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Car Free Day in Moscow
September 22, 2010 16:59


September, 22 was a Car Free Day in Moscow and St. Petersburg. And Moscow has failed it completely. As it is well-known, the action is a part of European Mobility Week 2010, taking place from the September, 16 to September, 22.It is already the third time when Moscow joins the action. On this day officials and deputies demonstrate their loyalty to the action and come to their offices on foot and by car. But the ordinary people do not share their feelings and look absolutely indifferent to the ecological problems of megalopolis. There are minimum two possible explanations. First, the Muscovites are complete egoists and they don't care about anything, except their comfort which is by the way questionable, because of traffic jams. Second explanation is that they could have some objective reasons.

Some people, of course, have joined Car Free Day, and not all of them were servants of the people. They went to their workplaces and universities bu public transport, which cost half from customary price. Public transport tickets today have had a special design.

If they lived not so far, they walked or by bicycle. And they are laudable, especially if we remember the rain, which is still going on. 28% of respondents of a poll, carried out especially for this day were going to do without cars. There were 11% hesitating, but the rest had their good reasons to use the car nevertheless.

Some of them said that going to their places of work by public transport is very inconvenient, others carry their children to school or sports section by car. There is one more group of Russian capital tenants, who avoids public transport deliberately: some of them think is it an additional stress generator, instead of car, they consider a good alternative and even anti-stress remedy. To my mind, it is a very controversial claim, taking into account Moscow morning and evening traffic jams. People, driving their private cars spend more time going to work and home, than people, using public transport, especially metro. In a bus somebody can step on your foot, but in a road congestion somebody can crumple your car. Moscow drivers have a very special idea of rules on the road and safe driving.

Rest of non-conformists believe public is dangerous for health and life and very expensive. I know one such person, the person moves in the city on foot or by taxi. But I suspect it is something extreme.

It is obvious, that some people are egoists and don't want to change their habits. Even if carrying children to school is not conducive to their health. But there is one more factor. Most people live very far from their workplace. And sometimes it is really very difficult to get there by public transport, not to mention bicycles and walking. And finally, the weather is awful. You should have a strong willpower to refuse your comfortable car and walk or wait for a bus.

All in all, Moscow was stuck in the traffic jams this morning. They say today they were even longer and nastier than usually. Maybe it is because of the rain. Maybe because of quantity of cars: traffic jams are inevitable even if about 30 % potential drivers were without cars. Be that as it may, it would be nice one morning to go out and see asphalt on the roads (usually it is invisible because of crowded cars) and in-breathe some air. It would be unusual experience.

Yulia Buzykina

www.gazeta.ru www.rg.ru


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