Our society is ready for a change

Would you like to cycle to work in the city — but can’t? Would you like to let your child ride their bike to school by themselves — but it isn’t safe? Nowhere to store your bike? Don’t want to sink 30 percent of your monthly income into car ownership anymore?

A city’s streets are our collective living room, and everyone has the right to get around safely in public spaces. People’s safety must be a priority, but the city does not currently prioritize it. New roads are built in the city only for getting around quickly by car; a safe and convenient cycle network, however, remains nowhere to be seen. Even curbs have yet to be leveled. The elderly are advised to get around Tallinn by cab in winter.

At the same time, society has long since been waiting for change. The results of a recent study indicate that 20 percent of drivers would be willing to give up their personal vehicles if the city government were to ensure safe and convenient bike paths and improved public transport (source: Foresight Center). Cycling improves people’s quality of life and could provide families with the opportunity to save nearly 30 percent of their monthly income. This is a matter of freedom of choice.

Change toward a smart, more human-centered city is possible, as can be seen in other Nordic countries and the rest of Europe. A people-centric city movement does not need to be “Impossible Only in Tallinn.”