City of Bratislava have decided to close the Old Bridge for the public transport starting from Friday’s night (May 15, 2010), leaving open just a narrow corridor for pedestrians. City had closed the Old bridge for individual car transportation in December 2008. Public transportation has been allowed to use the bridge, though. Apparently, the City now says the bridge is dangerous as there have been some issues with the bridge road.
This unfortunate decision will literally cut the citizens of Bratislava-Petrzalka district (one third of Bratislava) from the city centre. New bridge and Apollo bridge will be the only way to reach the city centre, although none of them really is accessible by foot for anyone living in Petrzalka as both are very far from the apartment blocks. Moreover, both are separated by another unlucky barrier – the city highway – leaving them quite unreachable on foot. The Old Bridge, in comparison, was both quite close to the apartment blocks as well as close to Sad of Janko Kral, the Bratislava’s main park and not far from the Aupark Shopping Mall.
This change will also affect most of the cyclists crossing Danube river. Again, Apollo bridge and New bridge could be used as alternatives, although both are quite far from the city centre (New bridge is basically the border of the city centre and the cyclists don’t have good options to reach it from within Petrzalka district). Public transportation will be strongly impacted, making the main change point – Safarikovo square – cut from most of the lines (including buses no. 50 and no. 78). Not a good example of how the public transportation should be managed, right? Lousy management of Bratislava’s Public Transport company is to be blamed.
Although, state of the Old Bridge was well-known to be far from working, City of Bratislava headed by mayor Andrej Durkovsky have left it to deteriorate during the past years, not investing enough to stabilize it. The reconstruction is planned, although it might take up to five years in optimistic scenario.