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Sobyanin to Fix Moscow Traffic From Seoul

Sobyanin wants to learn from Seoul’s road and traffic jam management. SeongJoon Cho

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin began a three-day visit to Seoul on Wednesday to meet with a number of politicians and businessmen and learn about Korean successes in fighting traffic jams in that city, Interfax reported.

The mayor has noted on several occasions that the experience of European capitals cannot be applied in Moscow because of its higher population density. But Seoul, with a population of more than 10 million, is the perfect learning ground for his administration, an Interfax source said.

Another source in the Moscow mayor's office said Seoul's experience building road infrastructure alongside dense housing is what drew Sobyanin to Seoul instead of European capitals.

The mayor and his team will meet with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, as well as a former mayor of Seoul and the management of Samsung, Hyundai, LG and Lotte, a source close to the Moscow government told Interfax.

The Korean side will show Sobyanin robotic parking, the local intelligent transportation system and buses that run on compressed natural gas.

Sobyanin has made solving Moscow's traffic problems a top priority, proposing at different times such measures as moving storage facilities out of Moscow, limiting freight transportation in the city, introducing fees for driving into the city center and scheduling government workers to start work at 8 a.m. instead of 9 a.m.

Most of these initiatives have been welcomed by Muscovites, according to a recent poll by VTsIOM, with the exception of a toll for driving into the city center and banning trolleybuses downtown.

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