Local councilors supported a protest by some Ochota residents against changes to parking. Due to the expansion of the paid area, the Municipal Road Authority regulates the space and introduces parallel places instead of inclined or perpendicular places. The advisors were backed by the deputy mayor, who sees the current system as good and the residents are accustomed to it. Road workers reply that the chaos must be brought under control, and public consultation was extensive.
Oshota Council members adopted a position on Wednesday, asking the municipal road authority to “immediately begin discussions with residents with the participation of district authorities” on changes related to the expansion of the unguarded paid parking area in Oshota. And council members wrote in it that they fully support the residents’ protest against the actions of the ZDM, which consists in changing the parking method from skewed to parallel. “As a result, some parking spaces will be removed on Mochnackiego and Mianowskiego Streets in Stara Ochota” – it was noted.
The Ochota Council expects that ZDM will immediately suspend implementation of a new paid parking area in this area and begin talks on the matter.
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They want to be consulted again
The outrage of residents, councilors and district authorities is the fact that ZDM has made changes to the streets that have been in the district for several years. “Since 2013, a paid parking area has been operating in this area (Mochnackiego Street and Mianowskiego – ed.), which is the result of a social settlement and consultations with residents by the then Mayor of Ochota, Wojciech Komorowski,” we read in the justification for this post.
Council members also noted that consultations on the new SPPN in Ochota were conducted during the pandemic, particularly in October and November online. “There is a well-founded fear that public consultations were not inclusive. This is evidenced by the current protests of the residents, accusing ZDM of lacking advice and information about changes to the SPPN in the above-mentioned district-mentioned streets”- the consultants wrote.
In justifying the situation, the members of the Council state that in the report, after public consultations, the conclusions and recommendations contain arguments against reducing the number of parking spaces and changing the method of parking diagonally or perpendicular to a parallelepiped. “Why do final SPPN projects not take these recommendations into account” – ask board members?
Controversy has also been raised about the way ZDM is working with regard to preparing the streets for the introduction of a new area. “Without consulting residents and without a proper information campaign, cars are taken from the streets of Stara Ochota on tow trucks” – council members note, adding that cars are transported not only during the day, but also at night. “Residents consider this unacceptable, and in fact it is an illegal confiscation of property” – write the council members. They also believe that the drawing of road signs should be done as far as possible without the need to tow cars, and when this is impossible – in sections, with appropriate leaflet and information campaigns and marking with tapes.
“In view of the foregoing, taking into account the lack of public access to public consultations during their term, as well as the implementation of projects for the above-mentioned streets that do not comply with the provisions of the recommendations of these consultations on leaving. Parking spaces in an inclined position, it is necessary to suspend the implementation of the new SPPN and take ZDM consultation with residents With the participation of the authorities of the region ”- summed up the members of the council.
ZDM spokesperson responds to council members’ allegations
We asked the Municipal Roads Authority to refer to the accusations of the residents and the advisors.
– Consultations on SPPN were held in Ochota last fall. In order for every resident to be informed, we have delivered tens of thousands of flyers to Poczta Polska with the task of delivering them to every address in Ochota. Consultations consisted of five meetings with residents via Zoom and YouTube (pandemic requirements), five phone calls, and three field visits. 332 people participated in the meetings and were able to take the floor. During each meeting, there was also a chat, which we constantly managed and answered questions – says Jacob Dybalsky, spokesperson for ZDM. It estimates that during the online meetings a total of 1,251 comments were received, as well as 241 emails with comments and 294 reports received via a special electronic form. There were also 85 people who took advantage of the phone call.
Dybalsky defends the online consultation format, noting that “on a surprising scale, many people who had not been involved in it before were allowed to participate in consultations.” These are people who could not appear at such meetings in person due to work or other duties.
Council members, including members of the Ochota District Board of Directors, actively participated in three local field inspections. They had a number of very specific comments, which, however, did not apply to Mochnackiego Street or Mianowskiego. We took into account all their comments and put them on the projects, which members of the council noted with satisfaction – said a spokesman for the capital’s road construction workers.
Cars on sidewalks, near “zebras”, in tree bowls
It also states that the changes in street traffic regulation mentioned above are not directly related to the extension of the SPPN, as the area has been in effect there for years. – The change in the method of parking is aimed at sorting out the current situation, when cars often park on sidewalks or, on the contrary – approximately in the middle of the road, and also directly at pedestrian crossings, and even in tree beds . Regular parking will be legal and safe for all street users. It happens all the time, in many places in Warsaw, more recently, for example, in Rosebrat – says Jacob Dybalsky.
It also ensures that each change is preceded by the display of the dashboards. They are installed at least five days in advance. In addition, on the ZDM website there is a list of streets with upcoming business dates. Road workers update it regularly. – It can hardly be called a lack of information – the ZDM spokesperson assesses.
– It is noteworthy that on Mianowskiego Street, where the new traffic organization is already operating, previously, on the greater part of the street, drivers stopped diagonally, only on the north side, among the trees. Currently, they stand parallel, but in specific areas on both sides of the road. There are more parking spaces there than before. There is also more parking space on the adjacent Raszyńska Street, where we have designated a parking lane on the road. In general, we try to allocate the maximum number of parking spaces on each street. He adds that the accusations we intend to eliminate are absurd.
SPPN Extension in Ochota
The residents of Stara Ochota have already staged two protests in this regard. They explain that their protest generally relates to changes made by the Municipal Road Authority without consulting, and sometimes even in violation, to consult with residents.
Starting November 15, the paid parking area will be expanded to the entire Ochota area. Therefore, ZDM began designating parking spaces. By the way, he also changes the method of parking from oblique to parallel in areas where a paid parking area has been in force for several years. Road workers have reported that the SPPN network in Ochota currently covers 25 kilometers of roads, and after its extension, it will be 145 streets 80 kilometers long.
The protests were supported by the deputy mayor of Ochota, Grzegorz Wysocki. “I support the protest of the people and I am with them. I do not understand why the design of the parking spaces that were working and the residents are being changed is being changed. The way of parking does not affect the width of the sidewalk or the road. So why change something that worked and now through this it will reduce the number of parking spaces”- Deputy Mayor Wysocki told PAP on Tuesday.
Main image source: Matthew Szilter / tvnwarszawa.pl
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