Broken glass, paint falling off, lighting that doesn't work, the stench of urine and holes in the floor. This is how the underpass in the heart of Warsaw's Wola district presents itself. The relic of decades—old planning was supposed to be backfilled, but the signing of the contract will not happen soon. Pedestrians will continue to be excluded.
One of the most neglected underpassesin Warsaw has been waiting for years to be backfilled and replaced with a street—level crossing. Announcements on the matter, related to, among other things, the reconstruction of the nearby Gwara Warszawska square, have been repeated by the authorities for a long time. The reconstruction of the intersection was supposed to be financed by Skanska, but the company is in no hurry to start the investment, which would be linked to a contract with the city. City Hall itself is not planning the work individually, waiting for the developer. The vicious circle of official—developer arrangements has left pedestrians bogged down, forced to use neglected, safety—threatening infrastructure.
The developer still has not applied for an agreement. The reconstruction of the road system in connection with the non—road project under construction is necessarily linked to the building that this developer is to erect, which it is not doing as of yet.
Jakub Dybalski, Spokesman for the Municipal Roads Administration
The passage has been the subject of much publicity in recent times on two occasions. About a year ago, all of the stores in the underpass moved out of the commercial premises. Since then, the out—of—control space has fallen into increasing disrepair. Recently, the tan passageway was again brought to the attention of the City Is Ours Association, among others, when it turned out that (once again) the grates protecting the drainage ditches at the stairs had disappeared.
Instead of repairing the defect, which threatened the health of pedestrians, barriers and stumbling blocks appeared. The crossing, if it were to serve for years to come, would require a major overhaul, including replacement of electrical systems, insulation of the ceiling plus adaptation to the needs of people with mobility difficulties.
A very cursory estimate can be made that the cost of such work could exceed PLN 10 million. Since it is planned to decommission it and replace it with above—ground crossings, we are limiting ourselves to ongoing measures to maintain the crossing in a condition that will not endanger users, and their cost is several thousand zlotys a year. This mainly involves removing the consequences of devastation (broken glass, removal of graffiti, theft of scrap metal). Cleanliness of floors or, for example, snow removal are the tasks of the City Cleansing Board, which takes care of the road strip in this regard.
Jakub Dybalski, Spokesman for the City Roads Authority
Unfortunately, waiting for the developer for years to come does not involve taking even temporary measures that would improve the accessibility of the intersection for pedestrians and allow people with limited mobility to use an important interchange. The nearest roadway—level crossings are more than 800 meters away at this location. ZDM is skeptical about the idea of designating temporary crossings at the end of streetcar stops.