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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Law Will Not Prevent Traffic Jams

Moscow motorists should not expect a new law which takes effect Friday banning most trucks from the city center to relieve traffic congestion any time soon because of difficulties with enforcement, traffic police officials said.


"Nothing will really change before January", said Alexander Sokolov, head of the traffic control department for the city GAI, or traffic police.


He said that about 100 traffic police would be assigned to enforcing the new law, but because many trucks had permits through the end of year the number of trucks on streets inside the Garden Ring would not fall dramatically Friday.


The law, signed Sept. 14 on the authority of Mayor Yury Luzhkov, bans all trucks with a load capacity greater than one ton from driving inside the Garden Ring from 8 A. M. -7 P. M. on weekdays. This includes most delivery trucks.


The law exempts service vehicles such as fire trucks, garbage trucks, ambulances, school lunch delivery trucks and some construction vehicles.


The order said the measure was needed to reduce traffic jams in the city center and to improve air quality. It cites a study which showed that only 30 percent of the loading capacity of trucks driving in the city center was being used.


The law will force factories and stores located inside the Garden Ring to make all deliveries at night. Workers at affected businesses said they were unhappy with the law.


"This is total disaster for us", said Nina Burakova, deputy director of Yeliseyevsky food store on Tverskaya Ulitsa, a few blocks from the Kremlin. "Most of our employees are women and they are scared to stay in the shop at night", she said. Currently all food deliveries are made to cease by 5 P. M.


But officials at Mosavtotrans, the city's biggest operator of trucks accounting for about 80 percent of deliveries in central Moscow, said their work will not alter much.


"We might have slight problems with drivers who are not used to working night hours, but this is no big deal", said Vyacheslav Korobovtsev, the firm's deputy director.