Warm weather permits grit clearing
A period of warm weather after Easter has allowed grit clearing operations in the streets Tampere. The city’s maintenance equipment will start a brushing operation this week. The aim is to clean all streets and cycle lanes by May 1st.
Grit collection is primarily scheduled to take place outside traffic rush hours. The majority of the main thoroughfares will be cleared at night. The main thoroughfares, bus stops and cycle lanes will be swept and washed first. The Central Square will be cleared as soon as the temperature no longer falls below zero at night (It was cleared on Thursday 31 March). When the temperature falls below zero, a saline solution is used to minimise airborne dust at bus stops and busy streets.
The Tampere Infrastructure Production unit is primarily in charge of clearing grit off the street network. Tampere Infrastructure Production alone has the use of 100 different machines and vehicles for clearing purposes. Some manual work will be required to clean stairs, stairways, and other tricky spots. Some of the public areas of the City of Tampere are maintained by private contractors who have their own cleaning equipment. Approximately 16,000 tonnes of grit was used in 2015, and at least as much has been used this winter. The used grit will be transported to the appropriate disposal facility. The grit can also be used in building work and land filling.
The city is not responsible for cleaning all grit. According to legislation, grit removal constitutes winter maintenance and must therefore be completed by the party responsible for gritting. The city will remove the grit from all roads, city squares and pedestrian and cycle lanes. Property owners, i.e. usually factors, caretakers or occupiers, are responsible for clearing grit from the yards and the pavements adjacent to their property. The city will clear grit from pavements located in public areas, such as parks and areas adjacent to buildings owned by the city.
Under the City of Tampere environmental regulations, dust levels must be kept to a minimum during all maintenance work. This means that the area to be cleared must be irrigated. A quick clearing process reduces problems related to air quality. Humidity helps, including irrigation and rain. The regulations expressly prohibit the use of leaf blowers for grit clearing purposes.
Street dust sometimes gets kicked up into the air during dry weather in Tampere. The respirable particle threshold has been breached a few times, last on 30 March 2016. On Thursday 31 March the air quality was good at the Epilä and Pirkankatu measurement stations. At 6 a.m. on Tuesday 29 March 2016, the Pirkankatu measurement station detected the highest dust concentration since its establishment 12 years ago (an hourly average of 1,440 micrograms of dust per one cubic metre of air). The high but extremely local dust content was apparently due to grit brushing without irrigation.
The city must report any breaches of the daily threshold in accordance with legislation. The City of Tampere reports any breaches online at www.tampere.fi/ilmanlaatutiedotus. The national air quality portal www.ilmanlaatu.fi provides real-time information concerning the air quality in Tampere and many other areas.
Feedback on street maintenance can be submitted at Frenckell Service Point, Frenckellinaukio 2 B, [email protected], telephone +358 03 5656 4400. Feedback can also be provided through the maintenance failure reporting system. Follow the link on www.tampere.fi/liikenne-ja-kadut.
Parking will be temporarily suspended along the narrow streets close to the city centre to allow for snow clearing in winter and grit removal in spring. Signs will be displayed to inform residents of the relevant dates. Further information on when clearing will be taking place can be accessed at www.puhdistussuunnitelmat.fi/tampere. You can also request information to be sent to you via text message. For instructions on how to request a text message, please visit our website. A failure to remove your vehicle from the restricted areas will result in a EUR 100 removal fee.
Text Tarja Nikupaavo-Oksanen