Saturday, 8 March 2014

What does it take to get a roundabout built?

A big thank you to Marcin Daniecki for spotting this one - a story on a local portal about the Biedronka store currently under construction near W-wa Jeziorki station.

The planned entrance to the store is to come off ul. Karczunkowska - right on the bend of a road along which drivers tend to go far too fast. It would make sense to build a roundabout here (rather like the one by the entrance to King Cross Ursynów). But apparently no - because there are plans to build a viaduct over the railway line 250m away. As we know, these plans are gathering dust on some shelf at PKP PLK and will continue to do so for many years.

But the many drivers turning left into Biedronka from Karczunkowska will expose themselves to a sideways shunt from cars hurtling eastbound along the road. How many serious crashes are needed to convince the authorities that a roundabout here is absolutely essential?

Judging by the volume of traffic turning into Lidl on ul. Puławska, I expect that a Biedronka will attract similar custom. Some of it will come from other other side of the tracks, but I guess much of it will come from Puławska. Unless there is some form of traffic management at this junction, it will be a very dangerous one.

This low shed will become a Biedronka.

Straight ahead for Biedronka - across a bend in a fast road

Turn left for Biedronka - across a lane of speeding traffic

Turn right for Biedronka - watch out for pedestrians crossing
It is evident that some form of traffic-calming measures are needed; a roundabout is the only practical solution. But will the developer/investor want to spend money on it? Better than dead customers.

Judge for yourselves...

[Two years on: I've seen the aftermath of one non-fatal car crash on this junction since then.]

This time last year:
God's own risk

This time two years ago:
A third of the way through Lent

This time three years ago:
Balancing surfeit and shortage

This time four years ago:
Congruent consciousness


student SGH said...

Michael, two points:
1. Visibility is a key issue. If you can see an oncoming vehicle, the only danger is that you misassess its speed, if you have to nose out onto the road, to see whether you can turn into it, the peril is much greater. I fear every day when I pull out from Metro Ursynów P&R (got convinced to it, after Stokłosy facility closure) into Al. KEN northbound lanes and the car park's fence hampers visibility.

2. The roundabout does calm the traffic but does not make it smooth. For some reasons Polish drivers get lost when approaching it, do not use indicators as set out in the traffic law.

AndrzejK said...

The standard answer from the planners as to why there are so few roundabouts (rotaries to those of an Amercian persuasion) is that Polish drivers don't know how to use them. Everyone knows that they actually work. The classic example is the junction of Sobieskiego, Wilanowska and the road to Gelmp's egg. More than enough room for a roundabout but hey let's have traffic lights AND a lack of left turn from Wilanowska into Miasteczko Wilanow. End result is that you get stuck on the junction for ages waiting for the various sequences of lights to work their way through.

Even the Daoly Mail has not ntoed any inability of Poles living in the UK to negotiate roundabouts.