There is more into the tramway to Mistrzejowice than a trackbed. It is an urban set-up developed almost from scratch which must support a number of functions. It will not be complete without new plantings designed as part of the vegetation management project. The plan is to introduce over 1,000 new trees in the area of the investment as well as almost 6,500 sqm of shrubs.
Vegetation under scrutiny
The first predevelopment plan along the future KST IV route was made in 2015 at the stage of preparing the environmental impact report. Already then it was revealed that the condition of a large part of the trees leaves much to be desired: mechanical damage to the bark, frost ribs, mushroom fruiting bodies, droughts, deviations from the vertical. These factors may contribute to further degradation of these plantings. In total, 75% of the trees listed were selected for removal, of which 7% were intended for sanitary cuts.
In the spring of 2021 and at the request of the private partner, another predevelopment plan was made, which – given how important vegetation is for the Kraków residents – was repeated in the summer (as part of the verifying and supplementary predevelopment). On top of that, the contractor personally supervised and reviewed the location and condition of each single tree which could still be saved. “We have been looking at every single tree as an individual case. An environmental protection specialist and construction site manager have been scrutinizing the cases of trees colliding with the planned infrastructure. This way the design was modified so that at the design assumptions stage a row of 23 birches at Meissnera street could be saved or black locust at the Bareja roundabout” – says Paweł Motyka, Deputy Project Manager at Gülermak. It was also possible to reduce the area of shrub clearance by 6.2%.
Nevertheless, the predevelopment confirmed the findings from the environmental impact report: most plantings directly collide with the planned tramway route, newly designed pedestrian and bicycle routes or the planned alterations of heat pipeline, sanitary sewers network, gas pipelines or electricity systems. “The project is implemented in a partnership formula, but environmental protection matters were outside of the scope of any negotiations while preparing the contract. There can be no breach to the decision on environmental conditions agreed upon with the local community. The aim of the project is to improve the comfort of residents” – says Marcin Hanczakowski, Director of Kraków Municipal Road Authority (ZDMK).
In addition, given the process of obtaining funding for the project implementation, the requirements of banks approached by the private partner are also taken into account. Since international financing institutions are to be involved, the project must meet not only Polish legal requirements, but also international standards in the field of environmental protection and vegetation management.
You cannot simply ignore that 60% of trees covered by the predevelopment plan have defects, among others drought, humus or traces of pest feeding. 5% are decaying. Some have never been a good fit for urban environment.
The contractor shall replace them with species that are more resistant to traffic pollution, drought, frost and salinity. As part of the vegetation management project developed over 1,000 new trees (e.g. common oak, hornbeam, small-leaved lime, Japanese creeper) will be planted in the area of the investment as well as almost 6,500 sq.m. of shrubs.
“We design cover vegetation that absorbs dust and other impurities as well as decorative vegetation in the form of clusters and cut hedges that create aesthetic multicolored compositions. Wherever technically possible, sedum mats will be placed on the trackbed as an all-year-round aesthetic solution” – says Agnieszka Gurgacz, environmental protection specialist with Gülermak. They are also easy to maintain: they don’t need to be watered or mowed as often as grass which saves resources and money. Decorative plantings (including roses) are considered along the investment as well as the so-called green stops and flower meadows. Eventually, as much as 74% of the area used for the construction of the tram route is to be biologically active. This is the same as 4,514 perpendicular parking spaces.
How trees will be selected for replanting?
The predevelopment also made it possible to select trees for replanting. A meticulous approach to the matter enabled qualifying several dozen young trees for relocation. According to estimates, the age limit for the adaptation of a replanted tree is 20-25 years. The chances for surviving are dropping to below 30% for older trees.
“It is a truth commonly acknowledged that you should not replant old trees – says Agnieszka Gurgacz. – The survival of an older tree in a new environment is very difficult for many reasons and it can take up to 3 years to prepare it for the actual relocation. During this time its roots must be cut in a special way” – explains the expert.
The area of the investment features a number of species that do not tolerate replanting, e.g. English oak, walnut, spruce. There is a high risk of drying out. In turn, features like good phytosanitary condition or symmetry boost chances for successful replanting.
Building a new tramway infrastructure in an existing urban set-up requires compromise and taking into account the interests of many parties. On top of a fast and reliable public transport, residents expect comfortable bicycle paths, wide pavements, lighting that boosts security and neat land development.
Vegetation is part of it. Apart from its aesthetic value, it performs many functions important for the city: it lowers the real feel temperature in the summer and stimulates biodiversity. That is why a vegetation management design is so important and is preceded by a detailed predevelopment plan. It determines the species of trees and shrubs growing in the project impact zone and allows for measuring the circumference of trunks, estimating the height and diameter of crowns and establishing the condition of each tree. The plan serves as the basis for revealing possible collisions with the planned infrastructure and identifying the avoidable ones. Compensation plantings along the investment are also designed. It is important that they have the best chance of surviving for many years in difficult urban conditions, especially given the increase in the average temperature on Earth.
Appropriate tests are needed to ensure that traffic vibrations do not exceed the comfort limit for persons who live around the future tram route. For that purpose, data collected during measurements performed within the area of the project will be used among others.
Sensors on structural components of the buildings and disks inside a chosen room are elements of the instrumentation measuring traffic vibrations in the area of the future KST IV route. They are induced i.a. by a heavy vehicle driving over a speed bump. – In such a way, we analyze the behavior of the structure under the impact of vibrations and we verify stiffness of slabs in representative buildings – explains prof. Tadeusz Tatara, expert in the field of seismic and paraseismic vibrations, building dynamics as well as diagnostics and monitoring of civil engineering structures. At the request of the private partner, the measurements are performed under the supervision of prof. Tatara by accredited Deformations and Vibrations of Structures Laboratory of the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the Cracow University of Technology.
Analysis of vibrations along the planned tram route
Selected representative buildings vary in their functions (e.g. residential or office buildings), type (e.g. one-family houses and multi-family buildings), construction technology (e.g. conventional and precast) as well as distance from the designed tram route. However, they share the same characteristics with other buildings erected or planned in the area of the project. They represent the different types of the structures.
Measurements carried out on that buildings will be used for calibration of dynamic models, which, in turn, will be used in numerical analyses thanks to which it will be possible to estimate the impact of vibrations on the buildings and people inside them. On that basis, adequate vibration isolation measures (if needed) could be chosen in order to minimize that impact and ensure everyday comfort for all people in the neighborhood of the project.
