Russia - Roads and Sidewalks

| Thursday, May 28, 2009
Today's entry has to do with the roads and sidewalks of Russia. I think that the roads are probably one of the scariest places in Russia. The reason for this is because of how terribly Russians obey the laws of the road. When we flew in, we were picked up at the airport and drove through Moscow, fearing for our lives. I remember the same feeling when I came to Russia my very first time as well. I myself could never drive on the roads here because of how terribly people keep the laws. One thing I must say that is regardless of how badly the laws are kept and enforced on the road, Russian drivers are some of the very best I've ever seen. There are probably less accidents on the roads here then in the United States. It's hard to explain without experiencing for yourself, but before you get on the road in Russia, either be prepared to close your eyes or else have a tough stomach. Russians can fly down the road, weave in and out of cars and get within a few centimeters of other cars without even flinching. I definitely don't have the guts for it. Too bad I couldn't get a good video of it. Winter is just plain out scary...

Another reason that the roads are so scary is because of their terrible condition. The roads range from good condition to asking what in the world they were thinking. The roads have actually gotten a lot better since I was here a couple of years ago, so maybe they figured something out. All the same, the roads are extremely dirty. People liter without thinking twice and with the huge smoking problem here, there are cigarette butts all over. To go on top of all that, the roads are just plain dirty. Anya and I decided that this is because of the non-existent sewer system.

The first few days when we got here, it rained. Without the sewer system, the streets stop looking like streets and more like small streams. The water just kind of sits on the road however and doesn't go anywhere. When the water finally drys up, the dirt just stays on the road and the roads get super disgusting.

Russian street during a rainstorm.

The small driveway up to a Russian building.

As you can see in the second picture above, the driveway up to the homes is completely destroyed. This is what I usually think of when I think of the roads of Russia. So many of the roads and sidewalks are practically non-existent. They are often so beat up that they hardly resemble roads or sidewalks for that matter. When it rains or the snow melts it can be pretty tough to find a place to walk that isn't muddy or filled with water. No complaints from me though. This is what makes Russia such a unique place.

A typical Russian sidewalk.

Video of the sidewalk in Russia. (Sorry about the really bad quality)