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Warsaw no longer the most congested city in Europe!


Harry
14 May 2015 #1
Interesting to see that TomTom's Annual Congestion Index for 2014 is out and Warsaw has lost its position as the worst city in Europe for traffic. In 2011 Warsaw took the top spot for the entire world before slipping back to number three in the 2012 rankings. Another fall saw it drop to number seven worldwide in the 2013 ranking. Now the city has lost its title of most congested city in Europe, with Bucharest jumping ahead at 41% compared to Warsaw's 40%. This result means that if you drive 30 minutes per day to work and then 30 minutes back, you waste 25 minutes per day; so over a year you waste 96 hours.

The good news is that the 2014 result doesn't take into account the fact that Warsaw is now missing one bridge after Lazienkowski bridge caught fire and is now closed indefinitely. I reckon that closure should give Warsaw the push it needs to get back up there as Europe's most congested city!
Polsyr 6 | 761
14 May 2015 #2
Still, Warsaw is in the top 10 most congested...

But they did not take into consideration some major cities from South and East Asia or even certain African cities - which is like the "traffic" equivalent of " ranking the world's top football teams" without taking into consideration European and South American teams.

Traffic any given day in Cairo is at least as bad as Los Angeles (I say this from the commuter's point of view since I spent time in both places), and let's not get started with cities within the Indian subcontinent...
Levi 12 | 442
14 May 2015 #3
It is easy to understand why Krakow is one of the less congested cities :)

It is really something praisable the quality of the public transport in most polish cities. Even more developed countries like USA or Australia could learn a lot with the poles.

Also i think that one of the reasons for that is that most poles doesnt have this stupidity of spend ********* in a car just to impress people and look with a supposed prestige, like in virtually all other countries that i had been.

For me, this think of "i will buy a brand new Bmw so everyone will admire it" is typical of slow brain people that have loan debits behind their back.
jon357 74 | 21,843
14 May 2015 #4
The good news is that the 2014 result doesn't take into account the fact that Warsaw is now missing one bridge after Lazienkowski bridge caught fire and is now closed indefinitely. I reckon that closure should give Warsaw the push it needs to get back up there as Europe's most congested city!

It's got a lot worse since the bridge stopped. Plus, while they were doing all the road works to connect up the bypass there were horrific jams in the North east of the city.

One exacerbating factor sometimes is when they stop traffic for some dignitary. When Angela Merkel visited, the whole of Trasa £azienkowska was sealed off for 45 minutes (during the rush hour!) before her journey - couldn't they have popped her in a helicopter? They even still stop the traffic for the Premier etc, Soviet-style.

Another problem is poor traffic management sometimes with unphased traffic lights causing gridlock at junctions. That and the very low standards of driving.

Down by the office parks by Galeria Mokotow was always the worst - partly due to a lack of joined up thinking when planning permission was granted to build them without reference to future traffic issues. Under the economic circumstances, that was excusable - the priority was jobs and the economy, but this was very little consolation for people stuck on the bus for an hour.

It is really something praisable the quality of the public transport in most polish cities

They actually do very well, however there is still some room for improvement, especially on commuter routes.

Restricting pensioners' discounts to after 9.30 in the morning and not between 15.30 and 17.30 would be a great help in Warsaw. It's a problem when people doing a full day's work are jammed on buses that stop for longer than they might and others having priority for the seats because of 85 year olds who must, simply must do their shopping every day during the 8am rush hour.
OP Harry
14 May 2015 #5
Another problem is poor traffic management sometimes with unphased traffic lights causing gridlock at junctions.

I have no idea why Warsaw city council can't paint yellow boxes on the junctions at traffic lights and install cameras to photograph the number plates of morons who drive onto a junction when there isn't space to drive off it, thus blocking the junction when the lights change (which apparently no driver can expect to happen).

That and the very low standards of driving.

Last week somebody got very upset with me for not driving onto a junction when there wasn't space to drive off it. After leaning on his horn for a while he undertook me and roared onto the junction, only to be left blocking the junction due to there not being space to drive off it and the lights changing.
Roger5 1 | 1,449
14 May 2015 #6
Restricting pensioners' discounts to after 9.30

Every Pole I've told about this idea (standard in the UK) agrees with it. Unfortunately, the awkward grey squad is, as you know, quite loud and powerful here. I gave up using the bus ages ago. The sight of elderly people having long chats about their fare while workers were trying to get to work drove me nuts.
jon357 74 | 21,843
14 May 2015 #7
(standard in the UK)

awkward grey squad is, as you know, quite loud and powerful herer

Yep!

