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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Moscow turns motorists into a persona non grata

Widely touted transportation reform in Moscow included everything from the introduction of paid Parking and tow trucks to deal with buses. After a few years it can be stated that traffic, the capital is not disposed of, although some improvement is still there. Another issue is that motorists are actually pushed out of the city, and the number of opponents of reform is growing.

In the capital every year becomes more and more cars. According to the latest data, now in Moscow moves 4 million 600 cars, the figure is approaching 5 million. To ride was comfortable, at the same time to move around the city should not more than 500 thousand cars, and now during the day in Moscow moved more than 3 million cars. The main goal of the reform is to achieve free movement of transport in the capital. One of the ways the Department of transportation chose the organization of paid Parking spaces and almost total ban on standing in all other places. However, in the yards, despite appearing earlier reports to the contrary, to take money for Parking cars, still will not.

“The goal is scaring motorists”

“Especially a lot of the offenders in expensive restaurants, their visitors don’t want to go to the door of the establishment from the car further than a few meters.”

Some experts believe that paid Parking is good or bad, – the principle which should be applied in a modern big city. Another thing is that approach can be differentiated: one-time charge, at other times of the day to make Parking free, finally, can be distributed in areas where-that to organize a paid Parking somewhere free. By the way, this idea is partially ready to use Department of transportation: perhaps the paying for Parking in some areas of the city (as, for example, on the territory of “Moscow-city”) will really be differentiated. For example, the first few hours you are standing for one price, late rate increases. This will encourage car owners not to occupy a Parking space for the day and quickly release it to other drivers.

However, positive or even condescending move transport reforms in the city appreciate not all. For example, the logic of signs “Stop Smoking” is not at all clear to Muscovites and causing almost universal indignation. “Hospitals, metro stations, it was quite possible to put another sign – “no Parking”. In the end we lost the opportunity to land or to wait for him. It’s humiliating,” – said the coordinator of the movement “Blue buckets” Peter Shkumatov.

Associated with the organization of Parking garages work of tow trucks in Moscow – and at the byword. Tow trucks have become simply enemies of motorists, an object of hatred. However, their actions (sometimes frightening) loyal to the reform experts see a positive thing: people are starting to get serious about the rules of traffic “do not climb on the rampage”, the word “green crocodiles” is much disciplinary drivers. According to optimists, people nobody makes life difficult on purpose, just has flaws that need to be addressed.

“The towing service structure, the most unresponsive to cooperate. We offered, say, to prescribe any rules for the operation of a tow truck. But never got feedback, – said the head of the movement “Tubes.no” Alexander Shumsky newspaper VIEW. Only when there is some kind of scandal, the evacuation service as it corrects your work. For example, a few days ago, it was decided that the evacuation of the incorrect machine to its owner the money will be returned from the government of Moscow within a week. Previously, it was necessary to sue. It turned out, the driver was not to blame, but still needs to spend time on the courts and other costs. Now it goes”.

Shumsky agree that stupid system evacuation when, for example, the machine of Zelenograd were evacuated and the Road, not deliberately organized. Now the authorities are trying to solve this problem. “This is due to the fact that the machine is evacuated by two structures: the traffic police and the AMP. AMP moved the design closer to stratstone. But the points are in the traffic police departments, road inspection. Yet, as always, will not Orient the work of these services on people. Yet the citizen receives not only fine, but also a lot of problems and loss of nerves. If you are guilty – pay the fine, but still take my car – here is our look at this situation,” – emphasizes Shumsky.

“The purpose of evacuation service to motorists nightmare,” – says Peter Shkumatov. Thus, according to him, three vehicles in the city has only one Parking space. It turns out, the break will still be the citizens, even if not intentionally. “More than 300 thousand people have received psychological trauma from contact with the wrecker. And in 2016, these malcontents would be a million. That is a huge mass of people immersed in a state of permanent stress and hatred for the green crocodiles,” said the coordinator of “Blue buckets” newspaper VIEW.

Shkumatov believes that the authorities are simply guided by the slogan “no parked cars, no traffic jams”: “Victory is not a strategy for the development of infrastructure for car traffic, and the crackdown against motorists. Moscow authorities say that if you reduce the number of Parking spaces in the city, making these legal places pay, people will simply stop driving cars in the city centre. But this is 2 million jobs, 40 percent of all jobs in the city. And this is often high-paying jobs. In the end, the impact of paid Parking fell on the center of the city, where began to leave the business.”

By the way, Shkumatov recently conducted an experiment, to try himself as a taxi driver. According to him, the impression of the success of transport reforms about, and many only seems that to Park in the city became easier: “It is not. I experienced this working as a taxi driver. During working hours from 9 to 18 o’clock every seat was occupied. So there’s a vacancy there’s no such thing. To go only after 16-17 hours or early in the morning.” As Shkumatov believes, tube not left the city, they declined, but not dramatically. “The trick is that the tube is now decreased throughout the crisis, the traffic became less, the purchasing power of the population reduced. This coincided with the organization of paid Parking in Moscow and the Moscow authorities have presented it as if it were they rid the town of traffic jams,” – he concluded.

As a result, experts though agree that the idea of reforming the transport system of the city proper and timely, but agree on one thing – is this reform in isolation, without considering the peculiarities of the city and the opinions of the public. However, the stiffness of the reform – those same Parking lots and tow trucks, as well as huge fines – you can justify the fact that the discipline has indeed become more. And what about the Department for transport, if he, in addition to prohibitions, there are virtually no other methods of influence? For example, there is no lever to oblige the business to include Parking and provide their owners – and so on. Meanwhile, the appearance of the city is clearly changing. In areas where the main impact of the reforms – within the third transport ring became calmer and freer. Although there is still space in the centre of the city, where daring drivers parked almost in two rows. Especially a lot of the offenders in expensive restaurants, their visitors don’t want to go to the door of the establishment from the car further than a few meters.

