Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The ever-growing demand for Park+Ride facilities

Well, here we are - Warszafka Jeziorki station, indeed. Late morning rush-hour (I'm catching the 8:36 to town to get me to a press conference) and the grassy verges - for here, there are no pavements - are packed with stationary automobiles.

Before my train pulls in, I count over 70 of them, around the junction of ul. Karczunkowska and Gogolińska. This is a record. When I first commented upon the new phenomenon of dziki parking ('wild', 'spontaneous', 'unplanned' parking) around W-wa Jeziorki station, back in October 2008, I counted a dozen or so cars. Three years on, in October 2011, it was up to 50. A year and half later, it's 70+; this growth rate has become unsustainable - space is running out. Unless you're prepared to walk a fair distance to the station platform.

Above: cars parked where they may. Behind me and to my right, across the tracks - more cars. Better that they rest here, than clog up the roads into town.

Left: the new station sign. I prefer the old one (scroll to the foot of this page).

Below: there's over 70 cars - but just two bicycles. The weather's perfect - why not more bikes? They are relatively safe - shackled to steel barriers right under the watchful eye of the level-crossing keeper.

It would not, however, be too much to ask PKP PLK or whatever spółka spun off from PKP now runs the nation's stations to put up some bicycle racks here. I'm sure that several of those 70 car drivers could consider cycling here rather than burning up fossil fuel to carry their persons to the railway station. At this time of year - with increasingly accurate, computer-modelled weather forecasts - there's really little excuse for not using the bike (or indeed walking, as I did today) for short-distance intermodal commuting.

Will there ever be proper P+R (or in Polish PiJ) at Jeziorki? The official plans have been shelved; the money that was ear-marked for P+R facilities here could be spent buying dozens of buses instead. Four articulated buses can carry as many passengers as a large multi-story P+R.

Cluttered grass verges in Jeziorki are a small price to pay for commuters leaving their cars far away from the city centre.

This time last year:
Cycle-friendly London

This time two years ago:
The end of the Azure Week


Alexander said...

In the centre of Warsaw,and in Wola, since a couple of months you have to pay for parking your car.

Ed O said...

It might be road network congestion or lack of city-centre parking. If you’re on the fare zone boundary, there might be a cost advantage for commuters to drive into the zone before catching public transport. Would the fare boundary rules discourage bus access from the surrounding catchment area? Might have to either change the fare zone rules, or otherwise start building your first multi-storey car park as the surrounding countryside develops...