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Are Polish roads really this bad?


pawian 181 | 17,077
27 Aug 2011 #151
=Sebastian]Why do you call Vilnius, Wilno, and Lviv, lwow?

They are Polish names which have been used for centuries.

I have just completed all my holiday trips and I can say roads are getting better every year and even those bad ones are scheduled for the major renovation in the nearest future.

Also, country roads are a surprise to me. Many, though very narrow, were OK.

My estimate from holidays:

5% roads which are a disaster. Slow down considerably or damage your car.
10% bad, with holes and bumps. Slow drive advised.
30% patched and bumpy, require renovation, but are still driveable without slowing.
25% - renovated in the past and good.
30% newly renovated, in very good condition.
DriveSafe
23 Dec 2011 #152
Judging by the atrocious driving standards and road conditions in Poland, they may as well just give Polish driving licenses away in Christmas crackers.

From the FCO website giving travel advice for people visiting Poland and having the misfortune of having to drive:

"There are few dual carriageways and even main roads between major towns and cities can be narrow and are often poorly surfaced. Streetlights, even in major cities, are weak. Local driving standards are poor: speed limits, traffic lights and road signs are often ignored and drivers rarely indicate before manoeuvring.In 2010 there were 3,907 road deaths in Poland (source: DfT). This equates to 10.2 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 3.1 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2010."
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
23 Dec 2011 #153
Judging by the atrocious driving standards and road conditions in Poland, they may as well just give Polish driving licenses away in Christmas crackers.

And yet the driving exam is rigorous and contains a built-in check to remove drivers even getting on the road.

The driving standards are only poor because of the lack of enforcement, nothing more. Road conditions are also mostly fine.

"There are few dual carriageways and even main roads between major towns and cities can be narrow and are often poorly surfaced.

Utter crap. It was true, but these days, it's simply not true anymore.

Streetlights, even in major cities, are weak.

Utter crap, again. I'd love for someone to point out where there are "weak" streetlights in Wroclaw or Poznan.
irishguy11 6 | 157
23 Dec 2011 #154
I agree with delph here, the motorways between Kraokow/Katowice and Mikolow are great. I did drive from Katowice to Gdansk once, and the whole drive was grand(11 hours)
DriveSafe
23 Dec 2011 #155
I'm glad you're happy with the street lighting in Poznan , but you're living in a dream world if you think that Polish driving standards or roads are great.

Irishguy, it's great that you've got a nice stretch of motorway, but I think you need to consider the country as a whole. Looking at the picture, things are not great at all in Poland when it comes to driving standards and driving conditions. It's getting better, but it'll be a long time before it's up to the standards in the west and pretending otherwise is foolish.
irishguy11 6 | 157
23 Dec 2011 #156
a nice stretch of motorway, I drove for 11 hours. That is not a stretch. Everytime Iam on the A4 they are working on it
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
23 Dec 2011 #157
I'm glad you're happy with the street lighting in Poznan , but you're living in a dream world if you think that Polish driving standards or roads are great.

There's nothing wrong with Polish testing standards, in fact - the PCV/HGV regime is tougher than the UK version.

The roads are also fine in many cases - I can drive between here and Wroclaw on empty, well maintained roads with light traffic. Not much to complain about there.

If I fancy a weekend in Krakow, it's about a 6 hour drive along motorways/expressways. Again - nothing to complain about.

but I think you need to consider the country as a whole.

Why? Most people aren't driving from nowhereville to nowhereville.

It's getting better, but it'll be a long time before it's up to the standards in the west and pretending otherwise is foolish.

Driving standards would improve overnight if enforcement was ramped up.

Roads are mostly fine. In fact, I don't recall the last time I drove on a DK road that wasn't well maintained. The worst I can think of is the DK5 just south of Leszno, but that's about to get fixed.
DriveSafe
23 Dec 2011 #158
If it took you 11 hours to drive 350 miles, it certainly was grand! you must have felt as fresh as a daisy when you arrived! :-)
irishguy11 6 | 157
23 Dec 2011 #159
we did have pit stops. The main point was that the roads were all good, only got lost for 10 mins in Poznan. It was actual closer to Slupsk
DriveSafe
23 Dec 2011 #160
There's nothing wrong with Polish testing standards

From the standard of driving I've witnessed (driving in the wrong lane, not indicating, driving too fast, driving aggresively, driving to close to other vehicles, driving without consideration for other road users, driving with undue care and attention) I don't think you can blame all that on a lack of enforcement. It seems to me that driver's bad habits are systemic and I wonder if the testing standards don't come into it somewhere.

The roads are also fine in many cases - I can drive between here and Wroclaw on empty, well maintained roads with light traffic. Not much to complain about there.

Just because the drive between wherever it is you live and Wroclaw is along well maintained and empty roads doesn't mean the same is true for the rest of the country. And again, the anecdotal evidence suggests that you are wrong.

