Ząbkowska will change as part of the Prague Prince’s Route. During the last session of the district council, the concept of its reconstruction was presented. The street will be narrowed and pedestrians and cyclists will have more space. There will also be places for gastronomic gardens. The district authorities have offered to evict some of the residents from nearby tenement houses, officially, for their own good.
The authorities of Praga Północ are planning to implement the concept of the Praga Ducal Route, under which the urban tenement houses along Okrzei, Ząbkowska and Kawęczyńska streets will be revitalized. The changes will also affect the road system – traffic will be calmed down, and pedestrians and cyclists will gain more space.
In winter, we wrote on tvnwarszawa.pl that councilors and residents cannot ask for the visualization of this project to be made public. Now officials reveal more details. At the end of May, the changes in the first stage were presented. It provides for a complete reconstruction of Okrzei Streetwhich in the future, after completing the construction of a pedestrian and bicycle path across the Vistula River, will allow you to get to Praga-Północ.
However, during the last session of the district council, the second stage was discussed, concerning Ząbkowska on the section between Targowa and Radniczego. The concept was presented by one of its co-authors, architect Mikołaj Zdanowski. He already initially emphasized – which was also mentioned in the case of Okrzei Street – that an important aspect before the start of the project is the completion of the Świętokrzyska Route, and thus the connection of Sokola Street with Kijowska Street, which will improve traffic in the district.
They will close the underground passages at the intersection with Targowa
Changes in the road system will appear at the intersection of Ząbkowska, Okrzei and Targowa. – The biggest change is filling in underpasses that do not meet the current regulations. They are too short, poorly ventilated and dangerous. We thought about the possibility of their reconstruction and deepening, but from the economic point of view it is completely unprofitable. Their reconstruction is complicated by underground installations and a tunnel of the metro line – pointed out the architect.
As he described, the intersection is a continuation of the layout from Okrzei Street. – An important element is also the narrowing of the street to two lanes. This is in line with the current local plan. Our proposal enriching it a bit is a lane, which makes it easier to enter Kłopotowskiego Street – said Zdanowski.
Designers also propose to connect bus and tram stops. They would remain in the same locations, but the buses would run on the part of the carriageway for trams. – The idea concerns the entire route – from the intersection with Kijowska, the Prague Ducal Route, including the stop at the Vilnius railway station – he enumerated. – There is already such a stop at the Praga Park – he reminded.
– The accent connecting both Okrzei and Ząbkowska streets is the floor smoothly passing through the intersection. We also wanted to mark the continuity of PTK with tree plantings, we wanted to create green walls – he described. He referred to a photo of Targowa taken at the end of the 19th century, when the street was crossed by a wide green belt at that time. Through greenery in the design, the architects want to refer to the old ways of functioning of Praga’s streets.
Another historical element will be the preservation of the historic pavement and tram tracks. The architect ensured that the fragments intended for possible removal would be used in other places within the investment area.
More space for pedestrians and service premises
– A novelty is the atmosphere of Ząbkowska Street. We want to take advantage of the changes that took place on Ząbkowska Street, i.e. the construction of premises in the basement of the buildings. We want to conquer more and use this existing value – emphasized Zdanowski.
In the concept, Ząbkowska has been narrowed to one lane on the section from Targowa to Brzeska. Drivers will be able to go east, i.e. towards Radzyminska and Kawęczyńska. It is a compromise to the recurring ideas of completely closing this fragment of Ząbkowska.
– The narrowing of the street allowed us to widen the sidewalks, and also separate two lanes, accentuated with bricks, explained Zdanowski. – We offer an entertainment function related not only to gastronomy and clubs, but also a meeting place and exhibitions. At 9 Ząbkowska Street, we suggest locating a summer stage with a musical theater – he said.
In this section, the bicycle path will run along the northern side of the street, similar to Okrzei. – All public functions will be located along this wall (northern – ed.). The southern frontage is left to the inhabitants – explained the architect.
Changes in the eastern section of Ząbkowska
The next section in question was the part of Ząbkowska between the intersections with Brzeska and Markowska. – Here the atmosphere of the street changes a bit. We meet more residential buildings, we have a slightly different function, a library, the police – said Zdanowski.
