Tram is Fast – An Epiphany After Moscow Traffic Jam

Tram is Fast – An Epiphany After Moscow Traffic Jam
17 April 2014

Like in any big city, Moscow Traffic Jam is an experience of its own. Moscow is mired in daily traffic. This is a real problem, since every day, thousands of users spend some time blocked on the road. Did you know that Moscow is now the city with the biggest traffic jam problem in the world? (Which will discourage some of you to buy a car!).

Of course traffic jams are not just about the size of Moscow. In December 2012, the road  Moscow / St Petersburg was locked for three days in a traffic jam of over 190 km due to heavy snowfall! Imagine spending the whole weekend in your car in  -5 °!

More recently, on April 10, the city experienced the longest traffic jam in history: 27 km on the MKAD (Московская Кольцевая Автомобильная Дорога – Moscow Ring Road), peripheral highway of Moscow. And yet, since 1 April 2013, it is prohibited for trucks over 12 tonnes to drive on this road during the day!

So what solutions are planned to relieve the traffic congestion? Although Moscow spends a lot of money solving traffic problems, there has currently been no real impact. One of the proposed solutions was to turn thoroughfares (Leninsky Prospect-thoroughfares, Vernadskogo Prospect, Prospect Michurinsky) into full-fledged highways. But this proposal was not unanimous, especially among residents who did not want to be living next to a huge highway and also analysts said that it is even possible that this will not solve the problem.

According to Mikhail Blinkin, head of the Higher School of Economics’ Road Reasearch Center, more than 4 million cars are circulating in Moscow, and this number is increasing by about 250,000 each year. The problem is that widening roads is not enough for the number of cars. It appears that in Moscow there are not enough roads, which remains the major problem for the capital.

But for some people, it is not a question of infrastructure or management problems. It turns out that the behaviour of motorists is also challenged! In fact, you may be able to see the danger of Moscow driving : overtaking cars any which way, occupying bus lanes, and so on … Some also criticize the behaviour of officials who may block a whole section of road just to pass.

So if you’re living in Moscow or just spending some time there, it might be a good idea to take the subway!

But do not panic just yet! Sometimes plugs allow you to make happy encounters. On the internet, you can find evidence of Tatyana and Mikhail who met while he told her the ideal path through a Yandex chat room! “Inconvenience for everyone became a lucky lottery ticket for us.  I think if the traffic wasn’t as bad, we wouldn’t have met each other.”

The people of Moscow have a lot of humour too, and they do not hesitate to post stories to stave off and to pass the time!

“My impression is that from the 1st September, the children are not sitting behind their desks, but behind the wheel”.

“One day in a traffic jam in one direction, an another one to come back – that´s how people from Moscow describe their road to the dacha”

“It is only when you are stuck in the traffic jam, that you understand how fast the tram is!”

So, do as the Russians, take life easy during traffic!

This post was brought to you by Anne Sophie, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz

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