I am sure many readers will able to relate to this post of mine. It deals with something extremely frustrating and common in Russia. The traffic situation on the streets of Moscow is hopeless. I lose all hope.
First of all I would like to start off with some fresh facts. Moscow has been ranked eight on the list of cities with worst traffic jams (Sao Paolo in Brazil is ranked number one). Muscovites spend the average of 2.5 hours daily stuck in traffic. Absurd. Notice how I say “average”, because in reality people spend much more of their precious time.
This problem has roots in the history. Under Stalin, gigantic avenues were built that ran in all directions from the Kremlin like rays from the sun. There were very few cars around to fill these avenues. Then came capitalism. By the end of the nineteen-nineties, there were more people in Moscow from all over the former Soviet Union than there had been when the Soviet Union was a single state. All of them wanted cars. The number of cars in Moscow went from sixty per thousand residents in 1991 to three hundred and fifty in 2009. This number continues increasing daily.
I think this is a perfect time for a funny story of a hopeless man, perhaps late somewhere. That’s why my post bears the title “Hopeless”. So, one time in Russia, a 42 year old man attempted to escape the hopeless morning traffic jams, by riding his bicycle across the ice-covered Moscow river. However, I’m guessing it wasn’t this man’s lucky day, so unfortunately, despite the several weeks of subzero temperatures, the ice broke down, and the man fell into the river with his bike. Luckily he was rescued soon after, but his bike was hopeless. It had sunk to the bottom of the Moskva-Reka (Moscow River). Now I ask myself, how bad does the traffic have to be in your city before you risk death to avoid it? Pretty bad, I must say. Nevertheless, cycling through the icy river is an idea only a really mad person would have. If you really wish to avoid traffic, you could utilize the very famous Moscow metro. It is said that about nine million people travel daily in the metro. Therefore, it is an easy, fast, and eficient way to avoid traffic jams and arrive at desired locations.