More information about vibration isolation solutions can be found here.
The cooperation of private and public partners under the KST IV project will last 24 years. What was the first year like? Here’s the summary!
The contract for the design, financing, construction and maintenance of the tramway route to Mistrzejowice was signed at the end of December 2020. It created quite a buzz, because the project is the third PPP investment in the history of the Polish market in terms of capital expenditure and, at the same time, the largest in the transport sector. It assumes a partnership cooperation and split of risks between the Kraków Municipality and a consortium of PPP Solutions Polska and Gülermak. The selected private partner is supposed not only to finance and build the new infrastructure, but also to maintain it for 20 years.
. The public entity will therefore become financially involved only when the tram starts transporting passengers. The entity responsible for the project on behalf of the city is Kraków Municipal Road Authority (ZDMK).
The tramway to Mistrzejowice: design works
Early in 2021 the designer for the project was selected – the consortium of Arcadis and Prota Polska – as well as the Contract Engineer: INKO Consulting. Works on the design could go full steam ahead. However, before it was finalized, ZDMK requested an analysis of possibly extending the underground section of the route so that the grade-separated solution would be applied under both the Polsadu roundabout and the Młyńskie roundabout. This was related to the plans for building a premetro that would be partially overlapping with the tram route to Mistrzejowice. Design works, cost calculations and extensive arrangements for the new scope were still ongoing when the design concept received a positive opinion from the contract engineer (June). All the works were continued at the stage of developing the architectural and building design.
During the summer holidays, noise level measurements were made to design acoustic protection and geological surveys were launched to establish soil and water conditions where the tunnel would be built. At the same time, arrangements were made with many participants in the investment process, including the owners of underground networks, Wody Polskie (National Water Management Authority), the City of Kraków’s Municipal Traffic Engineer. Their outcome will be decisive for the date of filing the request for a road construction consent decision (ZRID). In 2021, a positive opinion was obtained from of the Municipal Team for Vulnerable Road Users.
In the recent months the solutions for Młyńskie roundabout were approved that can be implemented after the resolution by the City Council where additional funds have been secured for this purpose in the Multiannual Financial Forecast.
Tramway to Mistrzejowice: in touch with the locals
Since early spring, Gülermak – in cooperation with ZDMK – has been launching channels for communicating with local residents: the FB profile, the website, the project hotline, e-mails. Nearly 70 individuals and organizations have directly asked questions about the project using these channels. Then there are dozens of questions in the comments to our Facebook posts which were also answered.
A period of several weeks turned out to be important from the perspective of relations with residents: the second stage of public consultation held at the turn of August and September. The most important matters for the local community were revealed in the survey, during online and stationary meetings with experts as well as in telephone conversations. We were also able to reach out to the local residents in the Mobile Information Outlet in November on the Młyńskie roundabout.
“Little Masters – to Mistrzejowice by tram” was a project for the youngest residents from the kindergartens in Prądnik Czerwony and Mistrzejowice districts. In 2021 over 650 kids took part in the initiative.
Tramway to Mistrzejowice: What will the coming months bring?
A team of designers, industry professionals, planners, experts in investment financing and control are working hard to kick off the works next year. The first weeks of 2022 will witness finalizing the arrangements and completing documents necessary to file for the RCC decision. It may take up to several months before it is reviewed. Talks with banks will also be finalized to sign a direct agreement that will launch the project implementation.
According to the updated schedule, construction will start in Q2 2022 and will last until the end of 2024.
It is now certain that the underground part of the tram route to Mistrzejowice will be over 1.2 km – trams will cross the Młyńskie roundabout in a grade-separated way. With additional funds for the investment approved by the Kraków City Council, the PPP contract was amended.
Changes in the design, approved at the end of December, enable a grade-separated tram route on level -1 not only under Polsadu roundabout, but also under Młyńskie roundabout. The tram will start descending to a half-open, secured excavation already around Pszona Street in order to pass under the Młyńskie roundabout without affecting the traffic on the surface. “The underground option will not only shorten the tram journey time, but also improve traffic organization in the area of the intersection” – says Paweł Motyka, Deputy Project Manager at Gülermak. Passengers will get on the tram in this area already on level -1 reaching the stop using traditional stairs, escalators or spacious lifts.
In the area of Polsadu roundabout, trams will continue in a tunnel similar to the one under the Main Railway Station and will resurface before Barei roundabout. This way it will run smoother and safer through the over 1.2-kilometer part of the planned route.
Tramway to Mistrzejowice to go underground
As a reminder: initially, the tram route to Mistrzejowice would cross the Młyńskie roundabout on the surface. Analyzes were launched in spring into placing the tracks at level -1. The design was ready in October. In December, Kraków City Council allocated additional funds in the Multiannual Financial Forecast which gave the green light to changes in the PPP contract. Last works are now in progress on finalizing the road network along the entire investment.
A route offering a perspective for premetro
An extended underground part of the route will be an advantage only for the tram passengers, but also for future users of the premetro. The city authorities have recently approved the study of its first line (from Nowa Huta to Bronowice) where both routes will be aligned at a distance of approx. 700 meters. “We make every effort to ensure that our investment fits in with other planned municipal projects. The new tram route will be coordinated with that of the premetro” – said Marcin Hanczakowski, director of Kraków Municipal Road Authority (ZDMK) in an interview for the transport-publiczny.pl website. The change involves the construction of a turnout chamber to direct the metro cars towards Pilotów street without direct interference with the new infrastructure.
We already know what the stop in the tunnel of the Krakow Fast Tram to Mistrzejowice will look like. The main theme of the selected design are the materials characteristic of Krakow’s walls – stone and brick. A large skylight will provide adequate lighting of the interior of the underground station at Polsadu roundabout.
Architectural design of the Polsadu roundabout stop prepared by the Prota Polska Sp. z o.o. company on behalf of Gülermak has been positively received by the Chief Architect of the City of Kraków. It features two underground floors: level -2 with tram platforms and level -1 with circulation paths for pedestrians leading to the ground level through four staircases. Each exit pavilion will be roofed and have traditional stairs, escalators and elevators to serve bicycles or prams. The stop is fully accessible to persons with reduced mobility. Underground – on top of areas for passengers – there will be premises for staff of the tram stop and tunnel services as well as technical rooms for safe and proper operations of the facility.
