Providing parking for Moscow’s ever-growing number of automobiles is proving increasingly expensive and time consuming for city authorities. Finding the free space to build car parks is difficult in the already crowded city and protests regularly spring up over public space being commandeered for parking construction.
City officials have turned to a novel solution with Interfax reporting plans for a huge floating car park to be moored on the Moscow River by Vorobyovy Gory nature reserve in the southwest of Moscow.
The purposed floating car park would measure 68 meters by 15 meters and would provide parking for some 100 to 120 automobiles. The 24-hour car park would be free and would be financed by an onboard café with a capacity for 50-65 guests. The estimated cost of the floating café/car park is 115 million rubles and it should be in place by Dec. 25 if city authorities have their way. One possible logistical problem is access to the floating car park – currently driving is forbidden in the nature reserve and its roads are filled with roller skaters in summer and skiers in winter.
Footpath parking legalized
Other more mundane solutions have already been put in place with the dubious practice of parking on the footpaths having been legitimized.
Car parking spaces marked out on footpaths have appeared along several roads in Moscow, including Garden Ring and Leningradsky Prospekt, where only a narrow walkway has been left for pedestrians. Parking markings have even been noticed on the pavement along Tverskaya, where parking was completely banned only one year ago.
Neither pedestrians, nor motorists were pleased to find that they now have to share space with one another.
“This new parking is very disturbing. We, pedestrians, have swapped places with the cars and now we have to make our way through parked automobiles,” Muscovite Valentina Polyakova told RIA Novosti.
Turning walkways into car parks was needed to make space for a bus lane on Leningradsky, but although the idea is favored by many, people are worried about their safety on the footpath.
“Motorists are now driving along the pavement,” Muscovite Yuri Grigiryev said.
The capital’s road police said they were aware of the situation.
“As there are road markings there, it’s totally fine from a legal point of view,” Moskovsky Komsomolets quoted Dmitry Leibov, a traffic police representative, as saying.
The road police aren’t responsible for issuing approvals for these parking spaces, but also it can’t forbid them, he added, as only the Moscow authorities have the right to organize traffic in the capital.
Pyotr Biryukov, deputy mayor on housing and utilities, said some 450,000 parking places appeared in Moscow this summer, and some 430,000 of them are in residential buildings’ courtyards. The number of new parking places in the capital is to grow to 500,000 by the end of this year, Biryukov added.