Planning for cycling in London and Moscow

Moscow's first cycle path looks dangerous

Moscow’s first cycle path looks dangerous

London has much to learn about planning for cycling from other cities. But London does not, I suggest, have much to learn from Moscow.  Nor do I think many landscape architects were involved with planning the cycle path, unless they were responsible for the planters near the lamp post. Alex Mumzhiu, a globe-cycling expatriot Russian, revisited Moscow after a long absence and took the photograph. He writes that ‘Moscow introduced first bicycle path on Garden Ring, see picture. I was the only bicyclist there…. Nowhere in the world is the ruling class is so arrogant, so willing to show off their wealth and so ignorant to the needs of the rest of population. This is why so many people here have nostalgia for the Soviet Union.’  The way they treat cyclists tells you a lot about the character of a government. Crossing  the dotted line can result in instant death.

Moscow’s Garden Ring, is also also known as the “B” Ring. It is is a circular ring  around the central area, following the line what were the ramparts around Zemlyanoy Gorod in the 17th century. The Garden Ring itself now has ten lanes of traffic. In the mid-19th century vehicles were hidden from view by foliage. The avenue ran ‘through a garden’ formed by overhanging trees bordering aristocratic gardens. Today much of the ring is as in the below photograph: hellish.

Moscow's Garden Ring without its trees

Moscow’s Garden Ring without its trees

Tom Turner

Posted in cycleways

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