The Municipal Greenery Authority (ZZM) agreed on the design for plantings

1,055 new tress and almost 25,000 shrubs, grasses, perennials and creepers will be planted along the planned tram route to Mistrzejowice. ZZM approved the location and type of compensation plantings.

The private partner has received approved greenery design for the location of compensation plantings. Design works lasting several weeks – involving the relocation of planned and existing systems, adjustments to sidewalks or bicycle paths geometric layout – and a pile of new approvals allowed to locate virtually all new trees and shrubs in the area covered by the investment. This means that lawns along the trackbed and pedestrian and bicycle routes will be planted with trees in the proportion of 1:1. These trees will offer shade to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.

Fewer noise barriers, more greenery

A number of changes compared to the initial design assumptions was possible following the change instruction from the public entity at the request of residents (regarding, among others, reduced traffic noise, and thus reduced number of noise barriers). As a result, more space was regained for new plantings along the footways and bicycle routes. However, the current shape of the greenery design was also influenced by the relocated systems, e.g. heating or water and sewage systems – these required re-arrangements. The approval from all municipal units turned out to be necessary. Excellent cooperation at the design stage made it possible to achieve the assumed goal. As a result, the private partner proposed locations for 1,055 new trees and 24,761 seedlings of shrubs, grasses, perennials and creepers.

Urban-resistant species

On hot days, some trees will offer shade for public transport users waiting for a tram or bus. – Almost each stop features trees in a permeable surface with the use of solutions enabling the future growth of the root ball in a separate space under the pavement – says Agnieszka Gurgacz, environmental protection specialist with Gülermak. Similar solutions are designed for trees planted within sidewalks.

Only native species of trees and tall shrubs are chosen for wide vegetated strips, such as broad-leaved linden, rowan, white dogwood and forsythia, and ground cover roses in narrow ones. Those selected are resistant to harsh urban conditions like drought, salinity, high temperature and absorb traffic pollution.

Forested terminus, wildflower meadow, rain garden

Unusual solutions were proposed at the most important points along the tram route. The Mistrzejowice Terminus will be forested with several dozen trees, including birches and linden trees. The composition will also feature carefully selected shrubs and grasses. A wildflower meadow will be set up at the Barei Roundabout. The popular acacia locust growing on the central island of the roundabout will be joined by eight new seedlings of this species. Rain garden will be established in the immediate vicinity. In the current design it has gained additional planting species in order to adapt it to changing weather conditions. At the Młyńskie Roundabout, a delightful composition of maples, roses and varieties of ornamental grasses will be introduced.

ZZM also approved the announced ’green’ trackbed covered with sedum mats wherever technically allowed. The drought-resistant and easy-to-maintain sedum was also designed on the roofs of bus waiting shelters – to put in place the so-called ‘green stops’.

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Mistrzejowice Terminus – brand new face after 50 years

The new route to Mistrzejowice ushers in major changes not only where the tracks are introduced for the first time. The current terminus will gain a new look and, above all, functionality.

It will be yet another terminus recently upgraded as part of a large municipal investment. This one is specific though. During the construction of the Łagiewnicka Route, the Kurdwanów Terminus was never completely redeveloped. It only gained the possibility of entering and leaving from the opposite side to serve tramways from Zakopiańska Street. The Krowodrza Górka Terminus currently being redeveloped will become less important. The main traffic will go to the new terminus on Górka Narodowa. Much fewer trams will end in the current location, which is also reflected in the parameters of the new infrastructure.

It will be completely different in the case of the Mistrzejowice Terminus. It will be built from scratch and its length will almost double. Once the investment is completed, it will be hosting much more trams than today.

About time

– The terminus in Mistrzejowice was launched in November 1974. It deserves a complete redevelopment after half a century – says Marcin Hanczakowski, Director of Kraków Municipal Road Authority (ZDMK). – The new version, unveiled to the residents after the works are completed, will meet all current standards. It will be much more functional and will make it easier for pedestrians to access the tram – adds the Director.

What exactly will change? Firstly, it will serve two directions: trams can go both towards Prądnik Czerwony and towards Nowa Huta. There will be two 65-meter-long platforms on the route, and two more 45-meter-long on the terminus to allow safe exit and boarding of trams. There will be modern information displays, shelters and facilities for the disabled.

For different groups

An important change will be the shift of the pedestrian crossing over Jancarza Street towards the west – the route and the travel time to

bus terminus on the opposite side will shorten. This is how the new terminus will offer easier switch between trams and buses. Right next to the tram platforms, there will also be a bus stop transferred from the intersection with Załuskich Street. Pedestrians can be sure they will no longer have to use shortcut footpaths – pavements have been designed in each major direction so that they can safely and comfortably move around the entire terminus. At the aforementioned intersection with Załuskich Street – as requested by the residents – there will be an additional right turn lane from Jancarza Street.

Designers have not forgotten about cyclists. A separate bicycle path will reach the terminus along the southern side of Jancarza Street, connected to the existing shared zone on the eastern side of the terminus. There will also be a bicycle parking. In the future, the city also plans to a bicycle path along the opposite side of Jancarza Street.

New arrangement

As announced, the terminus will be functional and green. – The terminus will be forested. Several dozen trees will be planted between the alleys, including Norway maple, black pine, warty birch and small-leaved linden. The composition will be complemented by carefully selected shrubs and grasses, including ground covering rose or tufted hairgrass. You can wait for the tram in the shade on one of the benches – says Agnieszka Gurgacz, environmental protection specialist with Gülermak.

