Moscow Sidewalk Accessibility

Sidewalk pavements in Moscow are in a varied state of repair. Many sidewalks are smooth, while others are littered with cracks and holes. Tourist avenues, such as those surrounding the Kremlin and Red Square, feature extremely well cared for sidewalks. In general, the physical condition of the sidewalks is a step above moderate and wheelchair users will not typically encounter difficulty in rolling along the pavements.

PHOTO: Ramp to Underground Tunnel

Nearly all intersections in downtown Moscow feature curb cuts. The cuts rarely provide a completely smooth or level transition with the street or intersection, but are instead one to two inches elevated. In areas where a curb cut does not exist, wheelchair travelers may need to roll along the street for a block or two.

Crossing the busiest streets in Moscow is typically done via a tunnel beneath the street. These must typically be accessed via stairs. Wheelchair users will either need to cross the street during a traffic lull, roll up to one-half mile to the nearest above ground crossing, or utilize a city bus to access the other side of the street. Some of these tunnels are outfitted with ramp access in addition to stairs, but this is generally rare.

Weather is also a significant factor affecting accessibility in Moscow. The city has a significantly harsh winter season. The snow and ice on the ground and on sidewalks can make traversing the city independently in a wheelchair rather challenging. While streets and sidewalks are cleared, significant amounts of snowfall are common and slow this process down. Summer and Fall are the best seasons to visit Russia in a wheelchair, as they offer a significantly better experience for tourists.

One positive note is that the Russian people are typically quite helpful and will not hesitate to assist a wheelchair user over a curb if necessary. Drivers will also stop for pedestrians forced to cross a street.