There is hustle and bustle in the port. The ferries coming from Stockholm stay in Turku for less than an hour in the morning and in the evening, and so trucks, coaches, passenger cars and taxis generate a small traffic jam. The train has also just arrived.
Christina Hovi, Director of the City of Turku’s Urban Environment Division is able to organise the traffic at her job, e.g. through town planning solutions.
“I have close contacts with the port people. They tell about their needs and we in the City organisation think of how we can help them through town planning and traffic solutions.”
Crossings and wide roads
One of the currently ongoing studies focuses on the smooth flow of traffic. The Port is represented by a consultant company and the City by Transport Planning Manager Matti Salonen.
“The study will examine, for example, whether there is enough room in crossroads for turning as the length of the trucks keeps increasing.”
In the Port, outside the Tallink Silja terminal, Linnankatu street is being widened. A parking garage is planned to be built near the Viking Line terminal.
“We will take up town planning as soon as the exact place of the parking garage has been decided on.”
Habitation comes close to the port
Large new residential areas and services are planned near the port, which will of course increase the traffic volume further.
“Heavy transports will be guided away from the residential areas through the north side, which will benefit both the inhabitants and the Port.”
“I believe that the residential areas and the port can be well fitted together. The modern public transport system planned for the area will also play a big role.”
Ms Hovi mentions the use of the dredging masses from the fairway as an example of diverse co-operation between the Port and the Urban Environment Division.
“We have plans for placing the contaminated sediment opposite the Port in the Latokari area. It would serve as the foundation for the new houses to be built there.”
The future may bring major changes
According to Ms Hovi, the smooth flow of traffic in the Port can be affected through many different means in the short term; sometimes even small changes may help.
“In long-term planning, new opportunities for urban planning would be created e.g. if the trains to the Port were routed via Iso-Heikkilä. It would not increase the travel time much, but would help other traffic in the area run more smoothly.”
All signs – including Viking Line’s new large ferry coming in 2020 – indicate that the road traffic around the port will continue to increase.
“Urban planning is a bit like making a big puzzle in which many factors affect each other. But we will continue to do everything we can to ensure optimal operating conditions for the Port”, Ms Hovi promises.
Text and photos Matti Välimäki