There are dangerous situations at the bicycle crossing on Świderska Street. – Drivers do not see speeding cyclists. They do not remember to stop in front of the bicycle path – says Białołęka councilor Filip Pelc. There were plans to fix the problem, but fixes have yet to be made. As road builders assure, a new project is being prepared, but the completion date remains unknown.
The bicycle road crossing Świderska Street, near the northern bridge (Marii Skłodowska-Curie) is a dangerous point on the map of Białołęka. On the one hand, cyclists ride down the hill, off the bridge. Visibility is poor. Drivers ride perpendicularly along Świderska Street, and cyclists are covered by the embankment, which is part of the bridge.
– This is a problematic passage. A long bicycle path leads to the crossing from both the left and right side, and from the Vistula side there is an additional hill that makes it easier to speed up. Cyclists must have priority on the crossing. Drivers passing under the viaduct from the side of the North Bridge must be very careful and stop almost every time before the bicycle crossing and pedestrian crossing to make sure that no one is using them. Visibility is limited by the embankment – describes Artur Węgrzynowicz, tvnwarszawa.pl reporter. “Safety would definitely be improved by a flashing warning sign for motorists exiting the shaded tunnel,” he adds.
Councilman: the most dangerous place for cyclists
At the beginning of June, a resident who was hit by a driver wrote to Filip Pelc, councilor and vice-chairman of the Białołęka District Council (Initiative of Białołęka Residents) regarding the bicycle path. “I have been hearing for a long time about the reconstruction of a dangerous bicycle crossing from the North Bridge through Świderska Street. (…) I was hit by a car at this crossing due to the fault of the driver who received a 1100 PLN fine. Fortunately, in my case it ended only with bruises. Will we have to wait until some tragedy (as in the case of Sokrates Street) to rebuild the street?” – reported a resident in the information to the councillor.
“Things like this happen all the time there.” Drivers do not see speeding cyclists. They don’t remember to stop in front of the bike path. This is an issue that has been dragging on for many years. In my opinion, this is the most dangerous place for cyclists in the district. Something must be done about it. A traffic light or at least a sign warning of danger would be useful there – councilor Pelc tells us.
Earlier, Pelc submitted an interpellation to the district council regarding the dangerous crossing. “Due to numerous comments from residents, I am asking for information on plans to improve safety on the bicycle path on Świderska Street” – we read in the document.
The councilor wanted to know if there are plans to put traffic lights in this location and what measures will be taken to improve safety there. “In the opinion of many residents, this is one of the most dangerous places in our district” – he added in an interpellation.
There was supposed to be a threshold, there was supposed to be an island. There are no changes yet
The Mayor of the Białołęka District, Grzegorz Kuca, answered the question. He attached to it the information provided by the Municipal Roads Authority. “The traffic organization designed for the needs of the then project and functioning to this day received the appropriate opinion of the Traffic Department of the Warsaw Police Headquarters and was approved by the traffic management body of the capital city of Warsaw” – wrote ZDM.
However, changes were planned at the intersection. Road safety devices were to be placed there, forcing drivers to reduce speed. The solution was proposed as part of the participatory budget project. However, it turned out that it could not be implemented. The obstacle was the viaduct leading to the bridge, where – according to the regulations – speed bumps cannot be used.
So a different solution was chosen. According to ZDM, it was proposed to create an island separating the roadways, which would change the course of the curve located in front of the crossing and, as a result, improve visibility. In addition, the liquidation of the bus bay and the relocation of the stop were to “prevent the occurrence of a situation when the bus limits the visibility of the road for bicycles before the passage for cyclists”.
However, another obstacle appeared. The designed island and the related change in the course of the road would cause a collision with the power grid. “Implementation of the project depended on obtaining the appropriate agreement from the network operator after carrying out an inventory of this network and drawing up a project for its reconstruction. Due to the very long time of agreeing such documentation and the lack of sufficient funds for network reconstruction (the expected cost was to be over PLN 400,000) , ZDM was unable to reconstruct the road system” – road workers explained in the attachment to the answer to the interpellation.
As we read in the ZDM appendix, new road design regulations came into force on September 21, 2022. Therefore, a decision was made to withdraw from the implementation of the project based on the existing design.
“The Municipal Road Authority will prepare new documentation for the road industry, taking into account the improvement of road safety based on new solutions guaranteed by law. This will require the preparation of a traffic organization project and possibly industry projects (lighting, greenery)” – it was indicated.
There is a new project, but road builders do not give a date
We asked the Municipal Roads Authority about the dangerous place. We have learned that the draft of changes correcting the bicycle path along Świderska is prepared. – At this crossing by the bridge, it is planned to move the bicycle path so that the crossing is on the other side of the pedestrian crossing, separation of the road and pavement in the immediate vicinity of the crossing, speed bumps and additional markings – announces Jakub Dybalski, spokesman for ZDM. As he adds, these changes include the assumptions of one of the projects for the participatory budget.
The project completion date is unknown. – This year we have already filled with other projects – admits Dybalski.
Main photo source: Artur Węgrzynowicz/tvnwarszawa.pl