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© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Fedorenko

City authorities say new fines improving traffic

by at 08/08/2012 18:58

A tenfold increase in parking fines combined with the introduction of high-tech parking patrols has seen the traffic situation in Moscow’s city center start to improve.

A study conducted for Gazeta.ru has shown that the average traffic speed in the Central Administrative District has risen. In July, the average speed was 25.3 km/h while the speed in July 2011 was 22.8 km/h, which equals an increase in average traffic speeds of 11 percent. Speeds for June 2012, prior to the July 1 fines increase, were only 20.4 km/h.

City traffic authorities said that they believed the improved traffic flow was due to the new higher fines – 3,000 rubles versus the previous 300 rubles for parking in prohibited areas. The situation was also helped by the introduction of some 100 Parkon automated parking patrol vehicles, which automatically registered incorrectly parked vehicles and provide their registration details to fine-issuing authorities. The patrols are currently monitoring 67 routes, most of which are in the city center.


High-tech patrols

Over the last month the number of incorrectly parked cars on the streets that are patrolled by Parkon has decreased by 30 percent,” Gazeta.ru quoted Yevgeny Mikhailov, the first deputy head of the city’s transport department as saying. “Thus, there is increased capacity in the road network for movement. This is a direct consequence of the policy to record traffic violations and mass issuing of fines. People have begun to receive fines and pay – and have started to think twice.”
He added that in the Central Administrative District, there were 350,000 possible car parking spots, but at 50,000 of those spots parking was not allowed. Of 20,000 spots inside the Boulevard Ring, only 9,000 were legal.


Return of the holidaymakers

Geolaif, which carried out the traffic flow research for Gazeta.ru, said that come autumn and the return of holidaymakers, the faster traffic trend could cease.

“We do not anticipate this trend continuing in the future. Come autumn, most likely, again there will be worsening speed results.

The president of the Collegiate for the Defense of Car-Owners Rights, Viktor Travin, was unconvinced that the new measures were fixing Moscow’s traffic problems.

It has become easier to drive just because summer has arrived: there are fewer cars. The city has had one lane stolen for buses. Even theoretically, we cannot expect that traffic will flow faster in the capital. Come autumn and there will be a collapse,” said Travin.

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