No more boring pedestrian tunnels
The designers knew the drawback of tunnels and other linear structures: the monotony of long corridors. To prevent it, a cladding system was designed on the walls underground. The pattern is repeatable yet the effect is different depending on the viewing angle. Even though made of modern materials, the cladding will refer to the raw materials so common across Kraków’s historic streets.
“The starting point for us when designing the stop at Polsadu roundabout were the materials that dominate the architecture of Kraków: stone and brick” – says Małgorzata Marcinkowska, an architect with Prota Polska Sp. z o.o. “Walls made of these materials are arranged in a specific way and display certain rhythm, especially the details of the brick threads. Our idea was to translate this pattern into large-format geometric forms of interior cladding and to apply an analogous color scheme” – explains the designer.
Exit pavilions featuring contrasting items
Brick walls, overgrown with vines, are also typical landscape in Prądnik Czerwony – a district in Kraków rich in monastery buildings. This is the association visible in exit pavilions which were designed in a contrastive manner. “One of the walls is a reference to a massive wall covered with vegetation, the rest of the pavilion is a light, glazed steel structure” – says Małgorzata Marcinkowska. The species of plants that make up the ‘green wall’ will be carefully selected so that they are easy to maintain and aesthetic throughout the year.
Once the tram line to Mistrzejowice is in place, the Młyńskie roundabout will become a major transfer hub. We are spreading the news about our investment plans. This time we reached local residents in ZDMK’s Mobile Information Outlet. As the Turkish custom has it, talks were held over a cup of tea served by the private partner – Gülermak.
As part of the KST IV tramway route project, the Młyńskie roundabout will become a two-level transfer hub. Initial concept for the tram route involved an above-ground track in this area. However, at the request of the public partner, an alternative solution was designed and ultimately trams will cross the roundabout in a grade-separated way: at level -1.
How will the immediate vicinity change? When will construction works start and how long will they last? These are just some of the questions asked by the local residents who decided to chat with us in the Mobile Information Outlet. On top of verbal information, we have also been distributing brochures describing the project and informing local residents where and how they can report comments and ask more questions. The event was organized by the private partner of the project – Gülermak company – which in line with the Turkish custom hosted the guests with a cup of tea.
Solutions for cyclists and pedestrians designed as part of KST IV tram route received a positive opinion of the team tasked with reviewing the safety of vulnerable road users. Below you can find the sheets presented to the team. The designer will still add on them some minor comments from the opinion.
This autumn, the planned tramway route to Mistrzejowice will be checked from a geological perspective. It involves drilling and field sounding as well as laboratory analysis of samples collected. Purpose? To identify soil and water conditions where the works will be performed.
Drilling began in the third week of September and involves works at approx. 120 selected points in the strip of land where the project is planned. Deep boreholes are made in the area of the planned tramway tunnel, while shallow ones are performed where the trackbed and roads will be constructed. Geologists are already now checking the parameters and arrangement of the subsoil layers in specific locations. The next stage of the survey includes sounding and laboratory analyzes of the collected samples. This will bring detailed knowledge of the soil and water conditions where the new tram infrastructure is planned.
The survey is to be completed in November. What will the designer and contractor learn? For instance, the groundwater level of the groundwater will be established to allow engineers to properly design the lowered part of the trackbed and to select an adequate method of securing the excavations. They will also know whether the excavated spoil (soil) can be reused for construction purposes.
Once the substrate is accurately recognized from the geological perspective, new infrastructure can be safely designed and the impact of construction works minimized.
114 – the number of questions asked in the on-line chat that took place on 7 September 2021. We did not answer all of them during the chat due to time constraints. The following are responses to the remaining ones.
When will we know which specific trees will be removed?
A predevelopment plan has been made where every tree was covered – it is a meticulous and precise study. Cutting down a tree will always be an individual decision. Decisions concerning greenery are only taken after the roadway layout is planned and a detailed conflict analysis is ready – at this point we would know which trees can be saved. The number of trees to be cut down will be established after obtaining RCC decision.
Will trees be transplanted?
A lot of freshly planted greenery is located next to new buildings and possible relocations / transplants are considered there. Old trees cannot be transplanted but we will be trying that with young ones as we want to save as many of them as possible.
Why the trees that are in conflict with the investment must be cut down? Is transplanting an option? A similar method was applied when tramway route was built to Górka Narodowa–Krowodrza Górka terminus.
A predevelopment plan has been made where every tree was covered – it is a meticulous and precise study. Cutting down a tree will always be an individual decision. A lot of freshly planted greenery is located next to new buildings and possible relocations / transplants are considered there. Old trees cannot be transplanted but we will be trying that with young ones as we want to save as many of them as possible.
Old trees may very well be transplanted. Such a solution was already applied in Kraków. Take the area owned by the AGH University of Science and Technology at Mickiewicza avenue.
Felling will be limited to trees that are actually in conflict with the planned infrastructure. Options, if any, will be considered for transplanting trees to different locations.
Does the project entail the removal of large trees?
The main goal of the project is to keep as many trees and shrubs as possible and in this respect a detailed analysis is being conducted. A predevelopment plan has been made where every tree was covered – it is a meticulous and precise study. Cutting down a tree will always be an individual decision.
Is there a plan to build ‘green stops’ on the tramway platforms? I’m asking about greenery planting, e.g. in flower pots. Or will there be regular concrete platforms like the ones along the tramway route to Płaszów or Ruszaj – without any shading. I’d like to recall that you picture the tramway route to be an incentive for the residents. A number of bus stops on the planned project route feature shading. Not very much of an incentive if this is to be replaced by concrete stops without any shade.
In line with the PFU, there are no requirements concerning the ‘green stops’. This remark was forwarded to Kraków Municipal Road Authority (ZDMK) and whether this solution is applied or not is the Public Partner’s decision.
How many trees and shrubs will be cut down due to the project? How many trees will be planted in the vegetated strip designed, e.g. on Meissnera street?
Cutting down a tree will always be an individual decision. Decisions concerning greenery are only taken after the roadway layout is planned and a detailed conflict analysis is ready – at this point we would know which trees can be saved. The number of trees to be cut down will be established after obtaining RCC decision.
