Friday, 11 May 2012

Slow work wastes money

On 1 May, 2010, a set of temporary traffic lights was placed in lieu of the closed footbridge across ul. Puławska linking ul. Jagielska (for Las Kabacki forest). A week earlier a chunk of it had fallen onto the bus stop below; no one was hurt, fortunately. Since then, for the past two years, traffic on the hyper-congested Puławska is regularly brought to yet another standstill every time a pedestrian wishes to cross.

The old bridge was dismantled in August 2010; work on a new bridge started the following April. By the autumn of 2011, I thought the new bridge was ready to be opened - but no. A cycle ramp (excellent idea) was put up, like the ślimak or 'snail' on the footbridge over Al. Niepodległości by Pole Mokotowskie. Very good - it will make getting the bike to Las Kabacki easier and safer. By January it was almost ready. But the closer the footbridge got to being completed, the slower the work progressed.

So here we are in May 2012. As you can see, its so very nearly ready - yet no hurry to finish the job, remove the 'temporary' traffic lights and remove one pinch-point on a road so ghastly at rush hours that its barely moving. To give you an idea; on Monday, my journey by bus from home to Platan Park (5.6km away) too exactly one hour. It takes only 55 minutes on foot. The three bus stops from Karczunkowska, past these traffic lights, to Łagiewnicka, less than 2km, took 17 minutes - walking speed.

Today I cycled from home to Platan Park - a mere... 17 minutes. This shows just how truly awful Puławska can get. So every obstacle, such as temporary lights, needs to be removed as quickly as possible - the city authorities should see to it. Especially now that the new footbridge is so close to completion.

Below: with a single push of my finger, I can stop hundreds of cars and a bus or two. Just think of the waste of petrol revving up to get going again, not to mention the aggregated time lost.

Below: the ramp needs to be levelled with the ground - some 15cm or so - and yet this is taking forever. Quite why the slow pace of work, or who is responsible for the slackness and the resultant economic loss that city and its workforce has to put up with, is unknown.

This time last year:
Lost in the wonder of it all

This time two years ago:
Bicycle review

This time three years ago:
A Celebration of the Garden


Anonymous said...

Michael - good post. I also have been watching the glacially slow progress on the footbridge. I have never seen such a simple/basic project take so long to complete. Perhaps the workers and management read the contract wrong and thought it should be ready for Euro 2210?

Isn't there a contiguous bike path from Piaseczno to Platan and to downtown?


student SGH said...

Michael, two remarks:
Firstly, it's not true these lights turn red whenever a pedestrian wishes to cross it. Several times I saw them alternating without anyone signalling their wish to cross the road.
Secondly, my journey from home to P&R Stokłosy takes me no longer than 25 minutes in the morning (Karczunkowska -> Sarabandy -> Baletowa -> Jeziorki -> Ludwinowska.
In the evening it's no longer ghastly there.

Nevertheless I'm looking forward to seeing the footbridge completed and opened and the traffic lights dismantled.

Michael Dembinski said...

@ Bob

The football will not affect this part of Warsaw, not now or in two hundred years! :)

There are short, unconnected, fragments of cycle paths hither and thither scattered all the way from Piaseczno to Pl. Unii Lubelskiej. Trouble is, once you get past Karczunkowska, they are so short as to be useless (other than the one past the racetrack and the one from Idzikowskiego to Dolna - those bits are good). For the rest, it makes more sense to keep on the roadway than to nip on and off these vestigial sections. Join them all up - and the people will use them!

Michael Dembinski said...

@ "Student"

I must say, I've not witnessed any members of Ursynów's invisible community using the lights...

My bus journey last Monday - I left home at 7:19 and arrived at Platan Park at 7:19. I had to walk to Puławska, then wait for a bus (two stops) from Puławska to Poloneza.

Marcin said...

So every obstacle, such as temporary lights, needs to be removed as quickly as possible - the city authorities should see to it.

Who said, they haven't done so? Though, on March 22'nd this year, local primary school (on ul. Sarabandy) celebrated a special event on blood-giving (incl. visiting of a special bus). And among guests there were presented: Witold Kołodziejski- Zastępca Burmistrza Dzielnicy Ursynów (Vice Mayor of Ursynów District), Jolanta Turek
reprezentująca Wydział Zdrowia Urzędu Województwa Mazowieckiego (representing of the Health Unit of the Masovian Voivodship Authorities) oraz Aleksandra
Święcka z Urzędu Marszałkowskiego Województwa Mazowieckiego. (Marshal Office of the Masovian Voivodship). (Some story on that: So, how they might got onto a special commemoration that day? And, not seeing that construction riding over there?

Marcin said...

@ Bob

The football will not affect this part of Warsaw, not now or in two hundred years! :)

Michael, standing ovation for you on that. APPLAUSE!

AndrzejK said...

My particular rant is against the eco warriors who have purusaded local authorities across Europe that the was to reduce the use of motor cars, and hence polution, is to ensure that on main routes drivers are forced to stop at red traffic lights at each junction. Warsaw used to have a "fala" wave traffic light system which meant that if you kept to the speed limit you could sail through green lights for most of your journey. What the eco warriors have achieved is increased polution as cars stop and restart constantly and presumably increased sales of Valium caused by driver anger. Have a go at driving along Czerniakowska from Wislostrada to Wilanow and see how often you are stopped by the centrally controlled computerised, EU funded traffic mismanagement system. Note that at most junctions lights are still at red even after all cross traffic has crossed.