the discussion, the Commission approved "the elimination of bicycle lanes on Vilnius Street (between Labdarių St. and Gediminas Ave.) and instructed the municipal structural units to “develop recommended parameters for pedestrian-bicycle passage in cafe areas”, “organise mapping of outdoor cafes”, and to take other necessary measures in order pedestrians and cyclists feel safer.

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