View Full Version : Traffic & Pollution

29-09-2003, 11:35
We are thinking of moving back to Moscow with our three small children but the air pollution and traffic seems like the biggest challenge. Lived here before so can arrange housing, schools, job and sanity but the air and traffic jams seem to be getting worse.

What do all you expats think about it? Is it something you just learn to live with?

29-09-2003, 11:39
Personally, I don't find it a problem....but I believe others do....

I dont find it any worse driving here than London or Paris.....

29-09-2003, 14:40
You say you've been here before, so assuming that it was not during the Soviet era, but rather in the past few years, I would answer that I have not noticed any significant changes in the quality of traffic or air. Indeed, that is not to say that either have EVER been good, just that I think traffic now is no worse than, say, 1997.

There are lots of statistics, however, in regards to how many cars are bought/imported, and said statistics are usually cited in support of doomsday predictions on traffic and gridlock, but again, I've been driving here five years and find it pretty much the same. The third ring road is almost complete, and helping to combat the increase of drivers, and an increase in foreign made cars (with catalytic converters) has not contributed to any noticeable difference in air-quality.

So, if you've been here earlier and were able to stand it then, I wouldn't let these two factors keep you away.

29-09-2003, 19:22
There are three small children involved, not the best place to rising them I believe.

29-09-2003, 20:18
I agree with Never_Mind and it's not so much the quantity of traffic which you might find in any large capital city, but the bloodymindedness and total lack of discipline of the PIGS in cars here!

29-09-2003, 21:24
Difficult to say about the air. Many factories have closed but the incredible increase in Russian (no pollution controls) vehicles may more than offset this. Current data suggests 300,000 more cars PER YEAR in Moscow. High tarrifs (40%) discourages better quality imports.

2002 saw peat fires and weeks of heavy smoke everywhere. What was in that smoke?

But...produce quality is higher here than most places in the west.

Wear your safety belts at all times. Accident rates here are significantly higher than in Western countries and the death rate is several times the western rate.

30-09-2003, 03:23
I'm not a wuss about many things, but those peat fires were pretty unbearable. Gave me a scorchin'-bad case of bronchitis, which turned into pneumonia. Is there any part of the city that, if not great, provides somewhat cleaner air? I've heard Fruzneskaya. And no, I'm not interested in that American compond suburb, whatever it's called, in which the forces-that-be have created their own little swath of suburban Cleveland just outside the Ring Road.

30-09-2003, 09:54
Agree with you Stefania...but I think pigs can drive better!

30-09-2003, 13:32
I’ve been here for ten years working and raising two children. I have found that what works best for me is a flat in the centre of town, so I get to see the children before and after work and a dacha for weekends, letting you and the children replenish supplies of oxygen. The only problem with this is that the dacha needs to be winter accessible. If one parent is not working then a “cottage” within relatively easy commuting distance might be good?
Regular health cheques in the UK show my children a healthy and not carrying excessive amounts of heavy metals in their blood streams.

30-09-2003, 14:08
I haven't found the pollution here to be too bad, compared with any other big city. (It's better here than some - for example, Mexico City or Hong Kong.) Of course, it's good to get out of town at weekends if you can - walks in woods, parks, etc. - and maybe get a dacha as a permanent getaway.

The traffic can be a nuisance, though - with or without children! (Patience is the way ahead!) Make sure your children have car seats and their belts on - the basic car safety issues as anywhere else.

08-10-2003, 22:24
i'm raising 3 here as well, 1 actually born right here. pollution exists, like other places; the kids seem to be fine. i drive all the time. traffic HAS been getting worse over the past few years but it's doable (every now and then you feell like driving OVER some of the zhigulis, but everyone's entitled to a little breakdown now and then...). patience, patience and more patience. and seatbelts. and preferably a nice heavy car to put plenty of metal between your kids and other drivers....