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Moscow Mayor says downtown congestion charge unrealistic

October 25, 2011, 4:37 UTC+3
Driving in the downtown should be restricted by “other means”. More specifically, he indicated that he meant giving a priority to public transport
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MOSCOW, October 25 (Itar-Tass) – Congestion charge in downtown Moscow would be an unrealistic and excessive measure, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Monday night as he appeared on a Channel One show presented by the popular anchorman Vladimir Posner.

He also said the introduction of congestion charge would be a measure hard to control.

“We have very many people living in the city center an they have cars, and it’d be technologically difficult and unfair to divide the people into those living in the downtown and those living on the outskirts,” Sobyanin said.

He is confident, however, that driving in the downtown should be restricted by “other means”.

More specifically, he indicated that he meant giving a priority to public transport and bringing more orderliness into car parking.

He made a reference to New York City, saying one could see more cabs than private cars there.

“As for Moscow, you won’t see a taxi here today, and this means the transport structure in the city is completely out-of-square,” Sobyanin said.

He admitted however that the underground parking compounds existing in the downtown are filled only at 30% of their capacity today.

Sobyanin explained for the situation by the fact that one can leave a car right on the street free of charge “and not only just leave it but do it wherever he or she finds it convenient, or in other words, right in the middle of the road.”

“Why should you look for the parking of some kind and pay for it if this is inconvenient and expensive?” he said with a somewhat rhetoric note. “It’s much simpler to park it on the road, and never mind it hinders everyone.”

In this connection, he called for normalizing the situation with parking lots – “not only by building more underground complexes but also by readjusting the space that is already occupied by parking areas.”

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