Russian Language Blog

In The News: Limited Parking Space in Moscow Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in News, when in Russia

A thought-provoking opinion piece was making the rounds on the Russian Internet (“Runet”) last week. Moscow politician and activist Maxim Katz has published a controversial blog post suggesting all parking spaces in the city be paid. Let us look at his vision of the problem and proposed solution — in his own words.


Katz describes a situation where car owners (автовладе́льцы) park their cars (парку́ют автомоби́ли) in the shared yards of their high-rise buildings (во дворе́). He notes that most of the available space is filled with cars to the detriment of communal spaces like playgrounds (де́тская площа́дка), lawns (газо́н), and benches (скаме́йки).

Е́сли не администри́ровать парко́вку в спа́льных райо́нах на у́лицах и во двора́х, то она́ начнёт занима́ть сли́шком мно́го простра́нства и меша́ть жить други́м лю́дям.

(If you don’t administer parking in residential neighborhood streets and yards, it will take up too much space and get in the way of other people.)

He goes on to say that there are fewer parking spots in the courtyard than there are cars in the apartment building, to the point that they park on sidewalks (на тротуа́ре), on playgrounds (на де́тской площа́дке), and on the lawn (на газо́не). Katz explains that when these areas were designed, no one knew people would have so many cars.

Бо́льшая часть застро́йки спа́льных райо́нов проходи́ла в сове́тское вре́мя, тогда́ никто́ не предполага́л таку́ю автомобилиза́цию.

(Most residential neighborhoods were built in the USSR era, when no one could have imagined this degree of car ownership.)

Katz is against the city building free underground parking lots (беспла́тные подзе́мные парко́вки) or providing more parking space for each apartment building because he sees it as all taxpayers (налогоплате́льщики) subsidizing car owners.

Сейча́с она́ реша́ется за счёт тех, у кого́ автомоби́лей нет (они получа́ют ме́ньше пло́щади го́рода для себя́, те́рпят неудо́бства при ходьбе́ пешко́м и так да́лее).

(Now it [the problem] is being solved at the expense of those who don’t have a car — they get a smaller area of the city in their disposal, are inconvenienced [by cars parked in their way] when walking, etc.)

Katz believes the car owners themselves should pay for their parking spots.


The author proposes a three-prong solution.

Запрети́ть испо́льзовать под па́рковку бо́лее 30% дворово́й террито́рии.

(Ban using more than 30 percent of the yard area for parking.)

В спа́льных райо́нах бо́льше не должно́ быть никако́й стихи́йной парко́вки, нигде́, никогда́. То́лько на размече́нных места́х.

(There should never be any unsanctioned parking in residential neighborhoods, ever. Only in marked parking spots.)

Ввести́ пла́тную парко́вку везде́, во всех моско́вских райо́нах [и] сде́лать дифференци́рованный тари́ф.

(Introduce paid parking everywhere, in all Moscow neighborhoods, on a sliding scale.)

Katz makes the caveat that he is only talking about properties serviced by the city.

Речь, коне́чно, то́лько про те дворы́, кото́рые не офо́рмлены в со́бственность жильцо́в до́ма и кото́рые обслу́живает го́род за свой счёт.

(Of course, we are only talking about yards that are not the house residents’ legal property and that are being serviced by the city at its own expense.)

Finally, he disagrees with comments that parents should pay for their children’s playground the same way as car owners should pay for parking.

Де́ти не иму́щество, они жи́тели го́рода, таки́е же, как и взро́слые, и име́ют таки́е же права́ на о́бщие террито́рии, как и взро́слые.

(Children are not property; they are city residents just like adults and have an equal claim to shared property.)

What do you think? Како́е реше́ние подде́рживаете вы? (What solution do you support?)

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About the Author: Maria

Maria is a Russian-born translator from Western New York. She is excited to share her fascination with all things Russian on this blog. Maria's professional updates are available in English on her website and Twitter and in Russian on Telegram.


  1. Mike:

    Interesting post, Maria. Parking has become a problem everywhere, sooner or later Moscow will have to come to grips with it — most likely at a time not very close to an election. In some residential areas in my little town you have to have a resident sticker in order to park on the street. And it’s not just automobiles. There’s an apartment complex that doesn’t allow bicycles anywhere except in designated racks, racks that were designed for children’s bikes.

    • Maria:

      @Mike Mike, thank you for your comment. It does look like something’s gotta give, whether it’s limiting parking spaces, encouraging public transit, etc. The cars are not only in the way of pedestrians but also in each other’s way the way it is now.

  2. Walter:

    I like Katz’s ideas, because I really hated having cars everywhere in my way when I was walking to and from the metro etc. However, I don’t see this being implemented and working under the current laws and mindset. Russian drivers just don’t obey the rule of law like in other countries. I’m not trying to put down Russians, that is just what I’ve seen from living in Moscow over the last two years.

    • Maria:

      @Walter Walter, I agree with you that people wouldn’t comply out of the kindness of their hearts. A friendly visit from a tow truck (эвакуатор) and a subsequent trip to the impound (штрафстоянка) may be more convincing.