Pursuant to the decision on environmental conditions dated 24/05/2017, compensation planting is required which as far as possible would be performed within the project, along the entire tramway route.
Are there green track beds planned on separated sections?
In line with the PFU, the entire tramway route planned will be featuring a green track bed, except for the tunnel under Polsadu roundabout and its ramps as well as:
– bus and tramway lanes,
– road crossings,
– bicycle crossings,
– the areas of tram stops.
A different solution is applied in these places (a trackbed made of precast track slabs).
What about the noise aspect of the planned tramway route? Being a resident of Bohomolca street, I would like to know if the trackbed along Bohomolca street (the current ‘football pitch’) is to be a green one? And one more thing – what about the crossing with Bohomolca street? Will there be any noise-reducing solutions applied?
The designer’s documentation must be in line with the environmental decision. Pursuant to the legal regulations in force, the investor – before ordering the design currently implemented – had obtained such a decision. Generally, the closer the residential buildings are to the planned project, the greater the likelihood of building them with sound barriers. The exact set-up of the barriers is individually adjusted to the terrain and the comfort of the residents. The current version of the design is not finished and the residents’ comments are gathered. Also, opinions on the design are issued by all municipal companies and institutions responsible for the review of documentation, utility owners or environmental authorities. The designer must reassess the environmental impact of the project – more specifically, or must review the solutions that are included in the building permit design.
(see the previous question for the response to the green trackbed question)
The crossing with the roadway of Bohomolca street will be a ‘floating track’ one to significantly reduce vibrations and noise generated by the trams.
Additionally, there will be lubricators located before curves to prevent any grinding or squeaking noise caused by friction between the rolling stock wheels and the rails.
Why are you planning noise barriers beside the parking lot of a building supplies store, the parking lot and green square next to Meissnera and Chałupnika intersection? The local land development plan does not allow any residential buildings in this area.
The environmental decision provides for a number of noise barriers which are featured in the design and marked pink. These are located in different locations along the entire tramway route. The current version of the design is not finished and the residents’ comments are gathered. Also, opinions on the design are issued by all municipal companies and institutions responsible for the review of documentation, utility owners or environmental authorities. The designer must reassess the environmental impact of the project – more specifically, or must review the solutions that are included in the building permit design. The provisions in the environmental decision may still be changed following the amendments introduced (like the lowering of the tramway route in the area of Młyńskie roundabout, which is a positive change for the neighboring areas in terms of noise emissions).
Are there any plans for noise barriers (or other types of noise safety measures) along Jancarza street, especially at the curve between Kurzei and Marchołta streets?
The design does not provide for any redevelopment of the noise barrier currently in place on the western side of Reduta street up to Kurzei street. Pursuant to the decision of environmental conditions, vibration damping mats or another equivalent vibration damping technology must be used in the trackbed. On-completion noise survey will be made after the project is completed to check how efficient the noise reduction measures used are.
Will the noise barriers be covered in greenery?
In line with the tender documentation (PFU item 4.10.24 Noise barriers), it is the Public Partner’s decision whether or not to plant creepers on full panels. The elaboration will be agreed with the Municipal Greenery Authority (ZZM) at a later stage of the project.
What is the planned height of noise barriers along Meissnera street in the area of intersection with Ugorek street? Wouldn’t it be better for the first blocks in Włodkowica and Ugorek streets if the noise barriers slightly entered Ugorek street as well?
Pursuant to the decision on environmental conditions, the barriers must be 6 meters high in the vicinity of these buildings (addresses to be secured: Włodkowica street 1 and 2, Janickiego street 1).
The designer must reassess the project’s environmental impact to determine whether, for instance, the height of the noise barriers as defined in the decision on environmental conditions is sufficient.
What if the residents of Dobrego Pasterza street will not accept the noise barriers?
And another question, somehow linked with the plans. The tramway to Mistrzejowice is to be extended by another section. From the Piastów residential estate terminus to the border with Batowice by the railway tracks. Given the high-density building pattern, there is a risk that the tramway route will be between Nowa Huta Tax Office and the residential buildings opposite to it. How will the residents be protected from the tramway-generated noise?
As part of the design, there are no plans to change the existing roadways or road network pattern in the area of Dobrego Pasterza street; tramway tracks are built on the southern side. The designer is analyzing how the tramway route under construction affects the residential developments nearby and checks whether noise barriers are necessary.
The answer to the second part of the question: the extension is outside the scope of this project.
Why do you fail to comply with the requirements set in the local land development plan whereby the tree-lines in Meissnera street must be protected?
The abovementioned section of Meissnera street features trees that are not in conflict with the project and these will be kept. However, there are places where changes and felling are necessary to spread the road layout in order to lay out the tramway route. Decisions concerning greenery are only taken after the roadway layout is planned and a detailed conflict analysis is ready – at this point we would know which trees can be saved. In accordance with legal regulations in Article 11i (2) of the Act of 10 April 2003 on detailed rules for the preparation and implementation of investment projects in the field of public roads, the provisions governing planning and spatial development do not apply to matters relating to the road construction consent. The request for RCC decision – which includes, in particular, a map featuring the proposed road route and an analysis of the interface between the road and other public roads – is accepted and filed by the competent road authority.
Which Local Development Plan (MPZP) states the roadway in Meissnera and Młyńska is to be 3.5m wide?
The Local Development Plan (MPZP) for Ugorek – Fiołkowa applies there. The Local Development Plan (MPZP) does not set the parameters of a road yet its category only. Specific parameters are defined in detailed regulations.
The Local Development Plan (MPZP) states that Meissnera and Młyńska streets are roads classified under KDZT.2 category – 2×2 with a planned tramway track in the median strip.
Why do you fail to comply with the City of Kraków’s study and you designed Młyńska street as a traffic road, even though under the city’s study it should be primarily a city street.
All streets in the city are also roads – they are comprehensive roads (subordinated to public transportation). They have a specific role of making an area accessible. The tramway route to Mistrzejowice – or its designing, to be specific – complies with the Local Development Plan (MPZP) and any design guidelines.
Public transportation is the basis for the city’s transport policy – hence, the construction of a new tramway route is in line with it.
What the staff from ZDMK say about the two lanes on Meissnera street is a contradiction in terms. The Municipal Traffic Engineer changed traffic arrangement to feature one lane which – given your statements – is not in line with the Local Development Plan (MPZP). So you as ZDMK are bound by the law and the Municipal Traffic Engineer is not?
