The inhabitants of Białołęka complain about the lighting installed along the crest of the embankment over the Vistula River. Flashing lights are to discourage walking. The matter was publicized by the district councillor, who calls for their dismantling. A representative of the Warsaw Green Board claims that the installation of permanent lighting is not possible in this place. Implementation of this project cost the city nearly PLN 250,000.
The councilor from Białołęka, Filip Pelc, informed about the case in social media. “Recently, lights were installed on the Vistula embankment. The problem is that the lights are constantly flashing. I talked to several people who said that after a few minutes of walking their heads began to ache. I also felt sick after a short time. many people gave up running,” Pelc wrote on Facebook.
“Take these lights off”
He also stated that the Greenery Management, which implemented this project, “wasn’t able to find a manufacturer who offered lights with constant light, so it was decided to use pulsating lights.”
“The implementation of projects from the Civic Budget is often very different from the concept. It is difficult to blame the author of the project, because from the moment of submitting the idea, the city is responsible for its implementation” – assessed the councillor.
In his entry, he informed that “three weeks have passed since the assembly, and nothing has changed in this matter.” “Apparently ZZW (Zarząd Zieleni w Warszawie – ed.) now came up with the idea to install a foil that will darken the lamps. This is another absurdity. There is no point in trying to fix it. These lights should be dismantled” – summed up Councilor Pelc.
“The companies did not guarantee the stability of the surface”
We asked Karolina Kwiecień-Łukaszewska, the spokesperson of the Warsaw Green Board, to explain why pulsating lights were installed instead of lamps that glow with constant light.
– The biggest problem turned out to be the surface in which the lighting was to be made. LED lighting is installed in the asphalt or concrete surface. A large part of the assortment requires drilling a hole with a diameter of 165 by 180 millimeters, which in the case of paving stones would require drilling three to four cubes – explains Kwiecień-Łukaszewska. – The companies did not guarantee the stability of the surface in which the lighting would be installed and the durability of the LED lighting, and they were not interested in carrying out the task – she added.
The specificity of the maintenance work carried out on the embankment turned out to be crucial in the matter of installing the lights. Tractors with mowers move along its crown, so it was important to maintain the stability of the ground. – In the case of installing LED lighting in a concrete cube, the size of the shaft that fixes the lamp in the ground should ensure the possibility of placing it in one cube. This will ensure stability and minimize the risk of damage to the cube and lamp. In addition, due to the movement of heavy equipment on the crown of the shaft, the housing and the point reflective element had to be of very high mechanical resistance – indicated the spokeswoman.
“We strive for user-friendly intensity”
Due to the functions performed by the shaft, lighting powered by an electric wire was not taken into account in the implementation of the project, only those based on solar energy and a battery powered by solar energy built into the device.
– According to the information obtained from the contractor, there were no devices powered by solar batteries with constant light on the market, which would have the necessary certificates and declarations of conformity and would allow assembly in one cube. Therefore, a decision was made to install “cat’s eyes”, the light of which “blinks” and is directed only along the crown – explains Kwiecień-Łukaszewska.
She also admitted that neither the Greenery Management nor the contractor realized that the intensity of the light emitted by the installed lamps would be bothersome. – Lamps cannot be switched to constant light mode. Therefore, we have taken steps to minimize the negative effects of pulsating glow while maintaining their function. In the first week of January, we reduced the light intensity on the section from Grzymalitów Street to the height of the property at 15 Discovery Street. Together with the contractor, we decided to additionally dim the already modified lighting – reported Karolina Kwiecień-Łukaszewska. – We strive to achieve a user-friendly intensity of the pedestrian and bicycle route running along the embankment – she emphasized.
Project from the participatory budget
The project of lighting the Vistula embankment was selected in the participatory budget competition. No company applied for the first tender announced in September 2022. The procedure was repeated a month later. Two companies submitted an offer. After negotiations, the Zieleni Board selected the contractor. The cost of the project was nearly PLN 250,000.
The pedestrian and bicycle path on the Vistula embankment, which runs parallel to Odkryta Street, is a popular place for walks by the inhabitants of the Nowodwory estate. 1,902 people voted for the embankment lighting project submitted for last year’s participatory budget.
Main photo source: Mateusz Szmelter/tvnwarszawa.pl