Activists from the Warsaw Smog Alert accuse the city guards of being slow in the fight against illegal parking. In their opinion, officers issue too few fines and react too slowly to reports, which often results in the fact that when the patrol arrives at the site, the badly parked car is long gone.
The Warsaw Smog Alarm has prepared a report summarizing the three years of Rafał Trzaskowski’s presidency in terms of mobility and space. Activists assessed how the president delivered on his promises in terms of walking, cycling and public transport. They also checked the pre-election promises concerning streets and squares.
In the pedestrian section of the report, activists recall the pledge of the then presidential candidate “we will ensure that parking laws are enforced.” They explain that they decided to put the problem in this chapter because one of the most noticeable effects of illegal parking is obstruction of pedestrian traffic, which negatively affects their safety. In their opinion, since the beginning of Rafał Trzaskowski’s term of office, it has not been possible to improve the operation of the municipal police in this respect, nor to “encourage the police to be more effective”.
Activists accuse the city guard of being sluggish
“The Municipal Police still prefer an extremely ineffective model of functioning. Acting almost exclusively on the call of residents – instead of regular, pedestrian patrols – means wasting a lot of time on reaching the scene. After the guards arrive (lasting even several dozen hours), the reported vehicle is often no longer available. Foot patrols would be able to identify cars that are particularly obstructing traffic or threatening safety quickly and independently, “the authors of the report say.
They also cite statistics to support their assessment. “Although on many streets it would be possible to indicate several dozen cars at the same time, annexing sidewalks or pedestrian crossings, the city guard issues only twenty-several tickets per district per day (179,550 so-called photo calls throughout 2019; in the following year the results were lower due to secondment of guards to tasks related to the pandemic.) The number of towing orders or wheel locks is only about four a day per district (in 2019, a total of 23,493 and 27,056 respectively) “- the report reads.
The data analyzed by the authors of the report show that there are large disproportions in the statistics for individual districts. They cite Żoliborz and Ochota as an example. The first district, although smaller, is to have twice as many towing orders. “This can be explained by the varying degree of involvement of individual SM Field Units, which is confirmed by people reporting road violations. In addition, many patrols in interviews directly underestimate the problem of parking that hinders pedestrian traffic, justifying them with the difficulties of drivers in finding parking spaces” – criticize the activists.
They further point out that the “ineffectiveness of one unit” translates into additional costs for other municipal institutions, and more precisely for the Municipal Roads Authority, which places posts preventing illegal parking in problematic places. Green belts are another option, but it is not possible to carry out such renovation everywhere and not every driver will be stopped by such an obstacle.
They pointed to “symbol”
According to the authors of the report, Chmielna Street, on the promenade between Nowy Świat and the Wiecha passage, is called the “symbol of the city’s failure to enforce road traffic regulations”. Only residents and suppliers are allowed to enter (at certain times), there are also few places for legal stopping. “In 2014, the commander of the city guard, Zbigniew Leszczyński, announced in the media ‘zero tolerance’ in this matter. An effective and well-publicized action lasting even a month or two would probably solve (or at least significantly reduce) the issue of maneuvering cars between pedestrians and illegal However, the situation has not improved in any way, “assesses the Warsaw Smog Alarm.
Another example is the reconstructed Pięć Rogów Square and Zgoda Street, which is closed for the duration of the works. Despite the introduction of a traffic ban (with exceptions such as: cyclists, vehicles of municipal services, ZTM and supplies), drivers have a B-1 sign in their noses and traffic jams in the street. “On Twitter, the City Guard calls for compliance with the traffic ban here, and issues an average of one ticket a day in the field. Will it be the same after the square is rebuilt into a strictly pedestrianized space?” activists ask.
On Tuesday, we asked the municipal police and the capital city hall to comment on the allegations of activists. Until the article was published, however, we did not receive a reply.
What did Rafał Trzaskowski promise in the election campaign?
During the 2018 local government campaign, our editorial office asked candidates and candidates for the position of the mayor of Warsaw, 27 questions, concerning, among other things, security, transport and urban space.
We then asked how to deal with the problem of illegal parking. “On the one hand, the reason must be removed: the number of cars entering a given district (especially the city center) must be reduced. This can be done by developing public transport and building a network of P + R car parks on the outskirts of Warsaw, at interchange junctions. On the other hand, underground car parks must be built. in the center. Some of them can be built either with the help of a municipal company established for this purpose, or in the PPP formula “- Rafał Trzaskowski answered us.
When asked whether the city guard should be liquidated, reformed or act on the current rules, Rafał Trzaskowski replied: “The work of the City Guard must be reorganized. The guard must focus on the most urgent matters: patrolling the streets, especially in areas indicated by citizens, punishing road pirates, One of the basic tasks of the Municipal Police will be patrols in the vicinity of schools. what intervention residents expect. Higher demands on city guards will mean better wages. “
Main photo source: Tomasz Zieliński / tvnwarszawa.pl