Moscow’s eagerly awaited first bicycle lane has appeared in the city’s south, but has caused confusion rather than happiness.
The capital’s residents have long expected the development, as cycling has become very popular in recent years, with competitions taking place nearly every month in Moscow.
But to everyone’s utter discontent, the new bicycle lanes have turned out to be a problem themselves.
As no clear guidelines on how to construct the lanes have been issued, the workers set them up in a less-than-logical manner. In one place, for example, the lane is obstructed by a fence, which renders the lane impassable. In another section, the lane simply disappears; locals say it was done in order to provide parking spaces for the expensive cars of Moscow State University’s students and teachers.
Law specialists say the reason behind such negligence is a lack of regulations. In Russia, building a bicycle lane implies little more than painting an actual bike lane in green, without actual efforts to develop any kind of infrastructure around it.
The result is that bicycle lanes often go through zebra crossings, where many people are usually standing, or over inconvenient curbs.
“There should traffic signs showing that this is a path for bicycles,” a Moscow driver told RT. “Somewhere in Europe they are red. This one is green, I can barely see it. I noticed it only when you told me what it was.”
Another problem is drivers’ and pedestrians’ negligence. As of now, locals say, no one is paying any attention to the green line, walking and parking on it as if nothing had changed.
“I would say it is safer to ride on a sidewalk,” a Moscow cyclist told RT. “I know this is not good for pedestrians, but for me it is better than to be pushed by a car passing by.”
“The path is wide enough for me, but it should be somehow separated from the road. Or they should make the paths higher than the road,” another cyclist agreed.