In this part of Ząbkowska, on the south side of the street, there will be more parking spaces. The street also recovers two lanes of traffic, but it is narrowed anyway. Calming down allows you to create more space for pedestrians. There will be places to meet and rest with benches set on a brick surface. There are also plans to organize the green area in front of the police station and incorporate it into the street
The last section of Ząbkowska, from the crossing with Markowska to the place where it turns into Kawęczyńska, will be dominated by Centrum Praskie Koneser. – All gravity is directed towards the North. We can see a much larger pavement here, it has been widened, mini squares have been created at the bus stop so that the crowd of people can easily use this space – explained the architect.
The bicycle path will run along the Koneser fence. Pedestrians will have a wider pavement, and places such as stops, bicycle stands or benches will be distinguished by a brick block.
Uniform style of the Prague Ducal Route
The entire Prague Duke’s Route is to be kept in a similar style – it will boil down, among other things, to the materials used during the reconstruction of the streets. Architects want the changing functions – spaces for pedestrians, service premises, cars – to be accentuated by the surface. For example, places with benches or cafe gardens will be lined with brick cubes.
The architect explained that the initial intention was to make Ząbkowska green. However, these plans were thwarted by underground infrastructure. For this reason, perennials and seasonal flowers are to appear along the street in brick pots. They will perform not only a decorative function, but also divide the space between individual service premises. Zdanowski argued that this would avoid the “randomness of separations that may arise spontaneously” of the owners of service premises.
– Signboards are an important element organizing PTK. Throughout the entire section, in order to maintain the continuity of the assumptions, we wanted to standardize them and get rid of the mess, so that the entire street from Okrzei to Kawęczyńska would speak the same language – he emphasized.
There will also be pylons with characters associated with Praga North along the Prague Ducal Route. For example, at the intersection of Okrzei and Ząbkowska there is a pylon with the figure of Julian Jan Różycki looking at the market. The following will also be commemorated: Zofia Łabusiewicz, Stanisław Wiechecki Wiech, Janina Englert, Jerzy Ryszard Zieliński and Paweł Elsztejn.
They want to move council premises and build new ones
At the end of the presentation, the architect briefly discussed the assumptions for the buildings along the street. – In order for these changes to come into force and Ząbkowska, primarily on the section Tragowa – Brzeska, to function in accordance with our plans, we must also transform it in terms of the way it lives. To avoid a conflict with the residents, we want to create new council premises at the intersection of Brzeska and Ząbkowska. On Markowska, in the section closer to Kijowska, on the further section of Ząbkowska street, as well as to use the potential of the existing plot of the Pelcowizna shop – to build a higher building here, keeping a grocery store in the basement – Zdanowski announced.
As he explained, the point is that the residents of these premises will have a chance to find themselves in a quieter and more peaceful location. According to the calculations of the North Prague town hall, the concept assumes the transfer of about 89 premises.
– Of course, we plan tenement houses to be revitalized and to create better living and operating conditions for these premises. We selected, among others, tenement houses at the following addresses: Ząbkowska 3, 7, 13 23/25 and also 22/24/26 – he informed. – We intend to create toilets in the new premises, because we know how important it is and how scarce it is on the city map – he added.
Vice Mayor: resettlement of residents possible
The idea of resettlement of inhabitants was commented on by councilor Mariusz Borowski (Left). In his opinion, “the authors of the concept have crossed a certain line.” – Because for the functionality of their vision, they decided to deprive Praga of their soul. Buildings without inhabitants are dead buildings – he commented and noted that the addresses to be checked out were “buildings that are about to be connected to central heating”. – You are proposing to deprive the next several dozen, if not even several hundred, flats – he accused.
The deputy mayor of the district, Dariusz Kacprzak, referred to his words. – We indicated that there may be a possibility of re-housing residents from this part of the district, because we still receive complaints that the eateries on the ground floors generate noise – explained the deputy mayor.
He added that the purpose of eviction from the front buildings is to improve the housing conditions of tenants. – Hence, we indicated the need to build municipal buildings. In order to guarantee these people better housing conditions in our district – he assured. He also stressed that “it is not the case that mayors will evict people, perhaps to Radom or anywhere else”.
Main photo source: project initiative sp. z o. o