Discussions around the overlapping part of the Kontraktova square and Sagaydachnogo street more reminiscent of the arguments of Ilya Ilf and Yevgeny Petrov in the famous “Golden Calf” – remember those “pedestrians need love”, “pedestrians created the world” and the famous “car is not a luxury but a means of transportation”? Discussion of the organization of movement sometimes becomes almost a philosophical debate.

Think about it – many people still think that a person can be either a pedestrian, or a driver – i.e. if I started the car, then at her, “and bakery”, and everywhere. The reason is really simple and banal – the remnants of poverty, almost a century later, for many, the car is still considered a kind of luxury item status. Indeed, pent-up demand for private vehicles have not yet satisfied – evidenced by the debate around the “EuroBLECH”. But realities – Yes, cars will be more.

Yes there are, already, many drivers are openly saying – “to travel became impossible, take the Metrorail”. Of course, many of those who in response to comments that the cars on the streets too much, says: “to expand the road to set junctions, give tunnels, free Parking”. Opponents of the pedestrian urban environment often claim that this is a manifestation of leftist ideas of socialism, however, is actually the opposite. What motorists want many automotive infrastructure – free.

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All this long experienced European cities – the ones where Ukrainians go to stay in a high quality urban space. But if you open old pictures of Amsterdam and Copenhagen, Berlin and Barcelona, we will see almost our streets, which outside the window – well, just machines of a different era and a different home architecture. Recovered after the Second world Europe simply buried in the road congestion.

Found out not at once – but it was the restriction of the use of the car. Those dozens of interchanges and overpasses, which we still have a dream (think about it – the General plan of Kiev, founded more than a hundred multi-level interchanges, despite the fact that even in the most economically prosperous years opened, maybe one a year!), in European cities are already built. And the trams were removed, and roads have expanded.

But – “not gone”, the new automobile infrastructure has created an increase in demand for car trips, but for buildings where actual people live and work, remain less space. Conclusions were made and in the 1990s, the mass dismantling of ramps and interchanges, so that there is – in the famous Moscow Garden ring… narrowed it down: where there were 17 lanes, there were 8.

But the demolition of the interchanges still ahead of us, but a pedestrian square and streets – the most at our level of motorization (remember – it will only grow). In Europe, they began to appear from 1960-ies, first in Denmark and the Netherlands – these countries are not particularly affected in the war, came faster than other mass motorization. It soon appeared that the pedestrian streets contribute to local trade, tourism (along read – “shopping in Europe”), so – and urban Economics.

But back to Kiev. With the completion of the interchange at the Postal square was organized a full around the hem is a prerequisite to limit transit traffic through the historical quarters and the pedestrian areas. In fact, it can be done, and 3-4 years ago – was hampered only by a lack of political will to restrict the movement of vehicles.

What happened as a result of overlap? In fact was previously a large transit flow in the Constantine/Mezhigorskaya – the cars were traveling, for example, of the Husbandman in the Top center, transit through the Hem. The overlap Sahaidachny took transit traffic and unloaded the streets.

Positive impact and the elimination of the large Parking lot in the middle of Kontraktova square – because Parking lots are always points of attraction of vehicles, they are going. The result – someone did not go by car to the center, someone left the car away from the historic neighborhoods.

Center of traffic organization of the CP kyyivdorservis implemented and a number of other innovations, in addition to limiting movement of concrete blocks (some doubt that this is the only way to really distinguish the traffic lane?). For example, thanks to the installation of so-called milestones (these are plastic bollards on the pavement) managed to disperse Parking along the street Pokrovskaya.

Columns physically allocated two lanes – stop, so other drivers will be kicked out, because I have no way around. So on the one side was safer near the Lyceum №100, on the other – solved the problem of Parking near the residence of the U.S. Ambassador – and it is reducing the threat of terrorist attacks (explosions of abandoned cars). Again – minus the Parking is a minus to use the car.

Of course, the area is empty and the pedestrians here are a few. But this is the first such a large-scale experiment in Kiev, and it proved successful – the transport goes. Of course, it would be possible to think in advance the programme of work of the area – as they do in new York city, creating in a matter of hours of the pedestrian zone on the pavement. Of course, you can recall the experience of Paris, where in the summer a sand covered road on the river Seine – a couple of years closed forever. But we are just learning.

Transporters are already working on improvements, traffic schemes to improve the situation on the Waterfront, to expand the pedestrian area – and so to relieve the junctions on the Upper and Lower Shaft. It turned out that if the optimize street – you can arrange as many as 1,400 new Parking spaces, with no building – just a “can of paint”. One unit plan to collect and public transport – to transfer contract was the most convenient.

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Parallel architects – in area was the competition, won the project “Kiev living room” and first, though not the most visible part of the Park near the tram has already been implemented. Ahead – the elimination of the “asphalt field” before Students, and, most of all, the passage in front of it – the creation of a single pedestrian space.

Well, then the economy will work in the new space. Of course, you need to solve something with the arcade is the core area. Cafes are already feeling the changes – the flow of people lingering in the square increased. Yes, fancy restaurants, where I went just for the “big and black”, will have tight, until the space is transformirovalsya in attractive to foreign tourists, and for our wealthy audience – probation as an alternative to walking and shopping in Amsterdam and Paris.

In fact, everything is based on Economics. The basic gist of the slabs of streets and the organization of pedestrian zones – not “fighting for the rights of pedestrians” in the style of Ostap Bender, the creation of an attractive space with a local business and at the same time improving traffic by reducing car use. It survived the world’s best cities – it begins to make and Kiev. The laws of evolution of cities – no arguing against them.

Gregory Melnichuk


Better if the Hem without a car? The first results of the experiment 11.11.2017

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