Saturday, June 23, 2012

A New Park is Born

Ulaanbaatar’s highly touted “National Park” opened this week. I paid a visit today and we spent a couple of hours soaking it in. Impressions:

*It was not ready to open - clearly the city wanted to show it off before elections - there is still lots of basic construction work going on.

*Some basic facilities are still missing, there is no bathroom (toilet) and no parking lot. The playground is still very much under contraction. Lots of gaps in the walkways and lots of pipes around (trip hazards). Overall its pretty desolate.

*So what does it have? A fountain, couple of walkways, a plaza, a statue of an eagle, lots of flag poles, some very small trees. In other words, not much.

*There are plans to build soccer field, tennis courts etc, that might happen this summer. 

*Looking at the plan, I think they could do a better job in the landscape concept - the plans looks very artificial - mostly walkways, arches, statues, gates and trees planted in a straight row. Would be nice to see a wild forest grow here too, with little lakes and small hills. A shaded picnic area would be handy too - as the park is very exposed to the sun with no shade at all. 
  
some pics:
The plan...

 The fountain...
 The main path into the park...

Friday, June 22, 2012

UB opens new railroad crossing, eases traffic

A new railroad crossing has opened. It’s located near the Narantuul Market, crosses over the rail tracks and continues on the new road toward the International School. Reports are that since the road opened a couple of days ago the notorious traffic congestion on the Olympic Street rail crossing has eased.

The new road is easing traffic because all the people who live in Crystal Town and Bayan Mongol Horolol now have a new way to get into the city, they can head east, cross the new crossing and head straight up the Big Ring Road. The new road also allows anyone in Khan Uul and Zaisan area another option for getting to the eastern part of UB.