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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Luzhkov Demands Additional Parking

With underground parking spaces selling for $100,000, Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Tuesday called on his administration to speed up construction of parking garages under streets, squares and new residential buildings.

New parking spots for about 111,000 cars will be built this year, Konstantin Korolevsky, first deputy head of the municipal department for city building policy, said at City Hall's weekly meeting.

The number of cars on Moscow roads is growing by 102,000 every year, and the city plans to build enough parking for 70 percent of the cars by 2020, he said.

He said new underground garages would be dug for downtown residents and workers, including ones that are now being constructed under the Tverskaya Zastava and Turgenev squares. City architects are designing garages under Tverskaya Ulitsa and the Yury Dolgoruky statue across from City Hall, he said.

Korolevsky said in an interview published in Izvestia on Tuesday that downtown parking spaces were selling for $100,000 each.

Luzhkov indicated that the high price in the report had surprised him and ordered that more parking spaces be built. "We are not content with the number of garages that are being created," he said, without elaborating.

Korolevsky said that in an effort to alleviate downtown traffic jams, a parking lot opened earlier this year on Gagarin Square near Leninsky Prospekt in southern Moscow, where motorists leave their cars and ride public transportation into the city. More parking lots are planned.

In other business, officials grilled Grigory Antyufeyev, chief of the city's tourism committee, about his plan to train more workers for the hospitality industry.

By 2010, Moscow will have 248 new hotels with 98,000 rooms, Antyufeyev said.

Antyufeyev said hotels have had to fire 40 percent of their new employees -- mostly recent university graduates in tourism and hospitality -- because they lacked the necessary skills.

He proposed borrowing Western teaching techniques and encouraging hotels to hire students as interns. Taxes from hotels and the tourism industry make up 7 percent of city budget revenues.

Luzhkov ordered Antyufeyev to rework his plan to put more focus on municipal aid to train blue-collar staff for smaller and city-owned hotels.