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Car Free Avenue to open on Friday with a bike tour and concert

Tartu City Government Press Release

AVP 2021 Photo: Mana Kaasik

30 June / Car Free Avenue will open on Friday, 1 July. At 17.30, the cyclists will begin their tour from Kalevipoja Park, wending their way through the city to Car Free Avenue. At 19.00, there will be a concert featuring Justament and Stefan. The on-site festivities will be broadcast live by ETV.

The bike tour starts from Kalevipoja Park, moves along Riga Street to the Vaksali viaduct, runs along the harbour railway cycle and pedestrian track to Turu Street, reaching Car Free Avenue at 18.50. All riders are welcome to join the column at any given moment. On opening day, Justament and Stefan will perform on the stage erected in the middle of Vabaduse Avenue.

Activities will continue throughout the weekend. On Saturday, a training session will take place under the leadership of the University of Tartu Academic Sports Club, you can take part in a plant tour, and the audience will be entertained by gymnasts from the gymnastics club Akros and DJ Daysleeper. On Sunday, the Creative Centre Shate will host a children’s morning and dance competition, where you can move your feet to both swing and Latin rhythms.

This year, Car Free Avenue area will be located between Uueturu intersection and Kaarsild. Unlike the Car Free Avenue of the past two years, this year 1+1 lanes of vehicle traffic will continue to move through the area on the side of the city centre park on weekdays, and a speed limit of 30 km/h will be established. The street space on the river-side will be open to pedestrians, and four temporary pedestrian crossings will be added to the Car Free Avenue carriageway to ensure safe crossing.

The area will be close to vehicle traffic on weekends until 14 August (Fri 18.00 – Sun 23.59), total closure to motor vehicle will take place from 8–19 July, when WRC Rally Estonia events will be taking place on the Vabaduse Avenue section. Construction will begin on the evening of 28 June and the area will be closed to traffic until late in the evening on 3 July. Buses passing through Vabaduse Avenue will be directed to a detour via Narva Hwy until 14 August.

Under the direction of Tartu as the European Capital of Culture 2024 and the Tiigi Society House, events will take place on weekends until mid-August. The ‘Tartu 2024 Presents’ programme will feature performances by Rita Ray (16 July), Horoskoop and Heidy Tamme (23 July), Raul Ojamaa (29 July), and Ewert and the Two Dragons (14 August). Taking place as part of the Festival Glasperlenspiel is the 50th anniversary concert by Kukerpillid (10 July) and the first weekend in August brings the Tartu Food and Wine Festival to Vabaduse Avenue, with performances by Jüri Pootsmann (5 August), Alika Milova, and the ensemble Funkifize with Inga Tislar and Lauri Pihlap (6 August).

The aim of Car-Free Avenue is to merge the heart of the city and the area around the Emajõgi River into a single whole, to separate different groups of road users in order to ensure safe movement, and to enliven the summer heart of the city. As a novel solution, a possible future solution is being tested on weekdays, where Vabaduse Avenue is open to motor vehicle traffic,

but motor vehicles will operate under narrower conditions and more slowly, in order to increase safety and reduce noise and air pollution.

Last changed 30.06.2022