When making changes on Meissnera street, the Municipal Traffic Engineer was following the guidelines compiled in the audit of Road Traffic Safety. The main aim was to improve safety until the project linked to the construction of tramway route to Mistrzejowice is completed.
ZDMK is aware of the traffic arrangement in place on Meissnera street (the single lane solution), yet you need to take into account the city’s structure, study plans and local development plans which are all clear about the function of this street. In the light of traffic needs, local development plans and the accessibility of the area, the 2×2 solution will be maintained. Matters related to traffic arrangements will be established with the City of Kraków’s Municipal Traffic Engineer.
Who and when checked traffic volume? The intersection of tramway route with Dobrego Pasterza street will even further increase traffic jams in the neighborhood. Is there an option considered of placing the tramway route in a tunnel at this section until it reaches Bohomolca street?
Traffic volumes were checked as part of developing the concept for a task linked to the construction of the tramway route to Mistrzejowice. The contractor is now supposed to update the checks.
No tunnel option is considered for the section.
Has anyone actually thought about how the tramway route will hinder or even block traffic on Dobrego Pasterza and Bohomolca streets? What about the intersection of Bohomolca and Dobrego Pasterza streets? Why the streets cross at the same level? How will this affect car traffic?
If the tramway route intersects Bohomolca street – which already hosts bigger traffic than initially accepted – will the traffic here still be smooth? Once pedestrian crossings and traffic lights are added, the traffic here might look bad, to put it mildly.
I’ve read the tramway frequency here will be 90 seconds. Since the tramway route will be in conflict with car traffic, how much worse Dobrego Pasterza street will become for motorists?
If the tramway route intersects Bohomolca street – which already hosts bigger traffic than initially accepted – will the traffic here still be smooth? Once pedestrian crossings and traffic lights are added, the traffic here might simply be paralyzed. Is an underground route not an option at this section (the area around Bohomolca street is clearly elevated which would make it easier).
Don’t you expect Dobrego Pasterza street to be a permanent traffic jam? Your model says nothing about this threat?
Even though when Serenada Mall had been developed the intersection of Bohomolca and Dobrego Pasterza streets was redesigned, major car traffic is now reported there, especially in Bohomolca street. It seems clear that the tramway route that will intersect with Dobrego Pasterza street (in the area of Aqua Park) and will enter Bohomolca street will only boost traffic jams. I assume traffic lights will be installed to prioritize the tram which will only add to the problem of traffic jams.
Has any study been made into how the tramway route intersecting with Dobrego Pasterza and Bohomolca streets will affect the rush hour car traffic? Will the streets be paralyzed due to the number of trams running per hour?
The city’s transport policy is focused on developing public transportation. Any matters related to traffic arrangements will be established by the contractor with the City of Kraków’s Municipal Traffic Engineer.
The idea behind the tramway route is to shift car traffic to rail traffic. The tramway is set to transport approx. 2,700 passengers every hour. So, the traffic makeup should change.
Why is there no plan to redesign the intersection with Reduta street during the construction of the tramway route? Even now, the traffic in this area is heavy.
The project concerns the construction of a tramway route to Mistrzejowice and adapting the road layout accordingly.
The intersection with Reduta street has no impact on the planned route – ZDMK will request a task in the 2022 budget related to the intersection redesign. It would be a new investment task.
Is there any chance to limit traffic on Reduta street now that the tramway route is constructed? It is a D category street yet serves as a through street. The residents fear the entire traffic will be directed through their street during the construction works. The street is already not safe.
The idea behind the tramway route is to shift car traffic to rail traffic. The tramway is set to transport approx. 2,700 passengers every hour. So, the traffic makeup should change.
At this stage, there are no traffic arrangement decisions made for the construction period – discussions are underway.
Have you been checking how dangerous the pedestrian crossing at Kniaźnina/Bohomolca streets is (elevation)? Why do you want to add a tram stop on the other side of a heavily developed Oświecenia residential estate. Why can’t the stop be located 40 meters further, on the eastern side (from the perspective of Oświecenia residential estate).
Public Transport Authority in Kraków (ZTP) was analyzing the location of this tram stop. Their study considered the safety of residents and their needs.
Is there an option to move the bus stop in Bohomolca street towards Marchołta street so that the exit road reaches Bohomolca street?
Such a solution has not been considered.
Why did you abandon the idea of a tram stop at the Marchołta/Bohomolca intersection and instead you tuck the stop into a dangerous and jammed intersection of Kniaźnina/Bohomolca streets?
The location of tram stops has been analyzed by the Public Transport Authority in Kraków (ZTP).
The pass near Kniaźnina/Bohomolca intersection is very dangerous. Just check the number of accidents in the recent years there involving pedestrians and cyclists.
This spot has been reviewed for safety in a bicycle audit. We will be checking the number of accidents.
How will the exit be made from the multifamily real estate in Bohomolca street (plot MW.21)?
How will the residents of Domosfera 2 (in Bohomolca street) be reaching the blocks?
How will the exit be made from the multifamily real estates in Bohomolca street (plot MW.21)? Will there be a direct exit from Bohomolca street?
By directing the tram route through Krzesławicka street and not connecting this street with Dobrego Pasterza street, traffic will be forwarded to the area of single family dwellings – transfer of traffic to Aliny street and Brzechwy street which are not meant to handle this type of traffic. Why cannot the exit from major residential compounds in Krzesławicka street (areas MW 21 MW 22) be to Bohomolca street?
These areas will not be exiting to Krzesławicka street. The street will remain without pass, except for pedestrians and cyclists. MW.21 plot (Domosfera II) will be accessible from the area of the tram stop in Bohomolca street.
If MW.21 plot is to be exited into Marchołta street, there should also be a turn-around area there (20m*20m) – similar to the one in Krzesławicka street. There is no room for that. Where exactly will the exit from plot MW.21 be located?
