September 16th, 2010

South park

Moscow suburbs

Every capital of any country, or just a large city has some kind of suburbs, some look nice like US ones in 'Desperate housewives' show, some don't look really attractive.
Moscow suburbs are basically former separate towns and villages. The close circle of areas from which you can reach Moscow downtown at least in 2-3 hours by means of a private car or municipal transportation are considered as almost capital itself and realty prices get as high as in the city itself and sometimes even higher, as ecological situation beyond city limits is much better.
Over the last 10 years it became prestigious to have big apartments in some newly built residential buildings complex in close suburbs, even cooler if it's a townhouse or alike. And until the prices got higher it was possible even for people who were coming to live in Moscow region from other regions of the country looking for better pay for their jobs. But there's always a catch. For Moscow suburbia the catch is traffic situation. The roads leading to the city were not supposed to receive a great number of private cars going into the city, as these roads were designed during Soviet times and at that time a great lot of people were using public means of transportation.

The pictures below were taken 15 km from Moscow city limits. It's "Schelkovskoye chaussee" road. As you can see it's not very wide, but every morning it accommodates thousands cars, trucks and busses. One of my relatives who owns an apartment in this area spends every morning and every night about 1.5 to 2 hours driving 10 miles distance from his residential complex to Moscow ringway called 'MKAD'. During non rush-hour time the same distance takes about 20 minutes of relaxed driving. These roads are the plague for habitants of Moscow suburbs and as people would say a hundred, two and three hundred years ago and they still say so "There are two main perils in Russia - fools and roads".

The roads like this one pass through lots of villages, so the roadside habitants try to use the possibility to make some trade. Here you can see Russian 'samovars' and towels with naked ladies which makes a wonderful contrast of old and new parts of life in Russia. Though such possibilities is a poor compensation for 24/7 traffic rushing feets away from houses. The other nice option for people who still live in such hamlets is to sell their land and houses to big companies who build new residential buildings or to the State in order to use territory to make the road wider.

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