Prague’s ‘sidewalk of death’ from the main train station to Vinohrady will be widened

The narrow sidewalk connecting Hlavní nádraží to the National Museum will become much wider

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 31.10.2019 08:41 (updated on 31.10.2019)

One of Prague’s most dangerous sidewalks is being made safer. What City Hall calls the “sidewalk of death” (chodníček smrt), running from main train station Hlavní nádraží to Vinohrady, will be widened by the end of November.

Currently, the
sidewalk is 30 cm wide at its narrowest point. After renovation, the
pavement will be between 175 centimeters and three meters wide. The
number of lanes on busy Legerova Street, which is part of the highway
that bisects Prague, will remain the same. A wider right lane for
comfortable and safe passage of buses will also be retained.

The work has already
begun, and the contracting authority is Technical Roadway
Administration (TSK)

“Praguers learned
to call it ‘sidewalk of death,’ but fortunately this nickname
will soon cease to apply. We will extend the sidewalk along the
highway between the National Museum and the Hlavní nádraží so
that people can move safely, with dignity and without fear of life.
Yesterday morning, work began and should be finished in a month’s
time. The result will be mutually beneficial for pedestrians and
drivers,” Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě),
responsible for transportation, said on Facebook.

“People will be pleased that the sidewalk, which at the narrowest point was only 30 cm, will comfortably extend to an average of two meters. And others will appreciate that everything can be done without reducing the number of lanes on the highway. The lanes narrow only a little bit from their current ‘highway’ dimensions, but otherwise drivers will stay on track. From the end of November, pedestrians will also have their ‘highway’ in Legerova Street and Prague will be a slightly more pleasant place to live,” he said.

sidewalk of death
Construction has started on Legerova Street. via Facebook

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He also pointed out
the walkway is used by tourists going from the train station to
Vinohrady, and their first meeting with Prague starts with a walk
with suitcases very close to passing cars and buses.

The expansion
follows the reconstruction of the space between the Historical
Buidling of the National Museum and its New Building. “We will use
the same paving here as in the museum oasis. Asphalt will be replaced
by beautiful granite from Mrákotín [in the Vysočina Region],”
Scheinherr said.

Due to the heavy
traffic, the asphalt on the current sidewalk often breaks and has
potholes, making it dangerous to walk on as any misstep could but the
pedestrian into traffic.

The renovation will also help to better connect Hlavní nádraží to Wenceslas Square, which is in the midst of a long-planned renovation that will return trams to the square and widen the pedestrian area. The street also runs behind the State Opera, which is also being renovated and will reopen in January.