This is a private area. The real estate developer is establishing the scope and manner of accessibility which are subject to a review by the Municipal Traffic Engineer who will be scrutinizing how this traffic will affect the residents. Kraków Municipal Road Authority (ZDMK) is making all efforts not to direct the traffic to Krzesławicka street so that the street remains a local one. The U-turn area – due to the difference in levels and other reasons – will not be able to serve the project. The real estate developer is now making arrangements for the design of how the buildings will be served, by giving them access to Bohomolca street. The documentation has been filed for review and changes that are necessary to coordinate the project from technical and traffic lights perspective. Once the real estate developer-compiled documents are agreed upon and reviewed by the tramway route designer, ZDMK will try to insert this to designs as a separate part of the project – it will be made available to the residents.
Was it also under consideration to place the tramway route at level -1 in the vicinity of Krzesławicka street so as not to cross the over-ground tram line and Dobrego Pasterza and Bohomolca streets? 3) See the illustrative drawing here: https://pasteboard.co/Kjwn5zY.png
Is the construction of an underground tramway route considered in the area from Dobrego Pasterza to Bohomolca streets?
Please consider an underground tramway route at the Dobrego Pasterza-Bohomolca section.
I don’t understand why underground tramway route is not an option for Dobrego Pasterza, Krzesławicka, Bohomolca since the area is already tightly developed and dangerous.
No tunnel option is considered for the section.
Who signed the concept of constructing a tramway route cramped along Bohomolca, Krzesławicka and Dobrego Pasterza streets?
The concept was prepared by an authorized design office.
Who gave positive opinion on this concept whereby traffic on Dobrego Pasterza and Bohomolca streets will be hindered? Why an underground tramway route is not an option here?
The concept was prepared by an authorized design office. It was then publicly consulted. Appropriate authorities approved them as well.
ZDMK and city authorities must take care of the residents as well. The solution proposed will forever make the exit to Dobrego Pasterza and Bohomolca difficult. It’s already a dangerous spot. City authorities keep issuing new building permits and then they tuck this over-ground tram route.
Any changes currently made in the area are based on the Local Development Plan approved. The Local Development Plan was subject to public consultations.
Did you compare traffic capacity between the intersection next to Galeria Serenada mall, CH Krokus mall, Multikino cinema, Aqua Park, the vicinity of the blocks and Młyńskie roundabout?
Yes, traffic has been analyzed.
Has the designer or anyone else accepting the concept ever actually been on the ground around Dobrego Pasterza, Krzesławicka and Bohomolca streets? The over-ground tramway route will make it worse for the residents. It’s already clogged and jammed.
Yes, on-site inspection is part of design works.
What are the obstacles to expanding the design area so that it covers the exit from Jurczaka street viaduct to Bora Komorowskiego street to eventually ease the traffic on Bohomolca street?
This solution is outside of the scope of the environmental decision.
There were premetro drillings also on Dobrego Pasterza street and city authorities will also have savings here if the tramway route will be underground at the Dobrego Pasterza-Bohomolca section.
Analyses made as part of the premetro study are used for the purposes of the construction of the tramway route to Mistrzejowice.
What will the traffic arrangement look like at the Bohomolca and Kniaźnina intersection during the construction of the tramway route?
Currently, designs of temporary traffic arrangement are being prepared with the underlying assumption to minimize the difficulties for road users and to ensure works can be performed at the same time. Given the linear nature of the construction project, the staging must cover the entire section. In this specific location – and the scope of road and track works – temporary closure of the approach from Kniaźnina street will be necessary as well traffic limitations on Bohomolca street. Final temporary traffic organization designs for the section will be prepared and filed with the Municipal Traffic Engineer after the stage of industry-specific arrangements and designs is completed (e.g. electricity networks).
Are there any plans for bus lanes to be introduced for the duration of the construction works? This way, buses will not get stuck in traffic jams that will undoubtedly be major. Don’t forget Młyńska and Dobrego Pasterza streets are the routes of several dozens of buses running from almost all neighborhoods of Kraków.
The introduction of this type of solutions depends on several factors, including terrain capabilities – the width of the street’s cross-section. Such decisions are made in the course of arrangements concerning temporary traffic organization designs. However, such a solution may also be introduced at a certain stage of the project following the review of the actual traffic situation.
Are there any plans to carry out works also in the evening / night hours to shorten the project completion time as much as possible?
Construction works will be in principle performed between 6 am and 10 pm. Works at night are significantly inconvenient for the residents of neighboring buildings, yet in justified cases, they would also be carried out at night.
How many bus lines will be closed that are overlapping with the new tramway route?
How many of the bus lines on Dobrego Pasterza street will be closed?
Respective decisions will be taken by the unit in charge of public transportation – ZTPK.
Mr. Rapciak mentioned 40 tramway sets – does that concern one-way route or both ways? I’m asking in the context of the solutions you mentioned for the future fast tram (metro) on Młyńskie roundabout. Will the infrastructure – especially in the area of Dobrego Pasterza street – handle additional tramway ets?
40 tramway sets is for one direction only. Naturally, the number includes sets of the future premetro.
What will be the travel time of the Fast Tram from Mistrzejowice terminus to the city center?
Travel time from Mistrzejowice to the center will be approx. 19 minutes.
What is the cost of purchasing and operating the tram rolling stock vs the cost of purchasing electric buses?
We have no data to prepare such an analysis – competences of the Public Transport Authority in Kraków (ZTPK) and the Municipal Communication Company (MPK) in Kraków.
Will the recording of today’s consultation be available online, e.g. on the website: https://tramwajdomistrzejowic.pl/
The recording is posted on www.tramwajdomistrzejowic.pl. It is also available on Kraków Municipal Road Authority’s (ZDMK) YouTube channel.
Why will the stops be on level -1 or even -2? What about the elderly, the disabled or parents with prams?
What is the idea behind levels -1 and -2 at Polsadu roundabout?
The design of the roundabout, under which the tramway route is projected, provides for access via 4 staircases through stairs, escalators and elevators which enables the movement of the elderly, the disabled and parents with prams. A passenger may therefore go from the underground stop in any direction without having to use the pedestrian crossings already existing. The tramway route and underground stops are designed on level -2.
Why has the location of the traction station been changed to the intersection of Marchołta and Bohomolca streets where there are many trees there? Originally, the station was to be located in the vicinity of Domosfera I development (open areas).
The traction substation is an integral part of a tram road being its only power source. Location of the substation depends on many aspects, e.g. length of traction feeder cables. Given the above, the traction substation should be located near the middle point of the tram road section powered by a given substation. The indicated location is such a place. At the same time, the substation should be located in close proximity to the tram road (trackbed) so that voltage drops between the substation and the tram road are limited. Talks about the power supply zones are still being held so the location of the traction substation in Marchołta street can also be changed. In addition, due to the noise caused by the ventilation system, which is an integral part of a traction substation, it was proposed to move the substation away from Domosfera I building.
