Cars to be barred from City Park – Heroes Square to become pedestrian zone
Hungarian version of the article: Már tervezés alatt az autómentes Városliget – A gyalogosoké lesz a Hősök tere
January 8, 2021 at 7:00 PM
The Secretary of State for the Development of Budapest and its Agglomeration, Balázs Fürjes, informed the MTI on Friday that the planning of these investments had begun.
Balázs Fürjes announced that plans are being drawn up for a new overpass above Rákosrendező Station. The public road bridge will include cycle paths, pavements, and enable the extension of tram line 3. The new route will connect Zugló and Angyalföld, creating a new route between the 13th and 14th Districts of Budapest, which have been cut off from one another by the train tracks.
The Secretary of State noted that the route would divert traffic from Hungária Boulevard and support the creation of a car-free City Park. According to a concept agreed by the government and Budapest City Council in the Budapest Development Council, Kós Károly Promande and Heroes Square will be designated pedestrian zones, and a new car park, with 1500 spaces, will be built at the terminus of the Millennium Underground Railway on Mexikói Road.
Plans for the car-free City Park (Source: Budapest Development Centre)
An open EU public procurement tender for preparing plans for these infrastructure developments was published on Friday, the Secretary of State announced.
Balázs Fürjes emphasised that the goal was to return the entirety of City Park to pedestrians, visitors, and athletes. The concept supported by the government and the city council will see Kós Károly promenade and Heroes Square become pedestrian zones. Access to Állatkert Boulevard will be limited in off-peak hours.
Surface-level parking will also be a thing of the past, except for a short section of Állatkert Boulevard, adding that a new underground car park had just been opened under what was once 56-osok Square.
Visual of a car-free Kós Károly Promenade (Source: Városiget Zrt.)
The government aims to create a City Park that is more livable and has cleaner air, while also ensuring vital transport connections for those travelling by rail, or the M3 motorway.
Balázs Fürjes added that the Budapest Development Centre created plans for the car-free City Park in cooperation with Városliget Zrt emphasising improvements to public transport, safer options for cyclists and diverting through-traffic.
The Secretary of State emphasised that it would be best if commuters relied on public transport for the entirety of their journeys. Development of the Budapest–Hatvan railway line is already underway, while plans for improving the Budapest–Veresegyháza line are being made.
Heroes Square will become a pedestrian zone, and surface-level parking will be limited (Photo: Balázs Both/Pestbuda.hu)
Some commuters arriving into Budapest by car will have the option to switch to public transport at the P+R car park on Mexikói Road.
Balázs Fürjes added that as commuters will mostly use the car park on weekdays, visitors to City Park on the weekends and on holidays will have an easier time finding parking spaces.
As all traffic that does not stop at Mexikói Road will continue along Hungária Boulevard, the overpass between Zugló and Angyalföld is needed to divert traffic from the already busy road.
Promenád above the Museum Underground Car Park (Photo: MTI/Zoltán Balogh)
He added that the bridge would be designed to not divert the traffic of the M3 motorway through the residential area, with exits towards Dévényi Street and Vágány Street. By diverting some traffic from Hungária Boulevard, the overpass will also lead to cleaner air in City Park.
Dávid Vitézy, CEO of the Budapest Development Centre, added that the overpass would accelerate the rehabilitation of one of Budapest's largest rust-regions, and allow the currently incomplete no. 3 tram ring to be continued. The tram line will be planned to Béke Square via the new bridge and Szegedi Road. At Béke Square it will connect to the existing Lehet Street – Béke Street network.
The decision-makers confirmed that local councils and other stakeholders would be involved in the planning process.
Cover photo: Cars to be banned from City Park, alongside extension of tram line 3 and construction of new overpass (Photo: Városiget Zrt.)