Urban planning Jätkäsaari congestion cannot be reached by even a EUR 180 million tunnel – According to the expert, the project is being sold with false ideas

According to Jani Hurst, who studied traffic data in Jätkäsaari, the proposed tunnel would not solve congestion problems. According to the Helsinki Traffic Planning Manager, the tunnel would ease the situation, but it would not put a final point on congestion.

At least The EUR 180 million tunnel would not solve the traffic jams in Jätkäsaari. This is what the CEO who studied the traffic data for the area claims Jani Hursti Asema Electronics oy.

The construction of the tunnel became a topic of conversation when the SDP’s mayoral candidate Nasima Razmyar said on Wednesday In the HS article, he supports the plan to build a heavy traffic tunnel. If Razmyar’s party sits behind its mayoral candidate, political support may be secured for the long-debated tunnel.

The company led by Hurst is involved in a research project that follows Jätkäsaari traffic and seeks intelligent solutions. The project has analyzed traffic using data generated by computational radar, among other things.

“When completed, the tunnel will solve the problems of heavy traffic, but hardly what the residents themselves want, ie traffic congestion,” Hursti says.

Helsinki The problematic traffic on Jätkäsaari and the West Harbor has long been a controversial topic.

Jätkäsaari has become a baggy and traffic congestion automaton after the former container port area quickly grew into an apartment building area and the traffic at the West Harbor in the district increased. When the Jätkäsaari district is completed by 2030, more than 20,000 Helsinki residents will live on the island and there will be about 6,000 jobs.

The worst congestion occurs especially when a ship arrives in port. Congestion has been blamed on heavy traffic in particular.

However, according to Hurst, the share of heavy traffic in the imagination is higher than the reality.

The computational radar sees traffic by lanes and can distinguish between trucks, cars and trams. According to Hurst, the traffic data show that two thirds of the traffic brought by ships to the street network is passenger cars.

“The impact of a truck tunnel alone on traffic congestion would probably be zero or, in the worst case, negative.”

According to Hurst, the effect could be negative at worst for the following reason:

“Several Dwarf Islanders either don’t want to or are afraid to go into traffic at the same time as the trucks. If the trucks leave underground, this deterrent effect will disappear. ”

According to Hurst, there is enough “hidden demand” in the area to fill the resulting gap in congestion when trucks leave.

“In other words: if you feel like the traffic is going smoothly, drive more until you’re in the same congestion situation as before. Due to a similar phenomenon, many expensive road projects elsewhere have failed to reduce congestion. ”

Helsinki traffic and street planning manager Reetta Putkonen believes that a tunnel he calls the Harbor Tunnel would reduce congestion. However, Putkonen does not completely deny Hurst’s concern.

The Jätkäsaari tunnel has recently been mentioned in public specifically as a heavy traffic tunnel. In Putkonen’s view, passenger cars heading to and from the port should also be allowed to use the Harbor Tunnel. Some of the port traffic for passenger cars would certainly continue to take place on land, but some would move underground. In addition, there would be all the heavy traffic in the West Harbor underground.

“The port tunnel would not completely eliminate congestion. However, it would partly improve the congestion situation, especially when the car ferry arrives in the West Harbor and the cars leave for their destination, ”says Putkonen.

Putkonen emphasizes that the functionality of transport must be taken care of in many different ways.

“A single tunnel will not solve this larger whole.”

The current According to cost estimates, the Jätkäsaari Tunnel – or Harbor Tunnel – would cost EUR 180 million. According to Hurst, the expensive project is being sold to the residents of Jätkäsaari with false images.

Reetta Putkonen admits that when the flow of passenger car traffic on the street network would improve thanks to the tunnel, the number of car journeys other than those related to the port would increase somewhat at certain times.

In practice, however, according to Putkonen, the changes would be related precisely to when, for example, residents who use a car in Jätkäsaari leave for traffic. Cyclists would hardly switch en masse to motorists because of the tunnel.

“Tyynenmerenkatu – Mechelininkatu[-väli] is for the most part a very small part of all the journey they are making. The choice of mode of transport is influenced by many factors. A greater impact on the distribution of Jäksaari’s modes of transport is what the mover’s own preferences and habits are, as well as where the mover is going and for what reason. ”

Putkonen recalls that the tunnel would have an impact on the well-being of the people of Jääsaari, as all heavy traffic in the port and some passenger traffic in the port would leave the street network.

“Considering the emissions, insecurity and noise caused by heavy traffic, the effects of heavy traffic are so significant that it has an impact on local attractiveness,” says Putkonen.

Passenger car traffic would also be positively affected by the Harbor Tunnel. In some cases, the travel time to or from the port would be speeded up, and the situation of other people passing through the Jätkäsaari street network would be easier when the ship arrives in the port.

“Traffic is adapting to situations, and thus car traffic that is partially leaving the street network will be replaced by new demand. With the Harbor Tunnel, the significant peak in demand due to the car ferry would be spread over several routes, easing the congestion situation on existing routes. ”

Jätkäsaari no political decisions have yet been taken on the tunnel, so any related studies are still largely pending. With these prospects, the matter is likely to be weighed by the city government during this election term. The tunnel has been supported in public in the past, especially by the Coalition Party. It has received opposition, especially from the Greens. This week, Rkp and Perussuomalainen also told HS that they support the construction of the tunnel.

The SDP’s Razmyar’s position is his own, not that of the council. However, it is unlikely that the group would turn against its mayoral candidate on a large scale.

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