What will be the solution adopted for Załuskich street? Will it be possible to access Jancarza street from Załuskich street as it is the case now?
Yes, Załuskich street will have an access point onto Jancarza street, as it is the case now. There will be only one change though – tram tracks will have to be crossed.
How will the problematic location of the new Mistrzejowice terminus solved due to large ground level differences at the section approaching the old terminus, Załuskich street and behind it along Jancarza street?
The designer has designed the tram road in accordance with the applicable standards. It has adopted appropriate longitudinal gradients thanks to which the above-mentioned location of the terminus is possible.
Why isn’t it possible to reach Grzegórzecka street with the planned tram road?
Pursuant to the Functional Specification, the scope between Meissnera and Grzegórzecka street does not fall within the scope of the project in question. Moreover, the section from Grzegórzecka street to Meissnera street has already a tram road, according to the currently available locations of the tram network in Krakow.
Will the fragment of the wall of former Landwehr barracks be kept as the so-called witness to history – situated in Dobrego Pasterza street near the existing transformer station?
According to the information obtained from the Municipal Conservation Officer of Kraków in letter of 14.04.2021, the barracks of the infantry, the building connected with the Kraków Fortress, do not conflict with the planned project (the building does not exist).
Why were traffic forecasts made in March and July only? March – pandemic, July – holiday season. Such measurements and analyses do not reflect the actual traffic volume.
Traffic surveys – Kraków Traffic Model – are updated on an ongoing basis. The data from this model are used as baseline data in detailed designs and traffic forecasts, such as KST IV. Both this year as well as the last year are full of COVID-19 anomalies and related restrictions which is visible also in transport. If the forecast was created only on the basis of in-situ studies carried out over the last 1.5 year, such data would be unreliable. But this is not the case since such surveys are conducted in the city continuously and the aforementioned anomalies can be eliminated in a detailed model analyzed by the designer. As a standard, measurements are, of course, performed during morning and afternoon rush hours when the traffic volume is larger. The project will not eliminate such traffic jams. The only solution is to plan projects of a wider scope in the city so that they encourage the residents to choose collective transport instead of a car.
Have the designers taken into account the fact that premetro trainsets of length of up to 60 m will run along the section between the Aqua Park and Młyńskie roundabout in the future? Will the designed stops (especially the underground stops!) be long enough for such trains?
This month, the designer received information concerning introduction of Change Order No. 1 (tram on -1 level starting from Młyńskie roundabout). The Department of Municipal Services of the Municipal Office of Kraków (UMK WGK) notes the potentially insufficient width of the link enabling transfer between Premetro and KST IV, however, the final standpoint regarding this issue is to be taken by the entity responsible for this project (ZDMK). At present, the traffic forecast is being analyzed. The designer will ask that UMK WGK provide clear information concerning the traffic forecast for premetro in order to compare the results and the mutual impact of both projects. Thanks to such an analysis it will be possible to state whether the length of boarding platforms is sufficient.
I would like to ask you about the curve in Bohomolca street, at the level between Marchołta and Kurzei streets: what will be the radius of the track curve there, what type of rails will be adopted there (railway rails or grooved rails), are any lubricators planned to be installed at those curves?
The maximum possible curve radius designed by the Designer at this point is 50 m. According to the design, tram (grooved) rails will be adopted; in addition, track lubricators will be situated before the curves which will prevent any grinding or squeaking noise caused by friction between tram wheels and rails.
Lubricators have been designed at all curves smaller than 150 m pursuant to the Functional Specification (PFU).
Why is no car park planned to be built as part of the construction of the tram road?
The city builds parking stalls and car parks in other investment tasks: Program of construction of parking spaces and Program of construction of P&R facilities.
Why have no new parking stalls been designed along Bohomolca street if around 20 stalls are to be eliminated at Domosfera 1 development as well as the makeshift parking area in Krzesławicka street (for around 50 vehicles)?
The main objective of the project is the construction of a tram road. The associated infrastructure is adjusted to it.
Why was the decision on the route of the tram road taken during the consultation in 2015, attended by only 160 people?
The public consultation was conducted in accordance with the applicable law. We have no control over the number of people who attend such meetings – they were open to the public.
The information of the obtained environmental decision was also made public.
Why has no one consulted the residents so far? References to the consultation of 2015 are absurd since there were no residential buildings along Dobrego Pasterza and Bohomolca streets at that time.
The Prądnik Czerwony Wschód local development plan (MPZP) has been effective since 2018 (in October 2014, works on the plan started). The project connected with the construction of the tram road is compliant with the provisions of the plan.
– Technological advancement in recent years has allowed for a significant reduction in the propagation of vibrations to buildings. Residents will enjoy the fast and modern tramway route and the new road pavements that will not require renovation after a few years like before – says Prof. Tadeusz Tatara of the Cracow University of Technology.
Interview with Prof. Tadeusz Tatara*, Head of the Chair of Mechanics of Engineering Structures (Cracow University of Technology), who specializes in studying strains and vibrations in structures
The construction of a tram route in an area of intensive residential development – like the KST IV project – raises concerns about the impact of vibrations on nearby buildings. Is there a reason to be afraid of?
Prof. Tadeusz Tatara: – It is understandable that residents may have concerns regarding vibrations and its effects on the structures of buildings and the people inside them. The vicinity of a busy road is enough for the residents of nearby buildings to notice the impact, e.g. in the form of scratches or even cracks in the walls. This is usually safe for the structure itself yet is uncomfortable. Especially for someone who has recently painted the apartment.
Naturally, a lot depends on the technical condition of a building, but also on the quality of the transport infrastructure. Technological advancement in recent years has allowed for a significant reduction in the propagation of vibrations to buildings. An example might be the recently renovated Mogilska Street, where the existing buildings are located a short distance from the trackbed and the altered road network. The residents voiced their concerns about the project. And what is the status today? No complaints. A new, noise-reducing pavement is in place with properly selected vibration damping elements and a modern rolling stock used. The same goes for the KST IV project.
