Removal of street grit began in Tampere
The removal of street grit from the main bicycle routes and some main streets has begun in Tampere. The removal has started a couple of weeks behind schedule this spring. Night frost and dry weather continue to slow down the removal. Due to sunny and dry weather, the main streets have been treated with salt brine to reduce airborne dust.
The aim is to remove most of the sand from the city centre and residential areas before Mother’s Day. The speed of removal naturally depends on the weather conditions. Approximately 20,000 tonnes of grit was used in the area under the city’s street maintenance responsibilities. More grit was used than usually.
Tampere Infrastructure Production uses more than 100 different machines and vehicles for clearing purposes. Some manual work will be required to clean stairs, stairways and other places that are difficult to reach. Some public areas in the City of Tampere are maintained by private contractors and they use a few dozen cleaning machine units.
According to legislation, grit removal must 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’s environmental regulations, dust levels must be kept to a minimum during all maintenance work. This means that the area to be cleared must be sprayed with water. Moisture and a quick clearing process reduce problems related to air quality. The regulations expressly prohibit the use of leaf blowers for grit clearing purposes. Using leaf blowers for clearing roads causes the release of fine dry dust into the air, which bothers those living or moving around in the area. The misuse of leaf blowers may be reported to the Environmental Protection Department firstname.lastname@example.org.
Air quality is measured in Tampere in real-time, and you can find information on these measurements from the national air quality portal https://en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/air-quality. The concentration of respirable particles in Tampere has exceeded the limit value level several times in April. Dust content will most likely remain high if the weather continues to be sunny and dry. Rain would help to ease the dust problem. If the limit value level for respirable particles is exceeded, it will be reported at www.tampere.fi/ilmanlaatutiedotus.
Feedback on street maintenance can be provided through the maintenance failure reporting system or to Frenckell Service Point. Furthermore, the winter maintenance survey is still open until 30 April 2018, where you can also give feedback on grit collection.
Text Tarja Nikupaavo-Oksanen
Photos Satu Aalto