The option to renovate Puutarhakatu was selected for further planning

The underground infrastructure of Puutarhakatu in the city centre is in need of renovation. On 13 February 2024, the Committee for City Planning and Infrastructure Services issued an 8 to 5 decision that out of the four alternatives studied for Puutarhakatu, the bicycle street option would be selected as the starting point for street planning
Havinnekuva, jossa pyörät ajavat kahteen suuntaan.
Architectural rendering of the bicycle street alternative. Image: Ramboll / City of Tampere

Before the decision, the Committee voted between two proposed amendments, i.e. the bicycle street option and the option to develop the current situation, with 9 in favour of the bicycle street and 3 in favour of the development option. The initial proposal used as a basis for more detailed planning was a pedestrian-oriented street with a two-directional cycle track.

Bicycle streets are pedestrian and bicycle-oriented streets equipped with high-quality mixed-traffic cycling connections. Motor vehicle traffic is allowed, but on bicycle traffic's terms. In the solution, bicycle traffic will be on the carriageway in both directions, while motor vehicle traffic will be permitted in the direction from east to west. 

The lightly trafficked side streets will have an obligation to yield in relation to the bicycle street. The solution is space-efficient and enables the construction of a green and pleasant street space.
The carriageway will be five metres wide. The street will accommodate motor vehicle traffic in one direction and bicycle traffic in both directions. Red asphalt will be used for the carriageway.

The pavements will be approximately three metres wide and separated from the carriageway. The 3.6–3.9 m wide furnishing zones on both sides of the carriageway can be used for e.g. urban furniture, street trees and other greening, parking spaces for cars, bicycles and scooters, service traffic, or terraces. The furnishing zones can also be used for storing snow.

The proposal selected for further planning includes a total of 16 parking spaces for cars, 40 parking spaces for bicycles, 2 disabled parking spaces, and 5 parking spaces for service and distribution traffic. 9 of the existing trees will be left standing, accompanied by 20 new trees of varying species.

Excavation work will be minimised

According to the water supply and sewerage system report for the centre of Tampere, the stormwater drainage and water supply network in Puutarhakatu is in need of major renovation. Tampere Energia also needs to replace or renovate underground powerlines and install a district cooling pipe to the office building. Electricity and telecommunications operators also have varying network replacement and expansion needs. 

The joint project between different operators will minimise the need for excavation, as the networks will all be renovated at the same time, concurrently with the other improvements planned for the area. This will also enable the concurrent renovation of property networks.
The aim is to start the excavation work in autumn 2024, as soon as the prefabricated unit transports related to the renovation of the office building have been concluded. The renovation of the office building will be completed in spring 2026.

Puutarhakatu development needs

Puutarhakatu and the centre of Tampere have been defined as an urban green development area in the local master plan for the city centre, which is currently being updated. The city centre already experiences the urban heat island effect.

Puutarhakatu is one of the busiest pedestrian and bicycle traffic routes in the city centre. The current pedestrian and bicycle traffic arrangements do not meet the quality criteria and dimension requirements set for special-level accessibility routes and regional main routes for bicycle traffic.  

The street area currently lacks rest and recreation areas. The street lights on Puutarhakatu are also outdated and in poor condition and must be replaced in their entirety. The street also has traffic safety issues, particularly at the Hämeenpuisto and Aleksis Kiven katu junctions.

In its current state, winter maintenance of Puutarhakatu is difficult due to insufficient snow storage. Furthermore, the planning area has pavement sections that are less than 2 metres wide, making them difficult to maintain.

Puutarhakatu development goals

The old and unfit water supply network and district heating pipes on Puutarhakatu will be replaced, and a new district cooling pipe to the office building will be installed. Stormwater treatment will be improved, and street green will be added to curb heat buildup in the area. The aim is also to retain some of the existing trees.

Traffic safety will be improved, for example, by improving junction arrangements and making the right-of-way rules clearer. Street lighting will be renovated and harmonised. The furnishing zones on both sides of the carriageway will accommodate parking spaces, service traffic and snow storage areas, trees and other street greenery. The furnishing zones will also enable the implementation of rest and recreation areas and terraces.

The conditions and arrangements for pedestrian traffic will be made safer, more comfortable, and accessible (target: special level of accessibility). Bicycle traffic arrangements and quality will be improved to meet the requirements set for a regional main route.

In connection with the street reconstruction, the properties bordering the street area will have the opportunity to improve the accessibility of their entrances (e.g. possible removal of low thresholds or stairs).

In addition, parking for service traffic, motorcycles, business, persons with reduced mobility, bicycles, and scooters will be enabled on the street. A monitoring system will also be installed to monitor the traffic volumes of different modes of transport. 

Comparison of alternatives

In addition to the general plan for Puutarhakatu, a green street survey related to the phased local detailed plan of the city centre was prepared and utilised in defining the objectives for the general plan and formulating the options. 

The options examined in the general plan were also introduced in the resident survey related to the city centre transport plan. All the options presented were supported in the survey, but the wider two-directional bicycle route option was the most popular.

An extensive impact assessment and comparison was carried out between the options. The main differences between the options examined in the general plan were in bicycle traffic arrangements, the widths of the pavements and the carriageway, the widths of the furnishing zones, the number of parking spaces, and the amount of street greenery. 

The reconstruction of Puutarhakatu is part of the street reconstruction measures outlined in the Tampere City Centre 2040 development programme approved by the City Board in spring 2023. The aim is to streamline mobility in the city centre, improve the accessibility and safety of the street area, and increase the amount of urban nature.

Further information

Pekka Salmi
Puheenjohtaja Deputy Mayor
050 565 8898
Mikko Nurminen
Esittelijä Director
040 801 2665
Timo Seimelä
Valmistelija Liikenneinsinööri
040 758 2104
Text: Anna-Leea Hyry
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