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Architecture of the absurd. Footbridge for the disabled over the A1 highway.

06 of May '21

This project quickly gained popularity. Unfortunately, not necessarily positive... The new footbridge for pedestrians was built at the height of the "B" section of the A1 freeway under construction - Piotrków Trybunalski Kamieńsk. The footbridge for the disabled in Wola Krzysztoporska was opened on April 29. Why has the structure gained such notoriety? The long ramp ra ises doubts not only from experts.

Architectural standards versus reality

Motorists are eagerly awaiting the completion of the A1 autosrtrada. On some 20 new road overpasses, contractors are building sidewalks or pedestrian and bicycle paths. They are also putting up new footbridges for non-motorists. This particularly famous footbridge for the disabled was built in the municipality of Wola Krzysztoporska. Thanks to it, wheelchair users, cyclists and pedestrians can safely and... comfortably cross the A1 highway. It turns out that the footbridge meets all the architectural standards that the law specifies. However, will the disabled and cyclists be able to use it? At first glance, the long, tight ramps raise doubts.

Photo: Anna Wiktorowicz, Wola Krzysztoporska Municipality Office

180-degree turns

Investors assure the media that the footbridge meets legally required standards and is theoretically adapted to the needs of the disabled. But in order to use the crossing, the disabled or parents with small children in strollers, as well as cyclists, will have to negotiate six ramps on one side, then cross a narrow passageway dozens of meters above the highway, and then descend by again negotiating six ramps with 180-degree turns.

Six climbs totaling about 126 meters with 180-degree turns. It sounds like an extreme mission, and it's just crossing to the other side of the road.

The shape of the structure caught the specialattention of the media and Internet users. Internet users and activists were quick to suggest a number of interesting comparisons in the comments. In addition, the questionable attractiveness of the construction, added to the bright colors and combination of materials. Concrete piles and metal railings, which were painted yellow and green.

Photo: Anna Wiktorowicz, Wola Krzysztoporska Municipality Office

esctrinal footbridge or elevator?

Many Internet users suggest that an elevator would be a better solution at this location. However, when asked about this issue by Gazeta Wyborcza, Andrzej Niewieczerzal, chairman of the board of the Crossing Borders Foundation, answers that elevators in such places often involve additional special staff, which ultimately means that to use a walkway in such a remote location, one has to make a special appointment with the footbridge staff.

Photo: Anna Wiktorowicz, Wola Krzysztoporska Municipality Office

The distance is large and requires considerable strength in the hands to cross it. Additional rests are needed where a wheelchair user can catch his or her breath. Also slowdowns to ensure a safer descent from the footbridge," Andrzej Niewieczerzal said in a commentary for Gazeta Wyborcza.

The foundation's president points out that the ramp of the footbridge should be improved, but is it possible? Why is it so difficult to come up with people-friendly structures?

Marta Kowalska

The vote has already been cast