Here’s a roundup of some of the news stories, which caught our eye over the past week or so, with a bit of a pre-Summer feel, including proposed developments and leisure facilities.
The seemingly never ending development of Zakrzówek continues, however an end would appear to be in sight, at least partly? It has been reported this week that the park, in particular the swimming pool areas, will be opened to the public, initially on a limited basis, from June this year.
Source Gazeta Karkowska
PARK BEDNARSKIEGO RE-OPENS 27th APRIL
It has just been announced that the park, which we consider to be one of the best parks in Kraków, will re-open to the public on 27th April, following a lengthy renovation to improve the area and facilities and ‘return it to it’s former glory’. Of course, it wouldn’t be Kraków, if the work didn’t attract controversy, with many objecting to the excess use of concrete and widening of paths etc.
MARINA KRAKOWSKA PLANS
Plans have been published for the proposed Krakow Marina, hotel and leisure area, planned for the disused port area close to Kotlarski bridge. The city intend to apply for EU funding towards the projected 100 million PLN cost.
Source Gazeta Krakowska
THE RETURN OF THE BEACH ON THE WISLA?
Many will remember the ill fated ‘beach bar’ and restaurant on the Wisła, close to Forum and the balloon. The venue was closed down after a long running planning dispute between the city and the owner, who was ultimately forced to close the facility, under protest. The site was cleared a few years ago. However…
Visualisations have been published showing plans for a new beach and leisure area, proposed by the operators of Forum and Balon Widokowy. They intend to submit their plans to Wód Polskich (Polish Water), adding that, all going well, the area could be operational by the end of the Summer.
(Source: Gazeta Krakowska)
KRAKÓW IN NUMBERS
Kraków’s latest statistics were presented to a recent city council session, which show, not surprisingly, that the population is growing.
According to the Central Statistical Office (GUS) Kraków’s official population now stands at 802,800 residents, however the true number of residents is closer to 1. to 1.3 million, based on analysis of various sources such as mobile phone operators and water authorities.
The population includes an estimated 100,000 Ukrainians, and around 130,000 students studying at the city’s 23 universities (down from 200,000 a decade ago).
TRANSPORT CONSULTATION PROPOSALS
A panel presented 80 recommendations to the city on how to improve the transport network. Of these, the 43 listed below are to be implemented.
Almost all of the proposals related to increased investment to improve safety in bicycle and pedestrian traffic and improving the bus and tram transport system
LIST OF 43 RECOMMENDATIONS SELECTED FOR IMPLEMENTATION:
- Investing to improve safety in bicycle and pedestrian traffic, e.g. by separating bicycle and pedestrian routes, expanding footbridges and overpasses, regular surface repairs, additional lanes and traffic lights for cyclists in selected places.
- Improving the bus and tram transport system by purchasing new vehicles and expanding and modernising the infrastructure. These activities should guarantee the availability of public transport for people with special needs (low-floor vehicles, architecturally adapted stops).
- Further improvement of travel comfort in public transport with attention to proper ventilation, air conditioning, cleanliness and smell.
- Further modernisation and development of infrastructure for pedestrians, including improvement of pavement lighting and removal of architectural barriers, adapting pavements and pedestrian routes for people with mobility limitations and special needs.
- Wider use of green belts (e.g. flower meadows, bushes) as a safe way to separate pedestrian, bicycle and car routes, and the introduction of green noise barriers where possible.
- The priority of the city should be the development of public transport (in particular tram and metro) so that it becomes more and more accessible, comfortable and faster than a car to move around the city.
- Planning the construction and expansion of transport infrastructure in a way that takes into account the needs of pedestrians, preserving existing pedestrian routes as far as possible or creating them in places convenient for pedestrians.
- Ensuring that new transport investments preserve existing nature to the maximum extent and introduce new green areas wherever possible.
- Taking care to diversify the channels of informing and educating about sustainable transport. Information should appear online and offline, close to residents (e.g. in the form of posters at stations and stops, in schools, workplaces, cooperatives and during open days).
- Increasing efforts to develop a network of P+R car parks at the entrances to the city with the possibility of transferring to public transport. The plans should be based on expert analyzes (location, number of places) and take into account the needs of people with disabilities.
- Dissemination of digital timetable boards at public transport stops and ensuring that the information displayed on these boards is updated on an ongoing basis and takes into account the delays of individual journeys.
- Tightening cooperation with the Marshal’s Office and PKP on the development of the agglomeration railway.
- Continuation of expansion and supplementation of the bus lane network, striving for its maximum continuity. This task should be carried out based on ongoing monitoring of the load on the existing network of bus lanes and – where possible – taking into account the existing infrastructure.
