Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Pavement for Karczunkowska - what's next?

Popped in after work for a local residents' meeting re: the planned development of ul. Karczunkowska. Not a minute too late... At the primary school on ul. Sarabandy, best known to me as polling station for elections local, parliamentary and European, a full hall. Big interest.

The lady from City Hall running the meeting announced that proceedings would be recorded with a little camera, to accurately gather the views of residents; once noted down, the recording would be erased. All in keeping with the new General Regulation on Data Protection. "I have to ask - does anyone have any objections?"

One voice at the back said that he absolutely, totally refused to be filmed. So the speaker dutifully began taking down the small camera. "Because of one man's veto, this event won't be recorded? And that's democracy?" asked a lady sitting in the row in front of me. And so a massive debate broke out - before the meeting had even started - about the rights and wrongs of this particular situation. "You don't want to be filmed? Go outside then!" "Liberum veto, cholera!"

We get going. "This is a concept [koncepcja] not a project [projekt], explained the lead architect who gave a short presentation showing plans and 3D renditions of Karczunkowska as it would eventually look when finished. "How long would all this take, roughly?" asked a neighbour. "Couldn't possibly say," said the architect. It then turned out that this concept, ordered from an urban planning bureau by ZMID (Zarząd Miejskich Inwestycji Drogowych, the Board of Urban Road Investments) had missed one almighty elephant in the room - the fact that the Polish state intends to build an estate for 8,000 people behind Biedronka, and that even with limited car parking, this estate would soon choke Karczunkowska down to a standstill.

The meeting was a prime example of the lack of joined-up local government. There's ZMID, there's Zarząd Dróg Miejskich (ZDM, the Board of Urban Roads), MPWiK (the Urban Enterprise of Water-pullings and Canalisation), the District of Ursynów, the Capital City of Warsaw, BGK, the state-owned enterprise behind the Mieszkanie+ programme that will be building the estate, and the neighbouring local authorities, the municipality of Lesznowola in the poviat of Piaseczno. Ah, and PKP PLK, which administers the construction of the viaduct carrying Karczunkowska over the railway line. So that's eight different institutions that need to coordinate this particular investment. Sorry - I forgot GDDKiA, the General Directorate of National Roads and Motorways (the highways agency, responsible for the S7 extension, its junction at Zamienie feeding into Karczunkowska. So that's nine.

Example: the spectre of a brand-new road surface being torn up to allow households adjacent to Karczunkowska to be connected to the new sewer because the road-builders and sewerage-builders were not talking to each other was not satisfactorily rebutted.

The clash of competencies between ZDM and Ursynów was evident when it came to the infamous lack of pavement Karczunkowska. Buck-passing par excellence. Somehow a pavement came be built in stages from ul. Puławska to ul. Trombity, but one cannot be built from Trombity to ul. Nawłocka.

So while things are not as bad as they were, getting to work and home again with clean shoes is still an impossibility in the wet months, while when snow is on the ground I'm forced to walk in the roadway. I raise the issue of road safety, of speeding cars, the need to calm traffic down to a safe 50km/h. No reply from the deputy mayor of Ursynów, present at the meeting.

The new Karczunkowska is meant to remain a single-carriageway road, 6.5m wide, with a pavement on either side and a bicycle path along the south side. But once the S7 is ready (2022?), traffic will come pouring off Węzeł Zamienie onto Karczunkowska, which will be limited to a single carriageway in each direction because that's how wide the viaduct over the railway line is. And then a few thousand extra cars in the Mieszkanie+ estate behind Biedronka joining the traffic after 2024?

The architect said he wanted to preserve Karczunkowska's character. But how can he do that if he didn't model traffic flows, asked another neighbour.

One answer is to build a road that's been on the plans for a decade - ul Agaty (see this post from May 2009). Agaty is planned to run from the railway line and the Mieszkanie+ estate parallel to the border between Warsaw and Mysiadło (the long straight drainage ditch) on the Warsaw side. This is now envisaged as being the dual-carriageway feeder for the estate. This suggestion was very popular at the meeting, as it would resolve the status of Karczunkowska.

So when will things start to happen? When will a pavement link ul. Trombity and W-wa Jeziorki station? When can Mr Dembinski arrive at the office in a clean pair of shoes after a few days' rain? Or have to share the asphalt in winter with rushing motorists?

I'm not optimistic. Poland really needs to learn joined-up government at local and national level.

This time two years ago
On relevance and irrelevance

This time four years ago:
Poland gets anglicised as Britain gets polonised

This time five years ago:
Ale, architecture and city politics

This time six years ago:
The pros and cons of roadside acoustic screens

This time seven years ago:
Moaning about trains again

This time eight years ago:
Warsaw street names - Dolna, Polna, Rolna, Wolna, Smolna. Lost?

This time nine years ago:
Ditches, landscapes, autumn

This time 11 years ago:
Golden autumn in Łazienki park


Ian Wilcock said...

Even I won't bet on when all that will actually happen! IS there any view on how all the vehicles being added to Zgorzala which only have one realistic way into the outside world will be handled?

Michael Dembinski said...

@ Ian

Ul. Agaty - the question is will it be extended across the tracks. Time for Zgorzała to join forces with Mysiadło to lobby for a railway station between W-wa Jeziorki and Nowa Iwiczna - there were once plans for one... (as well as for a Stara Iwiczna between Nowa Iwiczna and Piaseczno).

Ian Wilcock said...

Where will/is Ul. Agaty? I had a look on google maps and could not see it?