Sunday, 12 January 2014

Karczunkowska - sad truth about our pavement

After my posting last week about local residents having to wade through mud to get to the main road or to the train station due to a lack of pavement along ul. Karczunkowska, an anonymous tip-off arrives in the form of correspondence between Ursynów district hall and Warsaw city hall.

The two letters (displayed below) tell a dismal tale of bureaucratic ineptitude.

In June 2013, the local authorities in Ursynów, mindful of the fact that there isn't the budget to turn ul. Karczunkowska into a full-width droga o kategorii powiatowej with pavement, cyclepath, storm drains, acoustic screens*, service stations*, electronic toll-collection gates* etc etc, then the next best thing is simply to lay a pavement down one side of the busy road so pedestrians can walk from one end of the street safely and with dry feet.

This sensible request was turned down by the authorities at the city hall because - such a pavement would not be pursuant to building regulations... as it does not allow wheelchair users from using it.

Let's look at the logic of this answer. The entire 2km stretch can be built to a width of two metres, except for two stretches - one, a 20m long-choke point around ul. Trombity, where there's only enough space by the side of the road for a metre-wide pavement, the second, a stretch of 40m between ul. Sarabandy and ul. Puławska, where the space is between 1.25m and 44cm. And it is this short bit, which is 44cm wide, that the city authorities say isn't wide enough for a wheelchair, thus scuppering the pavement along the rest of the road.

This is absolutely absurd, and I'm sure that wheelchair users, or parents with children in prams or buggies, would be the first to argue that their statutory right to a pavement of adequate width should not be used as an argument to stop making the whole road safer. I can't see wheelchair users feeling happy that the City has deprived of the use of 98% of Karczunkowska just because 2% of it is too narrow.

It's a phoney, bureaucratic, backside-covering excuse for inaction. It shows the very worst side of Polish local authorities - not wishing to do something that's sorely needed, because their interpretation of the letter of the law stops them from doing so. This is symptomatic of a deep illness in the mentality of people who are paid to be public servants.

A pavement along Karczunkowska is an absolute must. Children walking to the primary school on ul. Sarabandy in winter, in the dark, must either trek through snow or mud or face oncoming traffic that's racing at speeds well above the mandatory 60kmh limit. The city authorities, who are responsible for road safety must not use bzdura arguments to do nothing.

Enough already. This road is dangerous and dirty and it is high time that local people can walk it without fear of getting run over or splattering themselves in mud.

* Exaggeration for the sake of effect

Below: the letter from Ursynów district to the city hall, asking that a modest pavement be built rather than an all-singing, all-dancing road improvement, for which there's no money anyway... (click to enlarge)

Below: the reply from city hall - "no can do, there's a few metres of pavement that would be too narrow for a wheelchair, so przykro mi, carry on risking life and limb and getting muddy feet, citizens of Jeziorki. ."

This time two years ago:
About Warsaw's kebab restaurants
[interestingly, in 2012, a king-size lamb kebab in pitta bread at Egipt cost 13zł, today it's 16zł]

This time three years ago:
The day I found a million zlotys

This time four years ago:
Making the most of winter

This time three years ago:
Progress along Ballay Street

This time five years ago:
Shortest, mildest, winter?


Neighbour said...


This is so idiotic explanation from the authorities, I haven't heard in my life anything more stupid.

Since you have an evidence at hand, please pass this to, and Gazeta Stołeczna, anywhere you can and know someone willing to publish it.

Pass this also to Mr. Jan Trzciński at Buszycka 6c, head of Zarząd jednostki Pomocniczej "Osiedle Etap", who should raise the issue at Ursynow next council session.
This document is an exchange of opinions between 2 administrative bodies, but thould be widely published in Warsaw as an example of someones ... excuse me but only some very old English and Polish words come to my mind...

Best regards,

Michael Dembinski said...

We should all lodge our complaints, and make our voices heard, via My children have both done so, being regular plodders along the dangerous muddy verges of ul. Karczunkowska.

But yes, the media will be alerted!