Sunday, 17 February 2013

Wait to spend or save lives now?

The story about the dangerous lack of pavement along ul. Karczunkowska takes a further turn. After the "40 million zloty pavement" story broke on Skyscraper City (thread moved here - from post no. 597 onward) the notion that the simple provision of pavement along Jeziorki's beleaguered main artery could cost 4 million let alone 40 million zeds, some new stuff came to light.

The city authorities were not just planning a length of pavement along the road. The 40 million project (now put on hold indefinitely, we are told) consisted of widening Karczunkowska to 16 metres (from six), putting in pavement and cycle path, and takes into account the building of a viaduct over the railway line by W-wa Jeziorki station. And probably acoustic screens and all the other bells and whistles that go along with an EU-standard road of this significance. Buying a five-metre strip on either side of the road probably represents the lion's share of the 40 million.

This puts the citizens of Jeziorki in a bind. If the authorities do lay the pavement now, and in a couple of years EU funds become available to rebuild Karczunkowska as a super-duper freeway, people will moan (and with some justification) that the money spent on laying the pavement was wasted. The pavement (which might have saved a life or two) will have to be ripped up as the road gets widened. Motorists will complain that yet again their journey times will be lengthened because the authorities couldn't do everything in one go (as happens when a road's ripped up to lay gas pipes, then ripped up again a few months later to lay water pipes).

If the authorities don't lay a pavement - the current state of affairs will continue. It's not too bad on a dry day from April to October. But at night - it's dangerous. When the snowploughs shift the snow off the asphalt onto the roadsides, there's nowhere to walk but along the asphalt. When the snow melts leaving deep mud on the roadsides, there's nowhere to walk but along the asphalt. And with drivers hurtling along the road at 80+ kmh (despite the 60 kmh limit), it's only a matter of time before there's yet another fatality here.

I'd be inclined to lay the bare minimum of pavement along the southern side of the road - so that a pedestrian can walk, feet dry, all the way from Puławska to Warsaw's boundary with Zgorzała. The land will have to be bought anyway, so there's no money wasted here; using the right materials could mean they could be re-used, re-laid as the new pavement once the budget's available for the full-Monty upgrade of Karczunkowska. It is a very scary road to walk along right now.

A lowest-possible cost provision of a pavement would increase road safety tremendously and its future removal would not be the subject of local criticism.

1 comment:

Bob said...

Good thoughts - have you brought them up to the people responsible for making these types of decisions? That's the key in my opinion - along with a petition from the other locals.