Calea Victoriei & Bucharest Walks

A couple of weeks ago we looked at some of the plans Bucharest City Council has for the centre of the city, one of which was to make Calea Victoriei – Bucharest’s most famous street – a more friendly place for pedestrians. On Wednesday the council put a little more detail on those proposals and approved the a raft of measures which should do just that.

The announcement which grabbed most attention was the news that Piata Revolutiei (and neighbouring Piata George Enescu) will become pedestrian-only. Traffic which currently runs (one way) along Calea Victoriei beside the two squares (the red line on the map below) will be diverted along Stradas Stirbei Voda and Ion Campineanu (the blue line on the map below):

While we usually welcome any attempts to make Bucharest a more pedestrian-friendly place, as we pointed out a couple of weeks ago the current city council has a less than glowing record of creating welcoming pedestrian spaces. The concrete mess which is Piata Universitatii is evidence enough of that. Given that Piata Revolutiei is already something of a concrete-fest, broken up only by the statue of Carol I and the Revolution Monument, our hopes that the square will become a place residents of and visitors to Bucharest will want to spend time are not high.

It was also confirmed on Wednesday that traffic along some parts of northern Calea Victoriei will be reduced from three lanes to two, allowing for the pavement to be widened. (Indeed, in some cases, particularly next to the Casa Vernescu and the Muzeul Colectiilor de Arta, there is no pavement at all).

In the latest issue of Bucharest In Your Pocket we published an updated feature about walking the length of Calea Victoriei. Should you be remotely interested you can read it here.

bucharest_calea_victoriei

Being a contrary bunch we are keen to feature more Bucharest Walks in the guide: if you have any ideas at all about what might constitute a nice walk in Bucharest do get in touch.

  • Stefan

    Wonder if the above has anything to do with these construction plans next to Ateneul Roman:
    http://stirileprotv.ro/special/bucuresti-se-transforma-in-blocuresti-primaria-si-dezvoltatorii-lasa-capitala-fara-istorie.html

  • Paco

    Talking about rabid dogs, are there any changes? Less stray dogs on the streets? Am I too optimistic?

    • Mr Rearguard

      None!

    • I think there has been an improvement, but depends on your sector. I have seen teams of dog catchers in action twice since the new year here in Sector 3. In other sectors (4, 5) I hear things are worse, if anything.

      • Phil

        Probably because they’re pegging it from Sector 3 to where there aren’t any catchers…

    • Paco

      Thank you for the update. I was hoping for better news…

  • Ethan

    This makes sense if you’ve ever tried to cross the piata while it was fenced for a major event.

  • Mr Rearguard

    ”It was also confirmed on Wednesday that traffic along some parts of northern Calea Victoriei will be reduced from three lanes to two, allowing for the pavement to be widened.”………….Great, more space to park your car on the sidewalks!!!

  • Phil

    Where to start? Almost any route around Dorobanti and Cotroceni. There is a good one from the old town cutting along the back streets behind the Intercont to end up at Lahovari. South from Unirii past the patriarchy and to and around Parcul Carol. The streets between Protopopescu and Unirii. I don’t really have any specific routes, there is plenty of scope for variation in the above. The issues, are ever, are parking idiots and rabid dogs and they may be a little obscure for your regular weekend visitor. But good walks all the same, with plenty of refreshment possibilities.