Saturday, 21 May 2016

The street-fixing issues of Ferenc tér

Jarokelo.hu is a website and mobile app that allows people to report street issues such as potholes, broken street lights etc. in the city. We have collected and presented below the issues reported at Ferenc tér.

Photo by: László Nagy

The local government designed it, but how can locals use it?

A pain point on the square have become the playful and innovative fountain statues that have not been working for a while, and urban decay started. In 2013 Jarokelo users complained about the state of the blue and white "whale". The local government promised the renovation of the statues but according to commenters on the site neither 2014, nor 2015 brought any work done. In 2015 the local government replied to a report that the water installation/fountain had to be cordoned off from public because people have started to climb on them and, slide down. Eventually, the municipality opened a competition for the best ideas to re-design the square and solve these problems.

Hello Bubi!

In 2015 BKK, the Budapest public transportation authority commissioned the construction of a Bubi bike-sharing station in Ferenc tér. Locals did notice the change, and asked for updating street signs accordingly. They even reported when cars parked on the area of the station, generating a long thread - the issue was closed as unsolved by Jarokelo administrators. Street signs facing wrong directions because of a large car passing by chose the wrong route, or because of people who chose to vandalize the signs are issues often reported by locals who use the streets everyday.

How about cars in the neighbourhood?

Parking space is also a heated debate in Budapest. Ferenc tér is not excluded from this discussion, locals report people who try to leave their cars in forbidden spaces, or half parked on the pavement, some found it important to ask for the replacement of the green metal posts that block cars from parking on the sidewalk mentioning that some of these limiting urban objects (often called Demszky-karó in Hungarian, named after Budapest’s former liberal party delegate mayor) can be easily removed for the night. 

The owner of Vekni (the bakery/grocery on the corner) was accused of asking the municipality to reduce the locals' parking lots by asking for trees in containers to be placed in front of her shop in order to reduce traffic. This is what one can read on the report's thread: she got into a discussion with someone also living in Ferenc tér who found her post on the site, and commented on it.

There are abandoned cars as well that occupy free space in the city, there was an abandoned white car that had to be removed in 2014.

Animals in Ferencváros

A common problem in urban environments is the large amount of pigeon dropping where the birds like to stay either because they like the built environment, or because locals feed them. According to an official reply to an early Jarokelo report about this, these pigeon’s are the close relatives to messenger pigeons, meaning that it is very hard to chase them away because they always find their way back. They are also smart and very curious animals.

Plants in Ferenc tér

You wonder how do people feel about green areas in the city, do they want more, do they like trees and flowers? Often they report the appearance of small grass among the cracks of pavement, or they ask for the removal of weed. Another solution to the neverending parking problem is to place trees in large containers in the way of cars. These objects can easily be avoided by pedestrians, and can block the cars from parking “in a nice way”.

Dumping your waste anywhere is just plain common

A common problem among cities, and neighbourhoods in Hungary is the illegal dumping of waste that couldn’t fit in the household waste-management subscription. People often dump their household waste in public spaces such as forests, or in parks near waste bins, probably assuming that it won’t stay there for long because the local government will want to make sure the neighbourhood is nice and clean so the waste will soon be removed.

Missing pieces

Pedestrians notice a lot more details than people rushing in cars, or on bikes. They even report the missing pieces of storm sewers because they can start being filled up with general waste, and actually they can be dangerous for pedestrians too.

And only as a pedestrian will you notice the missing pieces from a speed bump, because you stand on the pavement, and can observe that a bump was hacked at Ferenc tér to allow cars to pass by as fast as they can.
A video posted by Jarokelo.hu (@jarokelo) on

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