Greenery will also be provided on two platforms from the side of Jancarza Street. The trees were designed using solutions supporting future growth of the root ball in a separate space under the pavement.


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Energy-efficient street lighting to reduce electricity bills

The growing costs of electricity consumption prompted local governments to seek savings. One way to cut the bills is to upgrade street lighting. The Bohomolca and Krzesławicka streets planned for redevelopment prove that replacing sodium fixtures with LEDs cuts electricity consumption by as much as half.

Energy sales offers received by local governments and their subordinate units sparked discussions about potential ways of saving it. Greater burden on the budget means less funds for investments the residents are expecting so much. They would find it difficult to accept shorter opening hours of swimming pools or libraries or the lack of Christmas decorations on the streets, so such cuts are considered as a last resort. However, there is something that can bring considerable relief for the budget and the Planet – replacing street lighting with energy-saving ones. It is proved by the calculations for KSTIV project.

How to make savings on street lighting?

Sodium lamps are still common across many cities. These outdated appliances use most of their energy to emit heat instead of lighting up the streets and cannot boast a satisfactory service life. There is no doubt that they must be replaced with more modern fittings and this is slowly happening. There is still much left to do.

Usually, the lighting is replaced along when the remaining street infrastructure is replaced. This will be the case for the Tramway to Mistrzejowice. – Some sections of the planned route still feature sodium lamps, for example at Krzesławicka or Bohomolca Streets. 70W, 100W and 150W fixtures will be replaced here with LEDs with a power of 55W, 60.5W, 70W, respectively. It will reduce energy consumption while the new lighting will be operational for much longer – says Maciej Wołtosz, Electrical Design Coordinator with Gülermak.

Power consumption cut by half

The calculations reveal that the replacement of several dozen sodium fittings at Krzesławicka and Bohomolca Streets will reduce energy consumption by 49.6%. The LEDs used will have a service life of at least twice as long as those to be disassembled.

– In Kraków, we systematically upgrade street lighting, because the savings from such investments are clearly reflected in electricity bills. But that’s not all. This way we are relieving not only the city budget, but also the environment. Reduced energy consumption means less harmful CO2 emissions – says Marcin Hanczakowski, Director of Kraków Municipal Road Authority (ZDMK).

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The first premetro section to be made together with the tram route to Mistrzejowice

Over 1.5 km of the new tram route to Mistrzejowice will be shared with premetro. The works performed during the construction of the trackbed will be part of the new solution expected by the residents of Kraków.

In the middle of last year, the city officially announced what had already been hinted at by experts and city officials: a traditional metro, built entirely underground, in the case of Kraków is substantively and economically unjustified. The so-called premetro is the alternative. The difference is not about some sections running above the ground (because such solutions are applied for regular subways). It is basically a lighter system that is compatible with the tram infrastructure. Plus, its construction is almost half cheaper than traditional metro. Also, the estimated maintenance costs are over 2.5 times lower – a major advantage from the point of view of the city’s budget.

The route: Wzgórza Krzesławickie – Jasnogórska

The route is planned from Wzgórza Krzesławickie to Bronowice and it will connect other districts on the northern side of Vistula river: Nowa Huta, Bieńczyce, Mistrzejowice, Prądnik Czerwony, Grzegórzki, Stare Miasto and Krowodrza.

The important part is that the route is to be built in stages. It was one of key arguments in favor of choosing this model. Already with the first stage launched, premetro offers a chance for a significant improvement in the efficiency of public transport in the city. The route designers also sought full integration of the recommended variant with other investments. The aim was to support effective use of the tramway network, facilitate transfers and come up with an attractive alternative to traveling by car.

The first step is now

Even before any works start at the Kraków pre-metro project, its first parts will be ready. The new tram route to Mistrzejowice – to be ready in 2025 – will share four stops with the planned premetro line: Dobrego Pasterza, Barei Roundabout, Polsadu Roundabout and Młyńskie Roundabout. Stops at Polsadu and Młyńskie Roundabouts will be underground. The joint section is 1,625 meters in total and it will partly run in a tunnel.

Many ongoing changes

Interestingly, the shared infrastructure was not the initial plan. Paweł Motyka, Deputy Project Manager at Gülermak, says the concept of building the premetro was unveiled when the KST IV tram route construction project was already at an advanced stage and had received the first arrangements. – We had to re-analyze the section shared by both lines, redesign it to handle premetro cars. Shared stations have been redesigned using our proprietary concept to ensure a collision-free traffic service or to enable subsequent expansion. The platforms located on level -1 have been extended to 65 meters – he explains.

That was just the starting point for changes. It was also necessary to analyze and adjust exit widths at underground stops to handle increased passenger flows. Two turnout chambers were designed on the north and south sides of the shared section. The southern side turnouts support extension of the premetro route towards the center, while the northern side ones – the exit of the future tram route to Strzelców Street. The tunnel features a line block system to enable up to 40 trams per hour in each direction. This way the so-called concealed works will be reduced during the construction of the premetro.  It will save money and reduce difficulties during project.

– The new tram route will be coordinated with the premetro. Also, they will share the route between Barei Roundabout and the Młyńskie Roundabout.  Estimates indicate that the city will save money on this project – says Marcin Hanczakowski, Director of Kraków Municipal Road Authority (ZDMK).


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