The residents of Mogilska Street are already used to a tramway route nearby. For those living along Młyńska or Dobrego Pasterza Streets it is a brand new experience…
– Tramway route is a comprehensive solution: trackbed, systems, rolling stock. Just compare the trams we had in Kraków 10-15 years ago and the ones on the tracks now. Also, various vibration damping solutions are mandatory these days. They always feature rail baseplates, polyurethane encapsulating compounds and vibration damping mats. I am currently supervising a research on a vibro-barrier, i.e. a partition in the ground installed to a certain depth which is using recycled materials. It is an additional element that can be used in this type of investments. If these solutions are appropriately selected and will meet standards regarding the impact of vibrations, then I would say that the negative impact of tramway traffic on buildings will be significantly limited
How do you select an appropriate damping solution?
– Already at the design stage an analysis is made that serves as the basis for a forecast on vibration impact and for selecting the appropriate vibration damping solutions. In the impact zone, representative buildings are selected and the so-called dynamic background is measured so that we establish the vibrations that occur in buildings at the quality of the communication system currently in place. These buildings must be carefully selected since we are looking for the weakest links – not buildings erected with the use of modern materials and technologies. Their number must be appropriate or the analysis will be imprecise and will trigger costs at the implementation stage related to the use of more expensive vibration damping mats along the entire route. In other words – savings at the analysis stage may be deceptive.
In the next step, models of representative buildings are calibrated and – using the database of vibration measurements at various tram runs – simulations are made. They take into account various aspects, e.g. ground conditions, gauge height. Adequate damping solutions are then selected to meet the standard conditions required.
It is difficult to talk about standards when we are faced with something versus which tolerance levels will vary. Someone may not feel the effects of the vibration while someone else will complain about it.
– Two aspects should be distinguished: the possible harmfulness of vibrations on the structure of buildings and the impact of the same vibrations on people inside the buildings. Naturally, each person may have a different threshold for perceiving such phenomena, but some things should be generalized. I have co-authored both the standard on the impact of vibrations transmitted by the ground on buildings and on the assessment of their impact by people. The standard for the assessment of the impact of vibrations on people distinguishes, among others, day and night time, buildings with various functions – hospitals, educational institutions, houses, etc. Such a generalization is possible, although it takes into account a number of variables.
And what about the standard for buildings? Do you take into account for instance their age?
– There are two scales. To put it simply: one refers to small buildings, the other to higher buildings: up to five storeys constructed using traditional method or with large-size elements. We have both these classes along the KST IV route: single-family houses at Krzesławicka Street and the ‘razor’ building at Meissnera Street.
Since a lot depends on the technical condition of a building, the time when it was erected – or rather the technology then used – also matters. For example, in the vicinity of the viaduct along Bora Komorowskiego Street we have 5-storey buildings from the turn of 1960s and 1970s made of large panels. What matters in this case is the quality of workmanship of the contacts between them. Every material is aging, so the contacts in such a structure are subject to degradation. If simulations and selections are made for these weakened buildings – in historic Krakow these are often centuries old – you can choose the appropriate vibration damping and prevent the effects of vibrations.
We are talking about forecasts. What if the vibrations bother the residents after the project is completed?
– After the ribbon-cutting ceremony and once the tram is operational and the drivers use the new pavement, you have to answer the question: is the vibration damping really effective? To this end, another measurement is recommended in the representative buildings. It is usually made 36-40 days after the project is completed. Results are then compared. If he levels are exceeded, further solutions must be sought.
It may turn out that the problem of cracks is not in the trackbed but in the building itself. That is why, prior to the project launch, the contractor makes an inventory of the technical condition of the buildings in the impact zone. Imagine a resident claiming for damages yet without justification – since the damage occurred before the project. Photo documentation is very helpful in such circumstances.
How can you minimize vibrations when trams are already running on the trackbed?
– The point where the wheel meets the rail is of key importance. Therefore, it is necessary to first of all reprofile wheels, grind the rails, lubricate them on the curves and take care of the appropriate quality of turnouts. The aim is to get rid of unevenness and the characteristic knocking of a passing tram. Drivers should be covering turnouts or curves with appropriate speed. Do not forget about the condition of trolleys, because if unbalanced, they also generate vibrations in the ground and are the cause of their propagation and impact on buildings.
Part of the KST IV tram route will run in a tunnel – how does that impact the intensity of feeling vibrations?
– It may sound unbelievable yet this works to the benefit of the residents. To put it simply, a reinforced concrete tram tunnel is a concrete box with a very large mass that is able to dampen some of the vibrations generated by trams. In the case of the tunnel section, the subsoil will be extremely important – its saturation is certainly checked as well as groundwater table in the area of Polsadu roundabout and Sudół Dominikański. This is because water is conducive to the transmission of vibrations.
The construction time will certainly be a difficult period for the residents. What can the contractor do to minimize the inconvenience of vibrations at this stage?
– Indeed, difficult times yet no one will remember the inconvenience once the construction works are over. Residents will enjoy the fast and modern tramway route and the new road pavements that will not require renovation after a few years like before. It is worth believing in technological progress and freeing yourself from thinking that life will be worse after the project.
Vibrations during the works will certainly be caused by numerous construction machines. A pile driving hammer will surely be a cause for complaints. As and when needed, sensors can be installed in the area of the works to monitor the vibration level on an ongoing basis and compare it with the standard parameters. You can then react and, for instance, change the settings of the dropweight.
Much depends on the contractor’s diligence when organizing the construction site. You can always improve the panel joints of the haulage road, but you can also make them correctly in the first place – to avoid the discomfort for the residents.
Interviewed by Gabriela Łazarczyk, Gülermak
*Prof. Tadeusz Tatara – specialist in the field of seismic and paraseismic vibrations, building dynamics, as well as diagnostics and monitoring of engineering structures. Author and co–author of over 220 publications, 4 trademarks, one patent application and 2 national standards to assess the impact of vibrations transmitted through the ground on buildings and people. The lead performer of 14 research projects financed from external sources.
For the KST IV Project. together with his team from the Cracow University of Technology, he will perform analyzes, taking into account in particular: determining the impact zones of dynamic vibrations on building structures and on people staying in buildings, the selection of representative buildings for analysis and the analysis of computer simulation results in the scope of calibrating calculation models and solutions minimizing dynamic impacts on building structures and on people indoors (if the computer simulation proves it necessary).