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The cure for one of Russia's biggest plights. How St. Petersburg tackles the problem of bad roads


Today the names of subcontractors tasked to renovate roads will become known. This year there are 74 streets on the government’s list. 3 billion rubles have been allocated for the works.


It has already been revealed that the committee on development of transport infrastructure is asking for additional financing of another 3.5 billion. If the governmental body has its way, the city will invest 6.5 billion in total into saving the city’s streets. Yuriy Scherbakov found out which streets are avoided by the drivers, and who is responsible for the quality of the roads

Yuriy Scherbakov, reporter: “This is how they look like in Japan, this is how in Europe, and this is how in Russia. Particularly, in St. Petersburg, at Beloostrovskaya Street. And we're not talking about the car industry. It's the roads. One of the nation’s two biggest plights. Jokes have been made about it for ages within the folklore”

Numerous civic organizations across the country are trying to fight bad roads. They are painting potholes with fluorescent paint, some are even planting flowers or potato gardens in the middle of the street, some are just abandoning hope to ever have a good asphalt. The far eastern drivers even tried to fix a pot hole by dumping fake money into it

In Novosibirsk, girls opened a beach season by a huge puddle. But how is this kind of flamboyance helping the cause? If you are aiming at gathering as many likes on social media as possible, then definitely yes. But the pothole would not disappear. That is according to the head of the regional civic organization “SpbAvto” Svyatoslav Danilov. 1/3 of car accidents in our country happen because of bad roads. According to the state standard, the maximum allowed size of a pothole cannot exceed one of these dimensions – 5 cm deep, 15cm long and 60cm wide

Svyatoslav Danilov, head of regional civic organization “SpbAvto”: “The good option would be taking a picture of it, but you have to specify where it was taken. Because right here we can see the address, so in perspective we are trying to take a photo so that you can see the location, and then send it to municipal authority - if this pothole is on the responsibility of the municipal authority - or to social organizations

Or else onto the official website of the traffic police. According to the acting legislation, the control over the quality of roads is one of the responsibilities of traffic inspectors. 

Tatyana Suslova, head of 5-th department of Traffic Police in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region: “As for the quality of the roads, the traffic inspectors have an order that while patrolling their assigned territory – everyone has a set route which is officially registered for every traffic inspector squad. So, on every day basis they have to evaluate the quality of the asphalt”

After which the corresponding documentation will be sent to the people responsible for these issues within the government, and lawyers – to city’s committees and district administrations. But there - they usually say that everything will be renovated at some point

Nikolay Ryzhok, head of road reconstruction department at committee for development of transport infrastructure: “Over the next couple of days we will know the names of subcontractors to fix the roads in St. Petersburg. And works will begin at the end of May.

By the way, starting from March of this year the fine for disobeying orders has been increased ten-fold

Yuriy Scherbakov, reporter: “After filming the material for this story, we asked our law department to write two statements – to traffic police and, to be on the safe side, to the prosecutor general’s office. Whether there would be anybody fined for negligence or perform the direct duties – that depends strictly on them