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Torun. A 13-year-old girl died. Residents talk about a dangerous street, the city authorities announce an audit

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The echoes of the tragedy that happened at the beginning of July on Podgórska Street in Toruń are still echoing. A 13-year-old girl died there. After the accident, the topic of safety on this street returned again. Residents recall that they have repeatedly appealed to the authorities to designate a pedestrian crossing. As they say, each time they got a negative answer. A security audit is now to be performed.

This tragic event happened on Monday (July 3). Police officers from the Municipal Police Headquarters in Toruń received report of a 13-year-old being hit by a car. – The girl ran onto the road directly in front of an oncoming car driven by a 25-year-old woman. The driver was taken to the hospital, informed the junior aspirant Dominika Bocian, press officer of the Municipal Police Headquarters in Toruń. The child died on the spot. The prosecutor’s office launched an investigation. Blood was taken from a 25-year-old woman. – We don’t have the results yet. Other circumstances will be clarified, also using the knowledge of an expert in the field of road traffic and driving techniques – said prosecutor Andrzej Kukawski, spokesman for the District Prosecutor’s Office in Toruń.

A 13-year-old girl died in the accidentDavid Nowicki

Residents: a dangerous place

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Candles began to appear at the scene of the accident. The people cannot come to terms with what has happened. They talk about the drama of two families – a 13-year-old girl and a car driver.

– On the section of over a kilometer there is no pedestrian crossing protected by law, which would allow you to cross safely – emphasizes one of the inhabitants of Podgórska Street.

ul. Podgórska in Toruńtvn24.pl

Residents complain to the city authorities that there are speed limits on the surrounding streets, but they still don’t.

– From probably 2017, letters were sent asking for the designation of pedestrian crossings. Each time the answer was negative. Officials saw no grounds to designate pedestrian crossings and speed bumps. They explained that Podgórska Street is not very frequented, with little traffic of cars and pedestrians. It’s absurd, because hundreds of cars drive along this section during the day – emphasizes the resident of Podgórska Street.

ul. Podgórska in Toruńtvn24.pl

– We have to run to the bus stop because the traffic is heavy. No driver will stop and let a pedestrian pass because there is no crossing. Even after this tragedy, when we were lighting candles, we saw how the boy wanted to go to the other side, to the bus stop, and backed up three times, because cars were passing all the time. It is true that slowly, everyone slowed down, watched what was happening, but drivers often drive very fast along Podgórska Street. A straight road, a gentle curve, and the sign “Caution, pedestrians” does not impress anyone – our interlocutor adds.

Councilor’s interventions

The problem is known to councilor Wojciech Klabun, who has intervened in this matter many times. Like the inhabitants, however, it was bouncing off the wall. – In May 2019, one of the residents of Podgórska Street contacted me about this matter. I immediately submitted an application for the location of a pedestrian crossing in this place, I also indicated the need to make arrangements with the State Treasury, through whose area the footpath to the crossing should pass. Unfortunately, it has not received a positive opinion – says councilor Klabun.

ul. Podgórska in Toruńtvn24.pl

In December 2019, the councilor once again applied for the transition. This time about organizing an away meeting of the road traffic organization and safety committee, so that its members could see this place. – The answer was the information that in the first quarter of 2020 a road safety audit will be commissioned, which will decide on possible solutions – reports Klabun.

In June 2020, he received a copy of the “Traffic analysis for the purposes of possible designation of a pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Podgórska and Gerwazy streets”. The conclusions state that “Podgórska Street does not belong to the so-called basic system”, the traffic intensity is low, and “crossings should be marked in cities only through the streets of the basic system”. As a result of the analysis, the situation in the intersection area has not changed.

13-year-old Paulina died in the accidenttvn24.pl

The following years bring further conclusions. The last ones were negatively evaluated by officials in January 2023.

There is a reaction from the city

Malwina Jeżewska, spokeswoman for the mayor of Toruń, assures that the city never disregards proposals to improve road safety, and all of them are carefully considered by the city commission for the organization and safety of road traffic.

– The commission, taking into account the lack of traffic incidents in this place (police statistics), the geometry of the road (curve), low pedestrian and vehicle traffic, gave a negative opinion on designating the crossing in this place. Currently, along Podgórska Street (from the east and west) there is a vertical signage A-3 “Other dangers” with a plate T-3 “Pedestrians”. It should be remembered that if pedestrians are more than 100 meters from a pedestrian crossing, they can cross the road also outside the suggested crossing with extreme caution and without disturbing road traffic – explains the spokeswoman.

However, the tragedy that happened on July 3 prompted officials to react. – The Commission, having in mind the tragic consequences of the event, decided to commission a road safety audit in order to increase safety in this place – informs Jeżewska.

13-year-old Paulina died in the accidenttvn24.pl

Main photo source: tvn24.pl

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