More greenery and light: How Valovaya Street and Serpukhovskaya Square will transform

More greenery and light: How Valovaya Street and Serpukhovskaya Square will transform
New parking areas, bus stops with charging points and a pedestrian-friendly area: these are the initial results of improvement work on Valovaya Street and Serpukhovskaya Square. Read this article to find out more.

Lawns and a mint

Valovaya Street and Serpukhovskaya Square, parts of the Garden Ring situated in Zamoskvorechye section of the Ring, have seen improvement work under the My Street programme.

Now it is hard to imagine that in the early 17th century this part of the city was covered with grass where cows belonging to Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich’s mother grazed. Long ago, a Moskva River arm ran through the area, and in the late 16th century, an earth wall with a moat was built. In Peter the Great’s time, workers of the Kadashevsky Mint lived there, which is reflected in the name Monetchikov Pereulok (Mint Workers’ Walkway).

The earth wall was torn down between 1816–1820. After that, it was decided not to add palisades, which would narrow the street, so the name stayed the same: Valovaya (Wall Street) instead of Sadovaya (Garden Street). In the 19th century, Valovaya Street became part of and withdrew from Zatsepsky Val several times, and both streets began to look like they do now, only in the early 20th century.

Active construction began there in the 1940s–1950s, and in the summer of 1979, when buildings on the left side were dismantled, the street was broadened from 10 metres up to 40 and became a major road.

Parking and charging points

Valovaya Street and Serpukhovskaya Square were included in the My Street programme, and the improvement work began this April. The improved area covers 6.2 hectares.

This section of the Garden Ring has intense pedestrian and car traffic. Specialists wanted to make the area more user-friendly, safe, accessible and attractive while preserving the common architectural character.

The main construction work on Valovaya Street and Serpukhovskaya Square has been completed. This September, 57 benches and rubbish bins will be installed on Valovaya Street, and new benches and a bus stop will appear on Serpukhovskaya Square.

The transport scheme on Valovaya Street has not changed, and the number of lanes is same: five in each direction.

Four bus stops on Valovaya Street now have modern shelters with Wi-Fi and charging points (on both sides of the Garden Ring near Bolshoi Strochenovsky Pereulok, near the turn at 2/1 Dubininskaya Street, next to Paveletskaya metro station). Another two bus stops will soon appear on Serpukhovskaya Square.

Also 32 parking lots have appeared on Valovaya Street, including two for taxis. There was no parking there before. The traffic capacity on this section of the Garden Ring has not decreased, but the traffic is now more organised.

Comfortable walking

Architects also kept pedestrians in mind. The pavements have been broadened up to 12 metres, so the capacity has increased from 3,800 to 5,000 people per hour.

Streets are now covered with granite: 18,855 square metres of granite tiles were laid on Valovaya Street, and 5,023 on Serpukhovskaya Square. The street and the square are decorated with large granite tiles from different mines. The kerbstone is also made from granite.

The lighting has been improved too, with 58 new energy-saving streetlamps installed (36 on Valovaya Street and 22 on Serpukhovskaya Square). 18 additional illumination poles for stand lamps had been installed on sidewalks.  Also, pedestrians can use six information stands on Valovaya Street and three on Serpukhovskaya Square.

All overhead cables were moved underground to utility tunnels. Water will be drained via a new sewerage system.

Over 2,800 square metres of grass were planted in the improved area to make walking there more pleasant. Between October‒November, 149 maples, lindens, rowan and apple trees as well as 6,700 shrubs  (lilac, clematis and others) will be planted on Valovaya Street, and 18 trees and 55 shrubs will take root on Serpukhovskaya Square.

Also, 22 building facades will be repaired under the programme, with two already improved on Serpukhovskaya Square.

Garden restoration

Garden Ring improvements under the My Street renovation programme began last year. The project was supported by 86 percent of residents who voted on the Active Citizen website.

Workers are creating parks, improving courtyards, installing street furniture, broadening pavements and laying new paving stones on the Garden Ring. The My Street project is bringing back the gardens which gave the street its name. Last year, rowan trees, decorative apple trees, lindens and maples were planted there, and this year, and yews, oaks and bird cherry will appear this autumn.

The walking area along the entire Garden Ring is now wider. The transport scheme will stay the same, with five lanes. New asphalt pavement has been laid there.

This year 118 streets and city squares with a total length of 65 kilometres are getting upgrades under the My Street programme.