Residents’ rights

On Saturday I stopped by a rally in a small square near the Kievskij train station being held by opponents of a plan to expand the highway and transit system through their neighborhoods.

Moscow, like many expanding urban centers, has major problems with housing and traffic. In short, the affordable housing is all being built around the ever-expanding edge of the city. More and more people commute in using a mix of transit options–the subway and electric trains are packed every rush hour, and millions go by car. Which means millions spend hours every week sitting in stopped traffic. City planners struggle to find a way to accommodate all these people in a city choked by traffic jams. Continue reading


Берегись автомобиля!

Parking is kind of a mess in Moscow. Car ownership has skyrocketed in recent decades, but those extra millions of cars are squeezing into a city center that was designed for… well, not for cars, anyway. (I’ll try to add a post later about how Moscow is not as pedestrian-friendly as you’d expect for a dense, pedestrian-packed city, either).

So in my neighborhood, for example, what at first glance appear to be wide asphalt-paved sidewalks lining the streets…


…double as parking spaces for the people who live and work in the area, with certain consequences for both walkers and drivers. Continue reading