Friday, 9 December 2011

Car parking

I am surprised at how little snow there has been. A light dusting yesterday is all that has fallen for days. The weather can be quite changeable, like Melbourne. After yesterdays' brief snow shower, the afternoon was fairly sunny, though cold. Ideal for a stroll in the forest at Ismaylovski. 

I have come to the conclusion that the average Russian driver does not believe there are any footpaths in Moscow. There are, however, plenty of slightly elevated parking spaces along the roads. 

In places along Tverskaya there is often barely enough room for a couple of walkers to pass between buildings and filthy cars. After it rains, I have seen pedestrians walking through puddles because of vehicles parked on the dry sections of paving. 

Along some of the smaller back streets I have sometimes had to walk on the road because the footpath is choked with parked vehicles. I’ve also had to dodge cars driving along the footpath looking for somewhere to park.

There's a footpath here - somewhere. Pedestrians are sometimes forced to walk on the road into on-coming traffic because of parked cars.
 Even in Buenos Aires, a city of comparable size where I recently stayed for a couple of months, this sort of behaviour by motorists is not tolerated. One would think that the lively Latin temperament would revel in disorderly parking, but I regularly saw cars towed away for disobeying parking signs near my apartment. And they weren’t even parked on the footpath.

Car being towed away for illegal parking outside my apartment in Buenos Aires. Not something I ever expect to see in Moscow. The motor cycles on the footpath were also removed.
The only deterrent to this activity, apart from lamp posts and bus shelters, are bollards. These have been installed, I assume, by business owners trying to prevent vehicles from using the footpath outside their premises as a parking lot. 
Double row of bollards outside the Intercontinental Hotel on Tverskaya to prevent cars parking on the footpath. The red building in the background is the Museum of Modern History.

I can’t see any evidence that the city authorities do anything about this practice. In fact, there are parking spaces painted on the sidewalk in places, which only offers encouragement.

Parking spaces painted on the footpath in Tverskaya.
In fairness, there are some great places for walking in Moscow – for example, the wonderful pedestrian mall at Old Arbat. But getting around much of the city on foot can be a real challenge.

I have heard comparisons of Tverskaya with the world’s other great boulevards, such as the Champs-Elysees and Oxford Street. A more fitting comparison might be with a used car lot.
Its hard to take comparisons of Tverskaya with the world's other great boulevards seriously all the time cars are parked on the footpath.


  1. The bollards are something new to me. It´s not that I never saw them, but not for that use. In Argentina for instance, there were some in the block of my apartment in buenos aires but they were only to make the street look nicer, not because of the cars!

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  4. Interesting post. I really liked this blog. Would love to share it with others.

  5. it is inappropriate to most of the cars on footpath, where pedestrians find it difficult to park. this can be resolved by having many car parking lots around as footpaths are only meant for pedestrians. cars are parked in
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  6. pedestrians rights should not be neglected. proper parking spaces should be provided for the safety of both pedestrians and traffic. valet parking gatwick

  7. providing the public with enough parking area is a problem but that isn't a way to solve this. The congestion is not being removed or eliminated or solved, its just shifted toward pedestrians. gatwick valet parking