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Friday, February 23, 2024

Warsaw. Kercelak – roundabout in name only. Why so dangerous?

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When you enter Kercelak in the tvnwarszawa.pl archive, mainly accidents and collisions, mainly of cars, but also of trams, are displayed. Police statistics are also implacable and show that this is one of the most dangerous places in Warsaw. We ask if the road workers are planning to improve anything at the roundabout, which is not a roundabout.

The intersection of al. Solidarności and ul. Okopowa in Wola – six lanes of one, six of the other. There are also right-turning lanes. Trams run in several routes. The intersection area is huge, the situation is not improved by the poor surface and signage, which can be different in rainy weather. Every few minutes you can hear a classic or a tram bell.

Life here is also not easy for pedestrians who have long distances to cover (seven wide lanes and a track). On the lanes, even a quick stride does not guarantee you can easily reach the other side on the green. Most people get there when the green stick is already pulsating or when it is glowing red. Cyclists are also dangerous and uncomfortable, because the bicycle path is only located along the eastern Okopowa line. No wonder Kercelak is located on the list of the most dangerous intersections in Warsaw. According to a report of the Municipal Roads Authority, based on police data, last year there were five accidents in which five people were injured, which gives it the second place on the aforementioned list.

On Kercelak, even the name is misleading, because the roundabout is only made of it. There is no circular traffic at the intersection of al. Solidarność and Okopowa. Formally, it has been a roundabout from the beginning of the century, although the name itself is much older and comes from the bazaar, which has been operating here since the 19th century. In the past, there were at least two redevelopment concepts for this place, one even with a tunnel. They both stayed in the drawers.

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There will be no improvement in security

– We do not have Kercelak on the wallpaper at the moment – replies Jakub Dybalski, spokesman for the capital’s road construction workers, when asked if ZDM intends to rebuild Kercelak in the near future. And it explains where the confusing nomenclature comes from. – The Kercelak roundabout has never been a roundabout, although at the beginning of this century there were attempts to build one in this place. For this reason, Warsaw councilors then adopted the name of this place. Although the roundabout has not been built, the name has remained. This is not the only such case, for example Pięć Rogów Square was probably the last time at the beginning of the 19th century – he notes. It’s just that the Five Horns Square is a common name, it is in vain to find it on official maps or on plates.

Some works are planned by tram drivers, but they will not interfere with the road infrastructure. – We will deal with the issue of priorities for trams in Kercelak. The point is to shorten the waiting time for the green light, or rather for the vertical line, because this is the signal for trams, explains Maciej Dutkiewicz, spokesman for the Warsaw Trams. – At the moment I cannot say exactly when – it may be a matter of the coming months – he adds.

Main photo source: Artur Węgrzynowicz, tvnwarszawa.pl

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