Sunday, 8 February 2009

Warsaw's unmade roads: what's to be done?

There must be hundreds of kilometres of unmade roads within Warsaw's city limits. At this time of year, they tend to become impassable as the melting snows and rainfall can turn them into quagmires, as also happens in late autumn. I'm not an advocate of asphalting them all over, the semi-rural charm disappears, apartment developers soon turn up and at rush hours the roads become rat-runs. But (here on ul. Dumki, above) this is a solution I favour. Locals dump their building rubble, broken house bricks, floor tiles, roof tiles, wall tiles, and spread them across the muddy track. Cars will break the rubble down further, the mud will ooze through, and somehow, the road becomes passable again.

This is a rare example of independent civic-minded initiative that solves two problems at once - what to do with building rubble and how to make our back roads passable. Below: How bad it can get: the infamous ul. Poloneza. I'm not even going to attempt this tomorrow morning - I shall have to make a detour down the choked up rock-solid ul. Puławska.


Right: ul. Hołubcowa, which leads from Baletowa towards Poleczki. This section, by PKP Dawidy station, runs parallel to the tracks and like much of this road, is dirt track. That's not snow you can see on the road but reflections of the blue sky in the edge-to-edge puddles that make Hołubcowa impassable to all but the hardiest off-road vehicle.

Below: Monday 7 February. Today's victim of ul. Poloneza. Just out of shot, the driver (from Kielce, by the plates) has left his vehicle in the middle of the road and is walking for assistance. Fuzzy pic taken through window; I made the journey 'feet dry' along Ludwinowska->Sztajerka->Hołubcowa (the asphalted central section)->Krasnowolska->Taneczna->Poleczki->Poloneza (Platan Park). A detour of of over 4.5km, taking an extra 10 mins. But still better than sitting on Puławska.

1 comment:

Neighbour said...

Michael,

I went on a bike on sunday and in the same place there was a Peugeot 206 trapped in the mud. I've made Hołubcowa along Dawidy station rails by bike, although it was extremely difficult.
Regarding dumping broken house bricks and other debris into muddy roads - this solution is simply stupid. Most of these roads are clay, this means that the debris goes down and clay will always ooze through. Gmina does nothing about it, because they don't have to - locals will do the road reinforcement themselves.
Roads should be done properly, including development of a complete system, and what you show everyday on your pics is just weird. I know we don't have the right solution in place, but it's still wierd.

Puławska on Monady was as usual - 25 minutes from the corner of Nawłocka and Karczunkowska to the corner of Puławska and Poleczki. with NO MUD on your tyres.


Best regards,