We can agree on one thing - if only enforcement was erm...enforced, then things would get better alot quicker.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
23 Dec 2011 #161
It is absolutely everything to do with enforcement and the penalty points system. All of those things can be mostly stamped out through a police presence that focuses on it - people would soon change their ways if they were getting hit with serious punishments. As it stands, idiotic, stupid driving can only be punished with a maximum of 10 points - and you get 24 points a year to play with. If it was 24 points in 3 years, things would change dramatically.

The testing system is rigid, monitored closely and is comparable to the UK system - actually, it's better than the UK system due to the video cameras/microphones in cars. The compulsory theory and driving practice also ensures a minimum ability before progressing to the test - my instructor had actually refused to sign off several people as having completed the course to a satisfactory standard.

Just because the drive between wherever it is you live and Wroclaw is along well maintained and empty roads doesn't mean the same is true for the rest of the country.

Specific examples, please? Anecdotal evidence is just that, anecdotal. I've driven all over Poland, and the only shocking roads are unclassified roads. Even the mountain passes are in a decent state of repair - I drove Wroclaw-Harrachov not so long ago and it was fine.

As it stands, most major Polish cities are connected via expressway or motorway these days. Once the current building programme is complete, things will be fine.

About the only major issue right now is the lack of a good connection between Wroclaw-Prague.

(ah, there is one place where the road sucks - the A18.)
DriveSafe
23 Dec 2011 #162
Actually there's statistical, physical and evidence, but I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, but I can't be bothered with you any more.

Anyone with half a brain knows that the roads and standards of driving in Poland are not up to scratch - getting better yes, but far from the mark.

The evidence is all around.

Enjoy your super highway, I'm done here.
croggers 7 | 109
23 Dec 2011 #163
sorry but I have to agree with DriveSafe!! anyone defending Polish drivers are either Polish or idiots! I sometimes wonder how they passed their tests in the first place. Don't agree that its the lack of enforcement's fault too. what, because there are no police knocking around you can drive like a total f ing pr**k?! I feel so strongly about it as I have to walk /drive these streets with my daughter. the other day a car drives up to us does a handbrake turn then drives in the opposite direction. This is one of very many situations ive encountered. Also have to agree with poor DIM lighting. Street signs ARE a joke. Too many, Ive seen upto 7 signs on one post in places. Soon there will be sign posts warning you that in 20m there will be a sign.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
23 Dec 2011 #164
Actually there's statistical, physical and evidence, but I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, but I can't be bothered with you any more.

I'm wondering about these specific examples of poorly maintained national roads. I've given you one, and that's the only one I've encountered in the entire time driving here. The rest are fine by European standards.

Anyone with half a brain knows that the roads and standards of driving in Poland are not up to scratch - getting better yes, but far from the mark.

Anyone with half a brain can see the nice new motorways and expressways popping up everywhere. Or was I dreaming when I drove on 2x2 minimum roads to Krakow recently?

The evidence is all around.

So you don't actually have specific examples of poorly maintained roads. What a surprise.

Even DW roads tend to be well maintained in Poland, especially in tricky terrain.

Enjoy your super highway, I'm done here.

I will, and I'll also enjoy the fact that there is much less traffic on them than in Germany, for instance.

Don't agree that its the lack of enforcement's fault too. what, because there are no police knocking around you can drive like a total f ing pr**k?!

Pretty much. That's the Polish mentality in play - if you think you can get away with something, you do. Even if you're caught, 10 points maximum (and often far less) isn't much of a deterrent.

Also have to agree with poor DIM lighting.

Where? I'm really wondering where this dim lighting is, because I've driven all over the place and haven't seen anything like this.

Street signs ARE a joke. Too many, Ive seen upto 7 signs on one post in places. Soon there will be sign posts warning you that in 20m there will be a sign.

Where are you people driving? I don't see anything like this here...
croggers 7 | 109
23 Dec 2011 #165
Where?

Gdansk

Where are you people driving?

Gdansk

Ill try and get picture for you later ;)
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
23 Dec 2011 #166
Ill try and get picture for you later ;)

Please do :)

Actually - from what I can see in Poland, the issue is on roads that aren't maintained by the GDDKiA - especially in cities. Wroclaw for instance has absolutely horrible roads, and Poznan isn't much better.
bullfrog 6 | 602
23 Dec 2011 #167
Anyone with half a brain can see the nice new motorways and expressways popping up everywhere. Or was I dreaming when I drove on 2x2 minimum roads to Krakow recently?

Come on Delph, it is true that road connections in South west Poland (ie Wroclaw and Krakow areas) are OK and well connected to the German autobahn system.. But awhat about the rest of the country?? Consider that Warsaw, the capital, is still not connected by full motorway to any part of the country!! There are not many european capitals facing this situation..
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
23 Dec 2011 #168
A2 will be complete (properly) by the end of 2012 :)

There's a lot opening at the minute - a new section of A1 just opened, too. And countless small expressway bypasses are opening, too.

The latest map (but still not totally up-to-date - some more stuff has opened since) - ssc-mapa.googlecode.com/svn-history/r564/trunk/nowa-mapa.png

I sometimes suspect that people are basing their knowledge on outdated internet maps rather than the actual situation on the ground. A lot is opening very, very quickly - it's hard to keep track of what's actually opened.

