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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Warsaw. The left wing on pedestrian access. They demand the removal of footbridges and the marking of overground passages

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Footbridges are called “pathology” as well as “communication absurdities”. They want to liquidate them and mark out ground passages. Left-wing politicians appeal to the mayor of Warsaw to extend pedestrian facilities in the center to other districts as well.

MEP Robert Biedroń and councilor Agata Diduszko-Zyglewska inaugurated on Monday a series of conferences on the future of Warsaw. Left-wing politicians met with journalists next to one of the footbridges on Czerniakowska Street (the one at the height of Zaruskiego Street). It was not a coincidence, because the topic of the first meeting was obstacles for pedestrians. As we wrote recently on tvnwarszawa.pl, there is not a single “zebra” on the over 1.5-kilometer section of Czerniakowska Street.

“Warsaw’s smile are only the cured ones”

As Robert Biedroń announced, “The Left is launching a great action to improve security standards in Warsaw.” The politician noted that there are many issues in the capital that are positive and work correctly, but there are also architectural and communication absurdities. One of them are footbridges which “make it difficult for some people to communicate efficiently”. Biedroń appealed to the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, to “go to his head” and start removing the footbridges. – Calming the traffic, which should be a priority, let’s give the green light to pedestrians. So that pedestrians are not treated neglectfully – said the politician. He called the footbridges “communication and infrastructural pathologies”.

Councilor Agata Diduszko-Zyglewska said that for two years she has been submitting interpellations related to pedestrian crossings and the liquidation of footbridges, she said. She added, however, that she receives the following answers to the interpellations: “it is impossible, there is no such need, we cannot set a deadline, if there is no budget for it”. Agata Diduszko-Zyglewska mocked the fact that people with disabilities “need 15 minutes to cross the footbridge to the other side of the street”. She also said that “the standards that are in force in the very center of Warsaw should apply in other parts of the city”. – There will be pedestrian crossings, bicycle paths, green pavements, but only in the very center. So “Warsaw’s Smile” (as Rafał Trzaskowski called the concept of changes in Śródmieście – ed.) Are “ones” healed, but “twos”, “threes” and “fours” eat tooth decay. This is absurd. These standards must be in the whole city – said the councilor.

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The councilor said that “the city has made an audit which shows that out of 4,000 pedestrian crossings examined, 480 require immediate improvement for pedestrian safety.” She further stated that she had not received a reply to a complex question on this matter.

Asked about where to find funds for changes that would improve the life of pedestrians, she replied that many changes can be introduced with a small financial outlay. – Instead of other monuments, highlighting the Palace of Culture in different colors, or other symbolic gestures such as turning on city sirens as an alarm for the climate, with the means we have, you can repair some part of pedestrian crossings or bicycle paths. So that people can use the city normally, and not that it becomes an obstacle course for them – emphasized Diduszko-Zyglewska.

ZDM replies

The Capital City Roads Authority responded to the Left’s conference in social media. “We are very pleased with the interest in the topic of missing pedestrian crossings from @agatadiduszko and @RobertBiedron. Below are only the most important ones that we have built in key places since 2014” – they wrote on Twitter. The entry is accompanied by a graphic showing 33 places where pedestrian crossings have been replaced in recent years by footbridges and underground tunnels.

Agata Diduszko-Zyglewska commented on the entry. “33 pedestrian crossings in seven years … It would be nice if it could be faster. Will we see the liquidation of the footbridges at Czerniakowska Street before the next strike of the inhabitants?” she asked.

“It depends primarily on the councilors – we can only carry out investments for which we have been provided financing. We certainly do not intend to slow down and the next zebras are only a matter of time” – answered ZDM.

Main photo source: Tomasz Zieliński / tvnwarszawa.pl

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