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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

City Delays Changes to Traffic System

Sweeping new traffic rules for Moscow's historic center will not take effect until July 17, two days later than planned, under an order issued Tuesday by Mayor Yury Luzhkov.

The changes, made in response to increased traffic in the center, were put off until the weekend to make it easier for drivers to adapt, city officials said.

The delay also will give traffic police more time to put up new signs and repaint roads to mark the new routes, according to Colonel Alexander Sokolov, deputy head of the city police's department of traffic organization.

The modification to traffic routes in the city center is the second stage of a three-stage plan to redesign traffic movement between the Kremlin and the Metropol Hotel, thereby eliminating traffic through Manezh Square and right turns from, and to, Okhotny Ryad.

City officials say the new rules have already relieved congestion in the center. Alexander Fanasov, chief engineer of the department of traffic organization, said that driving along the Kremlin Embankment - once the site of regular traffic jams - has become easier.

But, according to a traffic policeman in Lubyanka Square, many drivers are still puzzled by the new rules.