On Tuesday morning, as I sauntered from the Świętokrzyska underground station to the office along ul. Świętokrzyska, watching construction crews bustling about to tidy up the unfinished street to meet the opening deadline of the turn of October, I said to myself “If they’re going to the works and open the street tonight, I’m a Dutchman”. The upshot of my unbefitting doubts is reflected in the title of the post… (credit to Google Translate)
On Tuesday late afternoon works were in overdrive, it seemed the general contractor was determined to bend over backwards and finish off by the end of September… On Wednesday morning I learnt online the streets above the central section of the second underground line had been opened. To the right – what I beheld as I emerged from underground. Doesn’t look spick and span, but it has been opened – the intersection ul. Marszałkowska and ul. Świętokrzyska.
As I march west, the sight of flowerpots, benches, cycling path and the very road, narrowed down to two lanes, gives ample evidence the development has been finished in haste. Looks nice, but lacks freshness it should exude… The opening could have been delayed by a few days to polish all the stuff up.
Emilii Plater and decide to snap (this time the regular camera is employed) part of Warsaw’s skyline; looking from the left: Żagiel (one of symbols of construction boom in Warsaw, under construction since 2007, after many tribulations, including suspension of works for over a year and finally termination of loan for the investor by Bank Pekao S.A. in late winter 2014; following the default the building was sold to another investor, however future dwellers, some of who paid tens of zlotys for each square metre of their apartments, still cannot move in as the occupancy permit has not been issued), Intercontinental Warsaw (I once went to a café there), Warsaw Financial Centre and beyond it, Rondo 1.
At Rondo ONZ it turns out traffic light are switched off, causing chaos on the roundabout. In the foreground – cycling paths. While looking at arrangement of cycling paths and how they cross pedestrians areas, it occurred to me at some places layout could have been more wisely designed. As the letter to weekend edition of Gazeta Stołeczna shows, I’m not the only one to have reached such conclusion.
And for the record, almost the same place in July 2011, construction site fenced off, long way before life returns to that place and changes its face.
West beyond Rondo ONZ, ul. Prosta has been broadened to three lanes in each direction. Prior to underground construction, this section of ul. Prosta has been a bottleneck. Now, after rearranging the historical Norblin factory, the street deserves a status of regular thoroughfare, as it goes further behind Rondo Daszyńskiego.
Again for the record – the very bottleneck in November 2011. A gloomy, dejecting picture, with hindsight filling one with hopes for a brighter future; the future that has become the present.
And another snap from November 2011, taken at the very end of the central section, where construction works began in September 2010. Now Żagiel (in the background, surrounded by cranes, under construction) is almost finished, where building machines stood, now is a wide dual carriageway.
For me the just opened streets bring little benefit in terms of improving my ways of moving around Warsaw, but for many residents of Warsaw it may signal the intense public infrastructure development programme, inconvenient for many of them, is drawing to a close. No doubt, the worst is over and effects are visible. I sense HGW will be elected for the third term as Warsaw’s mayor. Far from being a perfect host of the city, her pursuit of ‘lukewarm water in the tap’ policy is quite successful…