There will be traffic headaches before the World Cup. In fact, it might be easier if you don’t drive.
This is the message from Moscow’s transportation department as players, fans, media and more descend upon the city for Thursday’s World Cup opener.
The department is planning for the worst with some of the city’s busiest roads expected to be closed off to general traffic to make way for dignitaries arriving for the opening ceremony and first match.
A spokesperson for Moscow’s city transport department said on Tuesday it might just be easier for commuters to simply stay out of the way.
— Saudi National Team (@SaudiNT_EN) June 12, 2018
“We strongly urge city residents to use city transport and to leave their cars at home for the coming days,” the spokesperson said. “This will make your trips easier to plan.”
It is not only the road that Russians have been warned about this World Cup.
Sex with international football fans has been discouraged by a senior member of government in an intriguing interview with radio station Govorit Moskva this week.
Duma Family, Women and Children Committee head Tamara Pletnyova said sex with foreign fans raised the chances of single-parent children, which could lead to broken families in the future.
“These children have suffered in the Soviet era and will suffer later in life too,” she said. “We should be giving birth to our own children. I’m not a nationalist, but still…”
Tourists are also warned to be wary on the roads during the coming World Cup.
According to statistics published by the Directorate for Road Traffic Safety, there were over 169,000 road traffic accidents in Russia last year, causing over 19,000 deaths and over 215,000 injuries.
Furthermore, the Association for Safe International Road Travel reports annual fatalities on Russian roads are about three times that of France and five times of Sweden Prior to the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, the group noted that Russian roads are ranked 101st out of 144 for road infrastructure and 136th for road quality among developed countries.
The group urged visitors to take care on the roads, noting crashes are largely caused by aggressive driving, speeding, poor vehicle condition and inadequate driver training and law enforcement.
Nonetheless, visitors are able to utilise the nation’s roads during the competition, with paid-parking in the capital ranging from 40 to 200 rubles per hour, about $3 USD.
The first match of the World Cup will take place at Luzhniki Stadium between Russia and Saudi Arabia.
The competition marks Russia’s first-ever FIFA World Cup, with Moscow scheduled to host a total of 12 matches.
For more information on driving, parking and road rules in the host nation during the World Cup, visit the official fan guide website.