Heated discussion regarding changes in Karolew or hustle and bustle among Julianów residents in connection with Fenomen's activities is fully understandable. We need to be happy with the interest.
For the first time in many years, the residents would like to discuss safety and the appearance of their surroundings - and not because of another tragic accidents covered by the media. For many years, we have been asked by our authorities what we want to see in our streets and how we want them to look.
Therefore, two years ago we decided to start our educational project Bezpieczne Miasto - Inna Droga (Safe City - a Different Way) and through it, address the residents of our city. We did not only want to define terms such as 'tempo-30', 'speed bumps' and other specialised terminology or professional jargon ('universal planning', etc.). Our main aim was to make the residents understand that they have a say in what their surroundings look like.
The following months, with the help of experts from all over Poland we prepared publications with regards to particular topics – safety near schools, street lightning, shared space etc. We have been showing particular solutions and listed areas in Łódź where they could be implemented. Additionally, we went on describing how any resident of Łódź can individually affect changes in their city - through contacting City Hall, City Council, Community Council or Housing Co-Operatives. All the information is available at www.innadroga.dlalodzi.info
Part of the project were workshops in three chosen areas. Those areas differ in buildings - blocks of flats (Karolew), pre-war buildings (Stare Polesie) and detached houses (Julianów). We have shown - methodologically - how a dialogue with residents can be organised. We prepared and adapted all possible traffic and accident analyses in all chosen areas. We prepared a catalogue of solutions best for each area (We have never proposed illegal solutions or any ideas which were not approved by the Road and Transportation Authorities). Moreover, we talked with residents while looking at the street, not at the map.
We decided, that the residents don't need to be specialists in reading specialised maps or traffic organisation projects - therefore we kept using visualisations with proposed solutions. This served as a basis in further discussions with regards to the estate's issues.
A basis, not a ready solution
We are happy with Julianów residents' interest in our project - it is time to sit together with the authorities in Łódź and Community Council representatives and discuss how we can all make Julianów an even more friendly and safe area.
In terms of Karolew, the interest in changes implemented there is big as well. Many traffic calming elements were installed in Karolew at a scale not typical for Łódź and at a very low cost. Unfortunately, part of opinions which circulate around the city is based on false data. Therefore We invite you all to take part in a discussion on Karolew on January 18.
Letting residents have their say
In Łódź, after 4 years of work, City Programme for Increasing Traffic Safety came into being. All residents should be invited to take part in it - as discussion partners. It is important to agree that the resident does not have to know whether a speed bump is installed 20 or 40 metres before a pedestrian crossing. It is enough that the resident knows whether they will let their child go to school or local shop alone or not. All NGOs and authorities should find such a solution that will make it possible.
Residents of Łódź are ready to discuss their neighbourhoods. During 18 months of our project, we have prepared a wide solution catalogue including solutions that can be used in our city. All materials are available to anyone.