Moscow Mayor Apologizes for Massive Road Reconstruction

Maxim Stulov / VedomostiThe renovation, which has turned some of the city's streets into dust-spewing and impassable trenches, has irked many Muscovites.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has apologized tolocal residents forthe "inconveniences" caused byhis massive— andwidely criticized — street renovation projects, andpledged much ofthe work would be completed bySept. 5.

Themonths ofconstruction work that have torn up most ofthe city center — including Myasnitskaya Ulitsa, Bolshaya Ordynka Ulitsa andthe entire Patriarch's Ponds neighborhood — throughout thesummer should be finished byCity Day, Sobyanin said inan interview with state-owned Channel One television. Moscow celebrates its annual holiday onthe first Saturday ofSeptember.

"I do, ofcourse, ask forMuscovites' forgiveness forthe inconveniences we are inflicting," Sobyanin was quoted as saying. "But these are temporary inconveniences, andlater it will be acompletely different space, comfortable andconvenient."

Therenovation, which has turned some ofthe city's streets intodust-spewing andimpassable trenches, has irked many Muscovites, though broadened sidewalks have transformed some of the city's streets for pedestrians in recent years.

Themayor said thecity's streets will see increased traffic capacity following thereconstruction, andseparate bike lanes will be added "where possible," Channel One reported.

But theway theCity Hall has handled its attempts tobring cycling toMoscow's streets has been among theprojects with which critics have found fault.

Each bike inthe city's bike-sharing scheme, launched two years ago, has cost Moscow some 233,333 rubles ($4,320 atthe time), according toestimates byopposition figure andanti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny.

City Hall denied any wrongdoing, according tolocal news website TheVillage, andsuggested Navalny should do abetter job of checking his facts.

See also:

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