Moscow Mayor Apologizes for Massive Road Reconstruction
- By Anna Dolgov
- Aug. 17 2015 08:54
- Last edited 17:03
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has apologized toálocal residents foráthe "inconveniences" caused byáhis massiveá— andáwidely criticized — street renovation projects, andápledged much ofáthe work would be completed byáSept. 5.
Theámonths ofáconstruction work that have torn up most ofáthe city center — including Myasnitskaya Ulitsa, Bolshaya Ordynka Ulitsa andáthe entire Patriarch's Ponds neighborhood — throughout theásummer should be finished byáCity Day, Sobyanin said ináan interview with state-owned Channel One television. Moscow celebrates its annual holiday onáthe first Saturday ofáSeptember.
"I do, ofácourse, ask foráMuscovites' forgiveness foráthe inconveniences we are inflicting," Sobyanin was quoted as saying. "But these are temporary inconveniences, andálater it will be aácompletely different space, comfortable andáconvenient."
Theárenovation, which has turned some ofáthe city's streets intoádust-spewing andáimpassable trenches, has irked many Muscovites, though broadened sidewalks have transformed some of the city's streets for pedestrians in recent years.
Theámayor said theácity's streets will see increased traffic capacity following theáreconstruction, andáseparate bike lanes will be added "where possible," Channel One reported.
But theáway theáCity Hall has handled its attempts toábring cycling toáMoscow's streets has been among theáprojects with which critics have found fault.
Each bike ináthe city's bike-sharing scheme, launched two years ago, has cost Moscow some 233,333 rubles ($4,320 atáthe time), according toáestimates byáopposition figure andáanti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny.
City Hall denied any wrongdoing, according toálocal news website TheáVillage, andásuggested Navalny should do aábetter job of checking his facts.