“A comfortable city is a city where you can make decisions”

14 August 2014

The Chief Architect of Moscow, Sergey Kuznetsov, stated his vision of solving the capital’s transportation problems on a live show on Kommersant FM radio.

He noted that specialists have no doubt that the only way to avoid traffic jams is to transplant people on to public transport. On the other hand, everyone understands that by force this is impossible to achieve.

“A comfortable city is a city where you can make decisions, and choose how you move around.”

For people to switch to public transport “voluntarily and with pleasure,” you need to create certain conditions, to offer adequate motivation and incentives. “In theory it should be faster, and more convenient, and more economical,” said Sergey Kuznetsov.

At the same time, he noted, some incentives may cause mixed reactions from the public, such as paid parking: “It is a question of urban discipline.”

The city, nevertheless, is actively carrying out works of positive motivation to increase the level of comfort of those who use city-wide transport: “It is the same as everywhere, there are carrots and there are sticks. We must go forward with both. ”

Sergey Kuznetsov also noted the importance of an adequate level of infrastructure development not only in the city center, but also in the periphery. “The quality never will be the same, but we must strive to do so.” According to him, providing comfortable access to places of employment and all kinds of services in different districts is a crucial factor in the development of a polycentric city.

“If people while they are on their territories outside the center feel that they are deprived of the availability of all sorts of things, which are available in the center, they will not long to be there, and this will be our commuters. Therefore it is transport that is one of the most important indicators.”

At the same time, Moscow’s Chief Architect said that Muscovites still do not consider all public transport options.

Public transport — it’s not just the metro, which currently is under construction at an accelerated pace. In many countries taxis, for example, are also included, which in Russia for some reason are perceived as a “luxury interspace between public and personal transport.” Whereas in fact, “comfortable taxis, well distributed and with priority on dedicated lanes — this is also a major driving force.”

Sergey Kuznetsov also mentioned water taxis, the system of which is likely to be developed in light of the international competition for the development of the areas along the Moscow River and the general policy of “returning the river to the city.”

“We need to develop not only the comfort of existing transport, but also those modes of transport that have not yet been associated, perhaps, with conventional public transport, but those can be reasonably developed. This further motivates people,” concluded Kuznetsov.


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