That map is also a bit misleading - for instance, Lodz-Katowice is dual carriageway the whole way right now, but it's awaiting upgrade to full motorway.
bullfrog 6 | 602
23 Dec 2011 #169
Things are changing fast, but we're not there yet:

-as you point out, A2 is still not finished. Plans are for end 2012 but initially it was meant to be ready for the Euro
- another example: driving from the capital to the country's 2nd largest city , Lodz, which is less than 120 km away, is still a nightmare!!

But we'll get there sometime!!
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
23 Dec 2011 #170
-as you point out, A2 is still not finished. Plans are for end 2012 but initially it was meant to be ready for the Euro

The original plan was that something will be open for Euro 2012, then close again to be finished. That's probably what will happen - the road will be "drivable", but unfinished.

- another example: driving from the capital to the country's 2nd largest city , Lodz, which is less than 120 km away, is still a nightmare!!

Patience ;)

I think Poland will be unrecognisable by 2020 in terms of roads :)
Harry
23 Dec 2011 #171
I'm wondering about these specific examples of poorly maintained national roads.

The road from Wlodawa to Lublin is pretty bad in places. And the road from Wlodawa to Warsaw is downright terrible in places. Przemysl to Sanok certainly has its moments. As does Chelm to Wlodawa. And Wlodawa to Biala Podlaska. And Chelm to Zamosc. Kock to Lubartow wasn't too clever either.

the nice new motorways and expressways popping up everywhere.

Everywhere except the east and south east. Warsaw to Lublin is 90% single carriageway. Lublin to Radom 100%. Sandomierz to Radom 100%. Warsaw to Siedlce (and on to Biala Podlaska) 100%. Warsaw to Bialystok 75%. See the pattern?
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
23 Dec 2011 #172
The road from Wlodawa to Lublin is pretty bad in places. And the road from Wlodawa to Warsaw is downright terrible in places. Przemysl to Sanok certainly has its moments. As does Chelm to Wlodawa. And Wlodawa to Biala Podlaska. And Chelm to Zamosc. Kock to Lubartow wasn't too clever either.

Ah, knew someone actually living here would pop up with the facts soon ;)

Przemysl to Sanok is one hell of a fun road though - that bit when it climbs up with hairpins is "interesting".

Everywhere except the east and south east. Warsaw to Lublin is 90% single carriageway. Lublin to Radom 100%. Sandomierz to Radom 100%. Warsaw to Siedlce (and on to Biala Podlaska) 100%. Warsaw to Bialystok 75%. See the pattern?

I think you can quite clearly see political influence there - the powers that be have absolutely no interest in opening up that part of Poland.
Harry
23 Dec 2011 #173
Przemysl to Sanok is one hell of a fun road though - that bit when it climbs up with hairpins is "interesting".

Doing the downhill hairpins during a summer storm with lightning cracking all over the place is fun too.

the powers that be have absolutely no interest in opening up that part of Poland.

Suits me, I'd like it kept quiet. I'm dreading the day that the airport in Lublin opens and British stag night scum start pouring into the place.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,768
23 Dec 2011 #174
Speaking in broad comparative terms, taking into account overall distances and overall traffic, roads running east to west in my experience always seem to be in better repair than roads running north south.

anyone else notice this?
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
23 Dec 2011 #175
anyone else notice this?

Yes - especially the roads running east of Warsaw.
Harry
23 Dec 2011 #176
Are you joking?! The roads running east of Warsaw are among the worst in Poland! The only worse ones are those running north south in the east. Oh, and the roads running from Wlodawa to pretty much anywhere.
ReservoirDog - | 132
23 Dec 2011 #177
Polish roads are still bad. Bad is the quality of materials: low aggregate / stone and a lot of tar - it shows the color of the road. By the poor quality of road materials (new roads looks great) after two or three years has folds, is patched. Construction and maintenance of roads in Poland is also more expensive than in some countries (Spain, Greece) where climate is stable. In Poland, the temperature range from - 20 in winter to about 30 in summer. In winter, the holes in the road are created by freezing water in cracks, folds are formed in the summer by the weight of cars. It's as if in winter and summer we drive a car on summer tires and vice versa.

What else? there are so many trucks on the road, where speed is usually lower for them than the permitted speed for passenger cars. I live in the area of national road No. 7, although if it had two lanes ... Damn, in the south hey have the road called Gierkówka. Two-lane road here where I live is only from Warsaw to Plonsk, and then only in Elblag's surroundings. If somebody is a little goes then passing 11 hours is nothing extraordinary, but when someone wants to go on a weekend or more often then it is a problem : ). Passing that way to me from point A to point B, 240 km away, takes 4 hours so average speed is 60 km /h.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,768
23 Dec 2011 #178
Yes - especially the roads running east of Warsaw.

do you mean those running north-south which are east of Warsaw?
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
23 Dec 2011 #179
Mostly the East-West routes
OP rybnik 18 | 1,461
23 Dec 2011 #180
the motorways between Kraokow/Katowice

extend that to Wrocław. I was simply very impressed with the roadway. Very nice indeed.


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