“Transport in third world countries”

“Public transport we have pushed cars, it is the result of the era of 90-ies”

Motorists leaving the city centre, but move on it is still needed, and therefore, there is an increased need for public transport. In fact, the city and strive to develop, and it is also one of the objectives of the reform, according to its critics, is to transplant the owners in buses, trolleybuses and trams. But this transport is slow and cumbersome – perhaps it will ease the situation on the roads of the capital?

Alexander Shumsky considers that, Yes. “Buses are bulky and occupy a lot of space on the road. But this prevents not the entire city, but rather motorists. But isn’t that true? Bus rides 150-200 people. And the car, according to statistics, carries on average 1.3 people. One passenger on the bus is 18 times less space in the city than the driver of the car. So fairer to give priority to public transport – buses than the bus and cars. Someone who interferes is a question of priorities,” he said. Shumsky believes that to abandon the buses and especially trams, is wrong. First, it is a certain style of the city, the tradition in many European cities. In European cities, especially in the center, we may not even descend into the subway – is enough public transport: bus, trolleybus, tram. Why Moscow and not to make the same convenient city for ground movement of citizens? But while public transport we have pushed cars, it is the result of the era of 90-ies. And secondly, the tram is excellent throughput. “There are even routes-record – says Shumsky. For example, 17-th tram in Medvedkovo carries about 40 thousand passengers a day. With the largest passenger flow at the bus 35500 passengers per day (route # 605)”.

But a few years ago the city authorities declared that the city needs to take care of bus. Indeed, the old fleet of shuttles had been already in poor condition, and sit in such a vehicle was sometimes just terrible. Now the wreck on the road almost can not see, but modern machines are still working on the routes. That is, the reform in this area was quiet, but soon will be activated. The head of the transport Department Maxim Liksutov has already noted that the buses will start to operate in the city rates to pay the fare will be including tickets, and the fare will be close to the price of public transport. Minibuses will be available to the beneficiaries.

Minibuses carrying up to 20 percent of the population of the capital, and, of course, without them the city will not do. But it is better to gradually replace such vehicles are buses, said Alexander Shumsky. “The attitude to the bus as transport of the countries of the third world left. Minibuses require large expenditures to maintain and do not pay for the maintenance of transport infrastructure does not contribute funds, for example, in the construction of bus stops, driveways, and so on. Better to do public transportation convenient for all. The bus had a clear route and schedule. And the bus does not fit any baby stroller or wheelchair. Good quality bus transport will be more convenient and more capacious minibuses”, – he said.

Shkumatov, on the contrary, marshrutochnom transport. In Moscow, one of the most important factors – time, for the speed of the bus and was appreciated. Now, according to Shkumatov, the bus went under the knife, because the transport demand is still not going anywhere, but the budget did not want to share with the trader such large amounts, and the flow of profits from the operation of minibuses will now go to the city. “Soon the transportation will be monopolized. Bus reformatted. I think it will be rather small buses, just drive they are on schedule, and the speed and efficiency of what we use minibuses will disappear,” he said.

“In London this was discussed 7 years”

“Summer in the city center still lives. In the rest of the year Moscow is dying. When the city remain the only officials in this form, the city is absolutely unsightly. You can see that in the courts the day was really more of the machines. The owners prefer not to go downtown by car. And in the evening they call a taxi to go to the bakery – as in the famous film. Because they are afraid of losing a Parking space and don’t want to travel then half an hour on the area in search of a place,” – said Shkumatov.

Many leave cars on intercepting Parking lots, which began to appear at the underground in residential areas of the city. By the way, the effect of Park and ride facilities there. Shumsky gives the example of Parking in the area near the railway platform “Vnukovo”: “It is usually all clogged, that is, their owners drove on into the city by public transport. Such peripheral Parking should be developed. While this program is a bit stopped. Perhaps this is due to the fact that to build such Parking lots in the suburbs need to intercept the traffic flow in the area, and this is another region other budgets”.

But the construction of such intercepting Parking in Moscow stopped. Perhaps, suggests Shumsky, because a new idea – a congestion charge in the city. This seems like the most radical method of struggle against stoppers. He probably cut off the solid part of the car owners: not everyone wants to pay a daily money for travel to Moscow. Supporters of such measures believe that any violations of the rights of owners are not here, because there is no prohibition to enter, just it will cost more.

“This idea temporarily subsided, most likely, only because of the crisis. Traffic fell by about 25 percent. As soon as the economy recovers, I am sure that this topic will rise again. Some fiscal measures are almost inevitable,” – says the head of “Jams.no.” And then recalled that the adoption of such measures necessarily requires a broad discussion: “In London, for example, this was discussed 7 years.”

In any case, it seems that the current transport reform still not able to win traffic, relieve the road, and most importantly – make life easier for the citizens. Shkumatov sure that the reason for all the poor misguided urban development policy, especially infill development. “If we continue to build millions of new square meters of residential property in the city, soon we approach life in Singapore. Its people were in fact hostages of the kind of “city-colony with elements of luxury.” They are subject to strict rules, and perhaps for them it is the only way to organize life, because there is a small area home to a huge number of people,” he recalled. Shkumatov does not exclude that the government can learn from the experience of Asian countries: no wonder the mayor has visited China, Hong Kong, Singapore. “As if we had trambusti in the underground, as in China,” – said Shkumatov. And if everyone more or less solvent citizen buys a car, when the density of the population of the city simply will rise. You can certainly build a new level of roads, many interchanges, as in Japan. But while a quicker way to unload the roads of the capital – this is the same prioritization when the motorist becomes a persona non grata in Moscow.


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