Thursday, April 16, 2009

Local streets in a mess

With highways in Poland having their own teething problems, local roads don’t have it much better either. After a long and frosty winter, the city of Krakow has found itself to be severely lacking in resources to fix every road in the southern city.

Poland is renowned for its bad roads. With a lack of motorways, major trunk routes through the country are constantly used by long distance trucks criss-crossing the country from north to south and east to west. There has been a boom in the usage of personal cars, so much so that the country’s transport infrastructure is bursting at the seams.

On a more local scale, city traffic in Poland is not getting a break either. Urban development has been growing rapidly, and city streets and roads are simply crumbling. In Krakow the problem has escalated to such an extent that the local edition of the daily Gazeta Wyborcza organised a reader poll to name and shame the worst thoroughfares in the city, entitled “Akcja Durszlak”: or simply, “Operation Colander”.

Another problem for the city of Krakow is that it has missed out on 270 million zloty’s worth of EU funding to help get its roads back into shape. With a hole of around 60 million euro, a lot of roads are not going to be touched this season. But with Krakow’s hopes of hosting some of the games during the Euro 2012 football tournament, something has to move. One positive note to finish on though: since the completion of the A4 motorway through Upper Silesia and its near completion near the border with Germany, at least Krakow is connected with the rest of Europe.