- Striving to integrate the collective transport network (public and private) within the agglomeration with the planned development of the P&R network, including the creation of convenient transfers from private buses to public transport to the city centre.
- Including in the Municipal Spatial Development Plans for new housing estates the requirements for providing a base of service premises for the needs of residents.
- Effective enforcement of regulations on the use of bus lanes.
- Supporting the creation of one integrated and easily accessible data source (e.g. an application) in which it will be possible to check the transport possibilities on specific routes within the Krakow agglomeration and other data, e.g. the cost of such a journey, the number of transfer points and the CO2 produced.
- Improving the transport accessibility of health care facilities and offices, primarily by facilitating access by public transport, and where it is necessary and at the same time possible by ensuring an adequate number of parking spaces. Implementation of specific solutions in this area should be preceded by an analysis of the availability of individual facilities leading to the identification of key areas of intervention
- Tightening cooperation with neighbouring communes to integrate spatial development with the development of the public transport network by planning public transport routes to undeveloped areas and planning high-density buildings around public transport hubs, while taking care to preserve nature protection areas.
- Ongoing monitoring of the condition of the tram infrastructure and introduction of a calendar of its planned repairs, so as to prevent the decrease in the speed of trams due to the lack of ongoing maintenance and to increase it where possible.
- Developing a network of connections and transport infrastructure on the outskirts of the city based on a needs analysis.
- Tightening cooperation with the municipalities of the Krakow metropolis in order to develop a common approach to the promotion of sustainable public transport. Such an approach should be developed by March 2025.
- The city’s priority should be a dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders for the development of sustainable mobility. The forms of dialogue should be diverse and systematically developed so as to take into account the voice of all social groups.
- The direction of development of the city of Krakow should be to reduce the need to move around the city, supported by the development of infrastructure and improving the quality of social services in the vicinity of the place of residence (district) – in accordance with the 15-minute city concept – and the development of online public services.
- The city should strive to gradually increase the share of buses powered by alternative fuels (especially electricity) in the Krakow public transport fleet.
- Effective enforcement of compliance with vehicle noise standards.
- Further expansion of the offer of available forms of tickets for public transport (e.g. with stop tickets, tickets for several journeys).
- Continuation of activities to create an integrated ticket for urban and agglomeration transport.
- The city’s priority should be the development of the premetro. The development should be combined with an information and educational campaign regarding the schedule of works for the implementation of individual stages of the premetro and presenting the benefits of the premetro.
- Ensuring an effective flow of information between the departments of the City Hall and coherent and clear communication by municipal units about the transport system management process, explaining the objectives of the actions taken to residents/inhabitants.
- Further encouraging employers to promote sustainable transport among their employees, e.g. by subsidising public transport as an employee benefit, creating opportunities for hybrid work and flexible hours, or introducing so-called corpus buses.
- Increasing the number of investments in new bicycle paths (also as independent investments), ensuring the coherence and continuity of bicycle routes in the city, so that by 2028 it will be possible to cycle a section of min. 4 km only on a bicycle path, bicycle lane or in the area covered by the traffic calmed zone from any point in Krakow.
- Analysis of transport behaviour among tourists and, if necessary, taking action to encourage them to use sustainable transport, eg through a short communication guide available in hotels, on booking websites or via text messages using geolocation at the entrance to the city.
- Carrying out an information campaign on the applicable regulations on scooters, roller skates and other personal transport devices in urban traffic and ensuring effective enforcement of these regulations.
- Development and implementation of an information and promotion campaign on collective transport, in particular addressed to drivers.
- Defining and implementing the rules for limiting the entry of trucks to the city (e.g. set hours, days of the week, maximum vehicle weight), and at the same time supporting the creation of a network of warehouses on the outskirts enabling the delivery of goods to the city by vans.
- Ensuring priority for rail transport within the 2nd and 3rd ring roads by giving trams priority at all intersections, adapting their timetables to rush hours and late return hours, and adapting other means of transport to trams.
- Increasing the effectiveness of parking enforcement.
- Information campaign explaining the objectives of the paid parking zone and the method of spending funds from parking fees.
- Striving to eliminate vehicles that do not meet exhaust emission standards in such a way that the costs of disposal of such vehicles are not passed on only to residents.
- Appointment of a social advisory body composed of representatives of various groups in the city (residents of the entire metropolis, including panelists, entrepreneurs, authorities, independent experts), which will regularly meet, propose and give opinions on solutions related to sustainable transport and defining the scope of competences and rules of its functioning.
