Highway in front of Prague's main station set for major transformation

The city hopes to humanize the space around the highway and reconnect the two parts of the city that were divided in the communist era.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 23.05.2023 07:30:00 (updated on 22.05.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague City Hall will begin to prepare changes to the highway between the main train station Hlavní nádraží and the Vltava river so the area will no longer be a dead zone. The park at Těšnov will also be revitalized.

The City Council is creating a working group and is commissioning architectural studies to try to better integrate the area into the surrounding neighborhood. Prague Deputy Mayor Zdeněk Hřib, responsible for transport, said it was a mistake when the communists built a highway directly through the city center and divided the city into two parts.

“This is the next step in the gradual humanization of the highway, similar to, for example, the modification of the so-called ‘sidewalk of death’ and the introduction of new pedestrian crossings near the museum,” Hřib said in a press release.

“We do not expect a significant impact on the traffic of the highway, because its capacity is determined by the already existing intersections and traffic lights, for example, near the museum,” he said.

Historical view of the main train station. Photo: Praha.eu
Historical view of the main train station. Photo: Praha.eu

In the first phase, the city plans to change the type of lighting and road markings, and in the medium term, adjustments will be made to the width or number of traffic lanes while simultaneously expanding sidewalks with a cycle path. The city in the long term hopes to greatly reduce traffic in the city center and completely remove the Těšnov overpass, replacing it with a surface road around the perimeter of a park at Těšnov.

A study prepared by the Prague Institute of Planning and Development calls for narrowing the road near the station to two lanes in each direction and building a crossing. These changes would coincide with plans by the Railway Administration (SŽ) to renovate the main station’s check-in hall, which is under the highway. The city will coordinate its plans with the SŽ.

A second study will deal with the section of road between U Bulhara Street and the bridge Hlávkův most to make it more accessible to cyclists and pedestrians. Spaces for businesses and cultural events will be created under the overpass. Cafes or bistros, for example, could go there. According to the study, pedestrian movement can be immediately made possible between Florenc and U Bulhara Street using existing staircases and adding new ones.

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A discussion evening on the topic in Czech will take place at the Center for Architecture and Metropolitan Planning (CAMP) on May 23.  

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