Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Cycling in Russia

"Mental and unsafe for cyclists." That's what this article says about cycling in Moscow, Russia (Via Warren):
[Downtown Moscow authorities] envisage the introduction of bicycle [parking lots] around the center of the city and at metro stations. "There are 3.5 million people in the Central Administrative District," said a spokesperson, "all coming to work into the center on public transport or in their own cars. If we want to reduce the amount of jams, the introduction of bicycles is one solution."

"I used to have a bike when I was living in the center of Moscow near Sparrow Hills," says one foreign Moscow resident who wishes not to be named. "There were some excellent opportunities to ride on the embankment, but as far as I see Muscovites appreciate bikes only for recreation purposes. There was absolutely no infrastructure, such as special lanes on the street, nor places to park the bike in front of shops or buildings."

As for the idea of Muscovites cycling to work, [sports store owner Jeremy] Bohl is less optimistic. "As a way of getting from one place to another across Moscow, I do not see that happening. There is too much traffic and it's too dangerous."

The Central Administrative Dist­rict source, however, assures The Moscow News that moves would be made to introduce lanes for specialized traffic, including bicycles. And this would be in the interests of the city, for drastic measures need to be taken to solve the enormous traffic and exhaust pollution problem which have now become a defining characteristic of Moscow.
Photo credits: "Locomotion in Moscow" by Tölkin Palautus and "Bread Shop" by Ekaterina Kazinova. Click on the photos for more details.
Somebody has put together their own collection of weird bike photos and posted them at this Russian website. Wooden bikes, a square wheel bike, the shoe bike, mangled bikes, and a collection of critical mass photos to round things out. Courtesy of Nick.


  1. This is Jeremy Bohl.
    You did not ask my permission for the quote which you have stolen from the Moscow News.
    You should ask permission from the people you quote.

  2. I've likely abused the fair use doctrine in this post and I need to whittle it down.

    I'm still interested in Moscow cycling, Jeremy -- would you mind contacting me for an interview? Is cycling in Moscow truly dangerous? What are the traffic accident statistics for cyclists in Moscow? Is there any movement to improve cycling in Moscow? Thanks for getting in touch!