Saturday, 18 February 2017

Jeziorki meltdown in the fog

It's been a long winter - the ice on the ponds has been there for an unbroken 47 days. On Thursday, the temperature soared to 8C in the sunshine, then fell back to around 2C at night, has stayed around that level ever since. It rained much of yesterday. The rain has washed much of the snow away, the thick ice on the ponds now covered in around an inch or two of water. The ice is still utterly impenetrable, but walking on it makes no sense as footwear gets soaked through.

Today was foggy, the rain ceased, time for a longer walk to see how Jeziorki looks as the big thaw gets under way. Below: a small stand of birch trees towards the southern end of the ponds.

The cloud hangs low over Jeziorki, I can hear the planes but cannot see them, despite being less than 2km away from the end of the runway. Below: indentations left by car tyres filled with snow remain after the rest has melted.

Below: at the north end of the ponds, towards ul. Kórnicka. The ice at the edge of the pond is still welded hard to the shore. In a week's time, unless frost makes an unexpected return, the sheet of ice will be largely gone.

The fog was growing denser as I crossed the tracks. From the side of the ballast mountain (which I hope will remain now the railway line has been modernised), I catch sight of the Koleje Mazowieckie train heading south towards Radom (below).

Meltwater from the snow floods the lower fields and pours into the drainage ditches that line both sides of the tracks. Below: note the snow-drift nets to the right, bearing the initials PKP PLK SA, the state-owned rail infrastructure operator. These replaced the old wooden snow-drift fences a few years back.

Below: a line of apple trees stretches from the tracks towards ul. Trombity.

Below: W-wa Jeziorki's 'down' platform in the fog. Perilously slippery in the icy snow, it is at least now safe to walk on. An amended railway timetable comes into force on Sunday 12 March. One fewer Koleje Mazowieckie service to town, but some trains running faster (W-wa Jeziorki to W-wa Śródmieście in 31 minutes).

Condemned - these trees must die that Man may park. The W-wa Jeziorki Park+Ride will be built here, to the east of the tracks, where the old bus loop used to be. It'll be bigger than the loop; many trees are being felled to make way for asphalt. I'm in two minds about the Park+Ride. On one hand, it'll encourage many commuters to leave their cars here and take the train to town. On the other, given that one articulated Solaris bus can carry 175 passengers, the comparative cost/benefit of providing parking spaces vs. buying more buses is dubious.

Below: ul. Karczunkowska, looking towards the station. According what the local authorities were saying last August, when the level crossing was closed here, work should have been completed by 24 December (Yes! See here!). It's evident that it'll take years. A viaduct will be built here one day. Given it took three years to build one over the S2 at ul. Poloneza, I foresee a 2020 opening.

Below: ul. Nawłocka thaws out; slippery ice, mud, wet snow. Horrible to walk on. Still, this dirt track will soon be paved over, note the new kerb that's already been laid on the left hand side of the road. The sun went down today an hour and half later than its earliest sunset in mid-December.

The nice bit of winter - crunchy snow underfoot and blue skies (smog notwithstanding) has passed; after the thaw, the przednówek - the pre-spring, the sixth season, that can last five to six weeks. But lengthening daylight lifts the mood.

This time last year:
Health, happiness and wholeness

This time two years ago:
Kicking off Lent again

This time three years ago:
Improving the procurement of Poland's infrastructure

This time four years ago:
Wait to spend or save lives now? An infrastructure quandry

This time eight years ago:
It's not rich countries that build roads, its roads that build rich countries

This time nine years ago:
Snow that was doomed to melt


Richard - Woodworks said...

Why not leave the trees and let the cars park among them? Surely it would make a more charming landscape and the people happier!
As far as I can tell it would look more CenterParcs than the Luton Airport medium car park it looks destined to be.

Michael Dembinski said...

@ Riccardo! Great to hear from you - after your African sojourn?

Yes, parking among the trees would be much nicer. A concept that has not caught on here - the current government is determined to rid Poland of trees, using all possible methods - from allowing logging in national parks to ramming roadside trees with the prime minister's car.