Warsaw Metro Chaos

Warsaw Metro (circa 1938)

Warsaw Metro (circa 1938)

The second line of the Warsaw Underground may well be beautifully designed below the surface, but above ground it has become a pain for pedestrians and an aesthetic disaster. Are we going to see more gigantic fans and elevators in the middle of the city sidewalks? Anyone with any remote sense of taste will suffer headaches at the sight of the bunkers sticking out onto the streets. A closer approach might even be painful as many of these objects have been erected in the middle of zebra crossings near new bicycle paths. In effect, pedestrians will bump into cyclists, and vice versa. The intersection of Marszałkowska and Świętokrzyska is perhaps the biggest mess. In just a few years, this junction will become one of the busiest in the city with Warsaw’s two underground lines meeting here. The first big ‘surprise’ can be seen in front of the zebra crossing which leads to the former “Sezam” supermarket near the Palace of Culture and Science: thousands of people will be using this crossing only to literally bump into a large granite wall – it is one of the new underground fans. Similar mushroom-shaped concrete constructions alongside the first line of the metro are eyesores. It could have been designed better, as it has been done with the monumental Saska Axis, although many fire regulations have made the building process long and difficult. It seems other capital cities have had no such problems with their underground systems and it is very difficult to find similarly ugly fans anywhere in the world. Polish officials, apparently, do not care.

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