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In Russia: Sidewalks Are Made For Driving?

Hello,

I was drinking my morning cup of coffee & thinking about how Russia is trying to change, but change is hard in the Russia that I have come to know…

I was remembering that my wife had come home the years ago and said that the latest talk around her work was about how the Road police are going to give out tickets for “Driving on the sidewalks”. She also said that we are suppose to wear seat belts. This is nothing new to me, being from America! But to Russians the idea of not driving or parking on the sidewalk was a very new concept. That concept is still very new to Russians even years later…

Sveta and I wear our seat belts and we do not park or drive on the sidewalks! (At least anymore! :))

Normal is: When you walk down the sidewalk of a busy street in Moscow, you have to be ready to quickly jump out of the way of speeding cars. Yes I said: You have to get out of the way of cars! (Strange habit Russians have when traffic is backed up, they drive down the side walk to try to get around cars.)

Here is the situation: You are out for a nice stroll with your wife, you are talking about the future and enjoying life. You are strolling down a sidewalk that mothers are pushing their babies in strollers & kids are riding their bikes on! Then all happiness is shattered; There is a car behind you honking at everyone to get off the sidewalk. So that he can speed down it to get to the next corner & beat traffic! This happens all the time in Moscow. I also see it happening all over Russia when we travel…

Another example; I wait for my sweetie at the bus stop and almost every time I have to move out of the way, because a driver jumps the curb and weaves among pedestrians honking his horn & flashing his lights. He drives a hundred meters like this & drives back into the street ahead of maybe, only 2-3 cars… (Can we say “total stupid maniac”?)

I have also noticed that metal poles are being driven in the ground or huge concrete flower pits are being placed to stop drivers from driving down sidewalks. You have to do what you gotta do…

I hope that the Road Police really do give and start to give out tickets for driving on the sidewalk. I always tell Sveta that Russian government would be a wealthy government, if they gave out tickets for all the illegal parking and driving issues everywhere/ Then people made to pay the fine…

I have to say that parking is a problem, but to be realistic! The people are just spoiled and lazy, they do not want to walk an extra 100 meters to get to where they are going to shop or eat. So they park illegally because they realize that the punishment is worth doing the crime…

I say: “Sidewalks are for people not cars!”

Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia!

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