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.

 

 

This decal is pretty awesome, but just wait–there’s more.

Unfortunately, this system quickly runs into problems. No, I don’t mean the inconvenience to pedestrians, who have to weave their way around cars parked across walkways. Which gets especially tricky when it’s rainy, and the only way around the car happens to also be the deepest, puddle-soaked part of the walkway. We also get this:

 

Fence on one side, station wagon on the other–those cars are boxed in!

 

Sure, this car has another sweet decal. But it’s still pretty much totally in the way of this gray sedan. What happens when you get out of work early and have a party to get to?

Luckily, Muscovites are nothing if not creative problem-solvers.

Often the offending driver leaves a note in the window with his/her phone number.

And at least one company has tried to fill this obvious opening in the market!

“Parking rules”–a unique parking card for drivers who leave their cares in uncomfortable places in the city. “If my automobile is in your way, call me without delay!”

Brilliant. Never let it be said that there’s no innovation in the Russian consumer market!

All in all, I smell a nice hook for a rom-com set in Moscow.

P.S. I couldn’t not share this superb example of street-sidewalk parking. I hope it’s not in your way, because it’s not going anywhere.

 

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