City Hall’s campaign to ‘de-motorize’ Warsaw appears to have flopped after latest figures revealed that over 135,000 new vehicles were registered in the city in 2022 – nearly twice as many as the previous year.
Bringing the total number of registered vehicles to a whopping 2,139,666 (of which 1,617,498 were passenger cars), the data shows that Warsaw has around 850 cars per 1,000 residents – one of the highest motorization rates in Europe.
According to Deputy Mayor Michał Olszewski, this compares to 300 vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants in Berlin, 240 in Copenhagen, 247 in Amsterdam and 246 in New York.
“Even assuming that not all vehicles registered here are actually driven in Warsaw, this still leaves us with one of the highest motorization ratios in Europe,” said Olszewski.
Oppositions politicians have been quick to criticize City Hall in light of the revelations, with Marek Szolc slamming the Mayor’s pledges to cut traffic and increase public transport options as being little more than “a PR fairy tale”.
Since taking office, Mayor Trzaskowski has repeatedly promised to slash congestion and reduce the number of cars on the roads; as part of this, ongoing projects to create ‘a new center for Warsaw’ have made much of tactics aimed at making the city less car dependent. The issue, however, appears to be far more complex than initially thought.
Despite this, the findings are perhaps not as bleak as they seem. In their defense, City Hall note that, as things stand, their plans for ‘a new center’ remain very much a work in progress with several major arteries yet to be targeted.
Moreover, despite the increase in car registrations, the number remains below the pre-pandemic level.
Others, though, remain unconvinced with Councilor Szolc seizing the opportunity to remind the public that in January City Hall made a car the top prize in its first city lottery.
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