Ilsur Metshin: "The old system of snow clearing has become obsolete"
(KZN.RU, October 27, by Renat Shirmanov). Last winter demonstrated that the old system of snow removal from the streets of Kazan is completely outdated. The analysis of last year's mistakes led to the development of a fundamentally new three-year modernization program of road clearing. This was stated by Mayor Ilsur Metshin at a Traffic Improvement Headquarters meeting.
"The situation on our roads is tense. During urban planning, we proceeded from the ratio of 100 cars per thousand people. This standard has already been exceeded by 2.6 times. We have carefully analyzed our mistakes, and, based on the data available, we have developed a three-year program. We have updated the snow removal equipment and revised the scheme of road clearing, but there is still much to be done," said the Mayor of Kazan.
Among other things, City Hall will cooperate with the Yandex Internet portal to ease the congestion. Ilsur Metshin intends to benefit by the "Yandex.Probki" experience.
As the "Yandex.Probki" analyst Leonid Mednikov pointed out, the company has been working to combat traffic jams for more than five years using drivers’ feedback. The information is supplied to the central database by drivers using their mobile phones. Of course, relying exclusively on this kind of data makes us totally dependent on the number of users connected. Yet, Yandex has become increasingly popular, and, thanks to this service, users get more accurate information on traffic conditions.
Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin in his turn noted the need for objective evaluation of the traffic situation in Kazan from outside and expressed hope for fruitful cooperation with Yandex.
Also, we should make better use of parking space in the center of Kazan. As chairman of the Committee on Transport Aydar Abdulhakov said, most building owners do not even care where visitors park their cars. According to the standards, a car needs 25 square meters of parking space while currently there are only 8.
As an example, he cited Pravo-Bulachnaya and Ostrovsky streets, where a total of 73 buildings are located, which are occupied by more than 120 organizations with a total of 3,800 employees. Every day, these organizations are visited by 6,000 people in cars while there are only 900 parking spaces available. Obviously, the visitors have to leave their cars in unsuitable parking areas thus aggravating the traffic.
"At the same time, we found vacant lots designated for construction on these streets. By making these lots available for parking, we could partially reduce the shortage of parking spaces,” said Aydar Abdulhakov.
Besides, motorists could keep their cars in the parking lots of major shopping centers, which are now filled only to one-third. "This is a global practice - employees of organizations that do not have their own parking lots leave cars at available shopping center spaces and do not block the roadway," said the Mayor of Kazan.
One option to combat congestion in the winter can be the experience of other countries, which change the working hours of various institutions. "Heavy traffic at peak times is due to the fact that enterprises, institutions and organizations begin work within a relatively short period of time. Taking this into account, some European countries decided to change the opening times of some companies and organizations. We could use this experience because today more than 21 thousand people work in the city center alone, while some 98 thousand students attend universities and colleges," said the chairman of the Committee on Transport.
"Needless to say, we cannot take such decisions without first consulting the public. Admittedly, such measures are at times radical, but they do bring results. In the near future, we may survey students and professors at all major universities, invite their presidents and discuss the possibility of changing their schedules," said Ilsur Metshin.