Director of the capital’s Municipal Roads Authority, Łukasz Puchalski, said that in order to improve pedestrian traffic conditions, further ground crossings will be designated. – Which does not mean dismantling the footbridges. We approach each case individually, he noted.
Puchalski emphasized that underground pedestrian crossings serve different functions. – In the very center, where we have the Dmowski and Czterdziestolatka roundabouts, the construction of above-ground crossings did not stop people from walking underground. Life at these intersections functions both at level -1 – because there are transfers to the railway or subway, and people using them appreciate the ability to reach a specific destination at level -1, without going outside. However, those who move at level zero criticize the descent, Puchalski said.
He noted that due to the fact that life takes place on two levels in these places, there is no point in messing around with underground passages at both the Dmowskiego and Czterdziestolatka roundabouts. – And it is worth carrying out further renovation works there to preserve these passages – he added.
Some footbridges remain
He explained that there are places, such as on Jagiellońska Street, where the pedestrian footbridge was extremely worn out. – In this case, you either had to spend PLN 4 million to renovate it or designate a ground crossing. So we marked a ground crossing for one million zlotys and dismantled the footbridge, he said.
– However, e.g. at Poligonowa, we will designate a pedestrian crossing, but we will leave the footbridge. Because it is in good condition and if someone wants to cross the footbridge, they will have the opportunity to do so. However, in the years to come, if this footbridge reaches the level of extreme wear and tear, then we will face the dilemma of whether to delete it or not. But today it costs us nothing to maintain, so if it can continue to function, it will stay, said the director of ZDM.
“We approach each case individually”
He emphasized that there are places such as the Wolska/Młynarska underpass, where money would have to be invested, because it is actually mostly scary. – Besides, it is basically impossible to designate a ground passage without eliminating the staircases. They are located closest to the intersection and to bypass these staircases the tram stops would have to be rebuilt. Since the staircases also overlook tram stops, these stops would have to be moved away from the intersection. To designate a crossing not at the intersection itself but behind the staircases, the stopping line for cars would have to be moved. This would result in significant time losses at the intersection itself and traffic jams would occur, Puchalski explained.
He added that designating an overground crossing here is tantamount to eliminating the underpass. – There is no other way to do this – he said. – We approach each case individually – he added.
After the reconstruction of Na Rozdrożu Square, road workers marked out the above-ground pedestrian crossings and filled the underground ones. In 2024, they want to do the same, including: at the Zesłańców Siberyckich roundabout. They also plan to announce a tender for the construction of a ground pedestrian crossing on Ostrobramska, Poligonowa and Grenadierów streets, where there are now footbridges.
Main photo source: Tomasz Zieliński / tvnwarszawa.pl