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Car or no car to commute in Warszawa? (Warsaw)

VEIK 2 | -
18 Aug 2011 #1
We are in the process of moving from US to Poland.
We have an option of bringing a car to Poland.

We plan on living in Warsaw, close to city center.

I am used to biking to work in US.

How bike friendly is Warsaw?
f stop 25 | 2,513
18 Aug 2011 #2
It's been a while since I've been in Warsaw (I lived there till I was 16 and then I've been back for vacations twice). But I do remember Poles are terrible discourteous drivers. Freaking wild west out there! Unless there've been many bike paths or lanes made, I would not get next to them on a bike, either.

But I do remember the public transportation very fondly :)
All considered, it probably is a least stressful choice. Not to mention the green points.
beckski 12 | 1,617
18 Aug 2011 #3
But I do remember Poles are terrible discourteous drivers

That's putting it politely. My sis & I had to run for our lives a couple different times, while crossing the street in Warszawa.
rt3d 10 | 46
18 Aug 2011 #4
There are quite a plethora of bike lanes..
i would not advice driving a vehicle during the week days in the city, only on certain circumstant
to drop kids off to school etc.. due to huge traffics,
public transport is very good.. not the best but compare to London...
and i would not advice biking during winter..
pip 10 | 1,661
18 Aug 2011 #5
I live in Warsaw.
The city is building more bike lanes on the outer city- like Wilanow and Ursynow. Within the city there is not a lot. My husband did bike to work last week and it took him 5 minutes longer than it would have in the car. From where we live there is a bike path that goes close to centrum then he just drove on the roads.

warsaw is sort of bike friendly- it is not unfriendly but it doesn't have a vast amount of bike lanes.

But, if you plan on living in the city centre -you don't need a car, the metro line and tram lines are really good if you are nervous about biking.
mafketis 24 | 8,721
18 Aug 2011 #6
I like to bike but I wouldn' advise it in Poland. Polish drivers are not very bike conscious and the weather a lot of the year doesn't encourage it either.

I second the public transport option. It's safe, cheap and pretty efficient. Also walking. The streets are very safe and walking is great exercise (better than biking).

A car is not needed in central Warsaw unless you need to drive to the outskirts (or all over town) a lot. Gas is expensive, theft is still a worry, parking almost impossible and traffic is already overcrowded.

Also, unless things have changed you'll probably have to have the taillights changed:

The longest (in time) and most frustrating trips I've had in Warsaw were by car. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
dcchris 8 | 432
18 Aug 2011 #7
I live in Warsaw and ride everyday. The drivers are angry as hell and REALLY dont like cyclists here. They have no concept of sharing the road. Still the backwards village mentality of "I have a car so I am more important than you". So in that way its far from bike friendly. Lots of bike paths now but almost none in the center. Live close to your work. No need for a car here except to get out of town. There is a bike path map online. That said cycling has become quite popular just in the last year here; one could even say trendy, of course that ends in the winter ;). Public transit is ok although now they are hiking the rates and plan to double them in the next 5 years. All utilities are being increased here as well.
pip 10 | 1,661
18 Aug 2011 #8
that is a great map- thanks for posting this. how old is it- do you know?
BRS 2 | 48
18 Aug 2011 #9
I lived here for 8 years without a car and didn't think it was necessary.

I've now owned a car for 3 years and realized life is noticeably better with a car than without in Warsaw.

New cars here are expensive, so you may want to consider bringing yours - I believe if you owned it >6 months you can bring it in tax free (you'll want to confirm this) and potentially there are modifications that would be necessary.

However if you are just here for a short time I wouldn't bring a car.

Regarding riding a bike, I don't find it that bike friendly here (in the center of Warsaw).
18 Aug 2011 #10
Biking in Warsaw is easy and safe, if you stay alert and conscious. Don't listen to the whiners. There is no better way to get to know the city other than by biking. You see bikes/bikers everywhere (including me) :-) And if you are here eventually, try to join the monthly (or so) event referred to as Masa Krytyczna (critical mass) whereby thousands of bikers go across town together in support of bike friendly legislation and lifestyle.... :-)
grubas 12 | 1,391
18 Aug 2011 #11
Just to give you some idea what it looks like to bike in Warsaw:
It seems that a motorcycle or a scooter is not a bad idea in Warsaw:
Anyway, f u c k krawaciarzy.
18 Aug 2011 #12
Biking in Warsaw is easy and safe, if you stay alert and conscious. Don't listen to the whiners.

That`s very unbiased comment . I would say that biking in Warsaw becomes more and more popular.There is plenty of new infastructure already build for bikers, but also it is worth to point it out that , within one year a road system in Warsaw will significantly change for better . The whole new system of highways around Warsaw in curently under construction, so driving will be much easier soon . Drivers are sometimes very frustarted and that`s why they are rude sometimes, but it is also not a common attitude . Most driwers are nice , but you have to bear in mind those years of neglected area in Poland as public roads and infrastructure . If you can bring your car from USA , bring it , you will not regret it , take a bike too, both will be very useful . Within only one year you will notice new road system across Poland and you will appreciate your mobility a lot.
25 Aug 2011 #13
life is noticeably better with a car than without in Warsaw.

Especially in the winter!!!!

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