Моя улица: My Street

If you come
to Moscow this summer, 15 minutes after you leave the customs area at the
airport you will hear talk of моя улица (my street). Actually, you’ll
being hearing talk of “Моя улица” — a Moscow city program that the
mayor’s office calls крупнейший проект благоустройства в современной истории Москвы (the
biggest urban improvement project in the modern history of Moscow). The project
has three parts: реконструкция улиц, ремонт фасадов, подсветка зданий (reconstructing
streets, repairing facades, and lighting buildings). The goal: создать комфортную городскую среду и
сделать Москву местом, удобным для жизни (to create a comfortable urban
environment and make Moscow livable).

Who
wouldn’t want that, right?

Well, it’s
complicated. The reason you’ll hear about it right away is because the person
who meets you at the airport will moan about the hours he or she spent in
traffic jams due to road work. As proof, your driver will show you his
smartphone navigator dotted with thousands of little pictograms of tiny people and
miniscule shovels. The signs used to be called дорожные работы (road work), but now they’ve been renamed работы по
благоустройству (urban
improvement work). Doesn’t matter what you call them — it’s still guys with
shovels wreaking havoc with traffic.