My Russian connection

Last year I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Moscow, Russia. I spoke at a conference with activists and government representatives aimed at promoting more bicycling in the region and beyond. I wrote about the experience for the League of American Bicyclists’ magazine. Little did I know at the time what role Russia would be playing in U.S. politics today.

As the article explains, there were some nice new separated bike lanes, though pedestrians and vehicles were sometimes obstacles. A lane next to a sidewalk was used by pedestrians (not surprising) and a lane protected by car parking had areas where buses were allowed to park in the bike lane. These appeared to be in front of government buildings. Parking enforcement also appears to be a problem.

I was particularly struck by the size of the major streets. Here’s one example of an intersection of two multi-lane boulevards, one of which had a protected bike lane. There were sharrows through the intersection for the cyclists. Pedestrians use underground passages to cross.

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Here’s a video of traffic at that intersection.

Here is a one-way, eight-lane boulevard in the middle of the city.

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On a positive note, I found some bike signals installed at intersections with separated bike lanes.  And bikes were on display as fashion in the GUM department store, which is more like an indoor mall.

On a non-transportation note, here’s just one example of Putin souvenirs available.

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