- Preceding the introduction of traffic and parking solutions with smaller-scale pilot projects and/or dialogue with residents of a given area.
- Consistent basing the city’s plans for new investments in the public transport system on the results of research on the capacity of individual journeys.
source: Gazeta Krakowska
Free bike checks
The city are providing free bike maintenance checks at various locations, across the city during April.
The city emphasise that checking the condition of the bike does not include a service, it remains the responsibility of the owner to arrange for repair of any defects found during the inspection (immediate repairs will be possible only in the case of minor failures and no long waiting queue).
Dates and places of mobile bike condition checks:
- Thursday, April 13 – Mogilskie roundabout (lower slab), 10.00-18.00
- Friday, April 14 – Mogilskie roundabout (lower plate), 6:00 p.m. 10.00-18.00
- Saturday, April 15 – Plac Inwalidów, 9.00-17.00
- Thursday, April 20 – Mogilskie roundabout (lower plate), 6:00 p.m. 10.00-18.00
- Friday, April 21 – Mogilskie Roundabout (lower plate), 6:00 p.m. 10.00-18.00
- Saturday, April 22 – Plac Inwalidów, 9.00-17.00
- Tuesday, April 25 – Plac Inwalidów, 10.00-18.00
- Wednesday, April 26 – Plac Inwalidów, 10.00-18.00
- Saturday, April 29 – Mogilskie roundabout (lower section), 9.00-17.00
Kraków Airport – Appeal & New Routes
Due to the increased Easter holiday passenger traffic in the coming days, Krakow airport appeals to passengers to arrive at the airport 3 hours prior to their departure time, and to check the flight status on an ongoing basis.
The airport also highlighted that March was a busy month with 687,311 passengers, 14% more than in March 2019 and 44% more than in March 2022.
In total, 1,889,915 passengers have been recorded since the beginning of 2023.
Ryanair offers new connections to Belfast, Lourdes, Memmingen, Perugia, Poznań, Rhodes, Toulouse and Varna. Wizz Air will launch a new route to Lyon, as well as to Malaga.
New for Summer 2023 will be the launch of the Kraków-Istanbul route, beginning on 27th April operated by PLL LOT, and from May 1 on the same route with Turkish Airlines – a new carrier. The connection uses codeshare carriers. (this brings back fond memories of my best ever Kraków road trip :- Kraków- Istanbul!)
Another new airline – Air Serbia – will start operating in the Summer, on the Kraków-Belgrade route, and from May Air Dolomiti will launch a connection to Munich.
Planned renovation of Kladka Bernatka footbridge
Work on the footbridge railings will be split over 2 years due to budgetary constraints. The first stage will be undertaken in Q2/Q3 2023, on the pedestrian section of the bridge. Renovation of railings on the bicycle section of the bridge will take place in Q2/Q3 2024.
What about the padlocks?
A decision will be made later this year on what will happen to the padlocks attached to the footbridge.
Last year residents submitted over 600 ideas on what to do with the padlocks from the footbridge, including:- removing the padlocks and recycling them, then using funds from their sale to support a charity, making a sculpture or a series of sculptures related to love from melted padlocks, or moving the padlocks to another place.
A4 Toll Increases
Toll prices on the A4 Katowice-Kraków motorway increased, for drivers paying by cash or card at the toll gate, with effect from 4th April. The increases will not affect drivers using automated payment apps.
- motorcycles PLN 7
- motor vehicles with two axles PLN 15, (Rate for automatic payments -PLN 13)
- motor vehicles with two axles, at least one of which is equipped with a twin wheel, and motor vehicles with two axles with trailers PLN 27
- motor vehicles with three axles and motor vehicles with two axles, of which at least one axle is equipped with a twin wheel with trailers PLN 27
- motor vehicles with more than three axles, motor vehicles with three axles with trailers, and motor vehicles with more than three axles with trailers PLN 46
- vehicles not falling into categories 1 to 4, and vehicles whose dimensions, axle load or weight exceed the standards set out in the road traffic regulations PLN 46
source Gazeta Krakowska
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A Scot in Kraków. The founder and editor of Kraków Expats Directory, and our sister sites Kraków TV and Kraków Stories Podcast.
David fell in love with Kraków 24 years ago, making it his home in 2011.
In 2020 he was awarded the title of Kraków’s Ambassador of Multiculturalism, by the President of Kraków, and is also a member of the GlobalScot network, representing Scottish culture and business abroad.
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60zł to drive to Katowice and back, call me a tight Scot but its getting to be a bit of a rip off.