Another issue is that in the UK it's being challenged in the European Courts by pensioners' rights groups as illegal so an awkward time to introduce it to Poland.

In Warsaw, it's the 'lateral' buses (i.e. the one's that don't go towards the centre) and pass markets and supermarkets that are the worst. They get stuck in huge traffic jams anyway and the granny thing at each stop just makes it worse.
Polsyr 6 | 761
14 May 2015 #8
unphased traffic lights causing gridlock at junctions

The virus of Warsaw roads I would say... Requires a cheap and easy fix and would improve things for thousands of people yet the total lack of will to do it is just appalling!
OP Harry
14 May 2015 #9
Unfortunately, the awkward grey squad is, as you know, quite loud and powerful here. I gave up using the bus ages ago.

The solution is to do away with OAP discounts on public transport in Warsaw: just to make it free for OAPs except between 07.30 to 09.30 and 16.00 to 18.00 on weekdays (during those hours they would pay full price).
Roger5 1 | 1,449
14 May 2015 #10
It's free in my old mum-in-law's little Podlasian town, so I'm sure Warsaw can afford it.
OP Harry
14 May 2015 #11
Probably not, actually. One of the problems of Warsaw (and a growing problem) are the people who live here during the week and then at the weekend go back to the village/town they are from (and come back with lots of jars of food for the next week). Not that there's a problem per se with that, if anything it makes the city more pleasant at the weekend, as it's empty; the problem is that those people pay their taxes in those places and so Warsaw gets nothing from them or for them.

Oh, and they clog up all the roads out on Friday afternoon/evening and Sunday evening / Monday morning. It's so bad here now that I wouldn't even dream of driving anywhere between 15.00 and 18.30 on Fridays.
Polsyr 6 | 761
14 May 2015 #12
Warsaw gets nothing from them

I agree about traffic jams, and I add environmental cost in terms of added pollution, but what about the places they rent or buy in Warsaw, aren't these properties taxed by the city? What about their employers in Warsaw, don't they pay some taxes?
OP Harry
14 May 2015 #13
but what about the places they rent or buy in Warsaw, aren't these properties taxed by the city?

How many landlords do you know who declare their rental income and pay the tax on it?! Pity really, some of that tax which isn't paid could be used to do something about the congestion in Warsaw.

What about their employers in Warsaw, don't they pay some taxes?

One would hope that the employers do. But the problem still remains that people who live and work here don't pay their taxes here and so are not contributing to the city at all.

There is that Karta Warszawiaka thing which was recently introduced (15% off monthly tickets for people who pay their taxes in Warsaw) but personally I'd go a lot further: make public transport in Warsaw free for people who pay their taxes here and fund that by jacking up the price of tickets for everybody else. Public transport is the best answer to traffic jams, so making it free for all of us who live here would do a lot to cut congestion here.
bullfrog 6 | 602
14 May 2015 #14
Well, it is Istanbul who gets this year the dubious honour of being the most congested city of the world:

independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/istanbul-revealed-as-the-most-congested-city-in-the-world-10149543.html

Everyday, I congratulate myself for having precisely chosen my place of abode so as to minimize time to travel to the office!
jon357 74 | 21,843
14 May 2015 #15
Very sensible. Istanbul traffic is much scarier than Warsaw's - crossing the road is a nightmare. Warsaw does have its moments though. by the way, we also chose our home in a place where my other half doesn't have to commute.

Some of the Warsaw problems could be solved with a congestion charge like London's together with improving the commuter trains (not just the SKM) and more park and ride. The few park and ride places that opened are so far a success.
Polsyr 6 | 761
14 May 2015 #16
make public transport in Warsaw free for people who pay their taxes here and fund that by jacking up the price of tickets for everybody else

That is disconnected from reality. People don't have a preference for the long commute in and out of the city; they live further away and commute long distances primarily due to budget constraints. It is simply cheaper to live further away from the city. FYI: the asking prices for rentals of newer 50 square meter 2BR apartments in Warsaw today exceed the average net income of a Polish family. So you would specifically like to make people with lower income pay more and people with higher income pay less?

Another aspect, businesses in Warsaw NEED people from outside to come to work.

On the other hand, synchronizing traffic lights is simple and cheap but there is simply no will to do it...


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