Friday, 21 July 2017

Local democracy, winners and losers

After winning bigly in the 2015 participatory budget (budżet partycypacyjny), the finished results of which are our splendid park, this year saw Jeziorki missing out. The results were announced a week ago. The top three projects voted for by residents of Zielony Ursynów (green Ursynów - the part of the district west of ul. Puławska) were all to the extreme north - on ul. Kłobucka. The projects garnered between 700 and 900 votes; the project everyone in Jeziorki was rooting for - comprehensive traffic calming measures - got just 420 votes.

In previous years, 400 votes was enough for one of our local projects to get through. Since then, the urbanisation of Kłobucka - a formerly run-down industrial part of Ursynów - has moved on apace. Google Maps satellite view shows the area as a massive building site. But now the work's completed, people have moved in, and they're voting for pavements and parking bays. And winning. Next year, more people will have moved in, and no doubt because of the housing density (flats rather than houses set in large gardens), they will continue to win projects for themselves. In a few years' time, the notion of Kłobucka being a part of Zielony Ursynów will become patently untrue. It would be fairer to apportion a part of the overall Ursynów budget for the new blocks to the north of ul. Poleczki. Different specifics, different needs.

Still, their need for pavements are greater than ours down here in Jeziorki Południowe. Full list of projects, the winners and the losers, here.

Our greatest need is traffic calming measures. Far too many drivers use the local roads as rat-runs to avoid the notorious Puławska traffic jams. And far too many of those drivers drive too fast. In an area where pavements are few, they have little idea of how stressful it is to walk as a vulnerable pedestrian faced with cars zooming past, not separated from you by a kerb. Sitting protected by a ton or more of metal, it is easy to ignore the fragile human beings walking, or pushing prams, or cycling. And far too many drivers are using their phones while at the wheel.

The answer is more signs limiting speeds to 30km/h, and more speed bumps. Don't like it? Use Puławska. Keeping speed down to 30km/h, massively reduces the chances of injury should a pedestrian get hit.

In the meanwhile, I am deeply thankful for our lakeside park. It is beautiful, it's wonderful for walks, for birdwatching, for exercising, for relaxing. Below: bench and bin, marked with the cogwheel-and-circle logo of Warsaw's Budżet Particypacyjny.

Next year, I'll make a greater effort to mobilise neighbours to suggest and vote for projects. It's worth doing. Just look at that lovely lake...

Below: bonus shot - new industrial premises on ul. Baletowa. Nice neo-moderne architecture.

Finally - a pleasant surprise this evening soon after taking the above shot. I turned into ul. Sarabandy and was warmly greeted by a young man and his mother who are regular readers of this blog. They said how funny it is that the only regular source of local news about Jeziorki happens to be in English!

This time three years ago:
The Second Summer of Cider

This time four years ago:
North Wales in the sun

This time five years ago:
Back at Penrhos

This time seven years ago:
A farewell to Dobra

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