Urban planning in Moscow. Part 1 — The Parking

Urban planning in Moscow has been always under criticism from the public organizations and independent experts. When the Yuri Luzhkov was the second mayor of Moscow the constructing of urban spaces was chaotic. Some buildings, which may be we could called the architectural monuments, were demolished.

Someone was speaking that it was made not by an accident and not by a mistake, but in the interests of some commercial companies which were involved in that kind of Russian business stuff. So, those were the crazy 1990-s.

The country was just recently got out from the crisis after a breakup of the Soviet Union. So the people that were waited the transition from developed socialism to the communism were busted. In fact they were greeted by the capitalism and market economy. But to such times nobody was prepared.

For the last 26 years we have had only three mayors in our city. THREE. The Gavriil Charitonovich Popov, the Yuri Mikhailovich Luzhkov and the Sergei Semenovich Sobyanin. And because of that we can’t properly analyze urban planning in Moscow. That’s funny, but I will try to compare some of results of their work.

In fact their prediction and representation of what important in the modern city are completely different.

The shortest term as mayor had hold Gavriil Popov — the first mayor of Moscow. About a year. He is now the advisor to the third mayor of Moscow — Sergei Sobyanin. When Gavriil Charitonovich was mayor in Moscow were demolished some Soviet monuments, like famous Dzerginsky monument, Sverdlov monument, Kalinin monument and etc. He renamed more than 10 subway stations and more than hundreds streets and squares. But on the 6 of June 1992 he resigned because of disruptions food supplies for citizens when food stamps have returned back in Moscow.

Under Yuri Mikhailovich Moscow since 1992 overgrown with a stalls and shops of individual entrepreneurs. That was quite visible near all major transport hubs in the capital. Luzhkov tried in 2002 to return Dzerginsky monument back on the Lubyanka square, where it located in Soviet Union. Unsuccessful attempt. In 2010 Yuri Luzhkov was resigned due to the loss of trust of then president of Russia Dmitrii Medvedev.

Sergei Semenovich has done over with the stalls and through the freed huge areas at place of mini markets of Luzhkov Moscow the outlines of the real capital of Russia began to appear. He became the mayor of city Moscow in 2010.

Under Yuri Mikhailovich the authorities «fought» with illegal parking. Or they simply sluggishly tried. Eventually the situation in the capital of Russia then had been no any better than in the provinces or the Republics in the country. So we can’t blame the authorities of Moscow for passiveness and laziness, or for something else. 
How can we explain how it was in center streets in Moscow when Luzhkov was a mayor?

Like I said it before. The authorities sluggishly tried. Parking the car around famous shops in Moscow wasn’t that bad if they have had their own parking spots with fences and security guys.

But the other parking spots on capital streets were comparable to a coin toss.

For example, hordes of a strange people were in the center of the city without any legal documents and hadn’t any rights for collecting (I’m not fear of saying that) the tribute from the people, whom planned to leave their cars on the central streets in the safe and sound.

Those who didn’t want to pay were forced to sort out with something like organized crime themselves or their cars could be left scratched and a bit damaged. At that time there were no security cameras or witnesses when those crimes occurred.

On the other side not many parking collectors of tribute were really that intimidating and scary. They could just blocked the path on the parking spots, so you wouldn’t parked your car in this «private» property without their permission. Stopping you by the force was the most risky method, which was have been often avoided, because not so many people had enough links with policemen’s that could made the situation favorable for criminals.

When Sergei Semenovich became the mayor of the Moscow some parking laws were added in legislation. They changed whole situation for the good. Like for now you can’t park your car in any place that you would prefer. Now we have legal parking spots all around the city of Moscow. And higher rates if you would like to park in the central parts of the city. Average cost per hour in center of Moscow is 50–60 rubles for the first hour and then 100–200 rubles for the next hours.

You may think that under Luzhkov Moscow has degraded. But in reality everything is ambiguous. And about that we’ll discuss in the next article in «Medium».