Shopping heart of Moscow, or Petrovka Street transformation

Shopping heart of Moscow, or Petrovka Street transformation
Paved sidewalks, historical cobbled streets and convenient parking – describes how Petrovka Street has changed after redevelopment.

Petrovka Street redevelopment, as part of the My Street programme, has been completed.  The intent was to revive the spirit of this old Moscow Street that was historically a shopping district and mostly a pedestrian friendly part of the city.

The street starts at Okhotny Ryad, runs across boulevards and ends on Karetny Ryad near Hermitage Garden. It owes its name to the 14th century Vysoko-Petrovsky Monastery founded by Metropolitan Pyotr of Moscow.

Petrovka in its current form was established in the early 19th century after the Neglinka River was paved over, and later, after the water from a flood-prone Neglinka Street was rerouted underground into a tunnel. This made it possible to develop one side of the street. Petrovka became a busy retail street, especially as more shops were built in the 20th century. Apart from the Vysoko-Petrovsky Monastery and large nobility estates, there are several major shopping areas here today as well. Petrovka also features the facades of Russia’s main theatres, the Bolshoi and the Maly. Unlike Tverskaya and Lubyanka Streets, Petrovka did not become an outbound road; it has never been a heavily used thoroughfare.

More space for pedestrians

Redevelopment on Petrovka Street lasted from May and into September this year. The project covered an area of 3.7 hectares over 1.3 kilometres of the street. Traffic has mostly remained one-way. The road width has been reduced by 2.5 metres, with the same amount of lanes, in order to expand the pavements (sidewalks) covered in granite blocks. In total, builders paved 22,076 square metres of sidewalk, including curbs, with granite for a total length of 4,799 running metres.

The street lamps were replaced with 98 main street lamps and five floor lamps. Seven backlit navigation signs were installed for pedestrians together with 116 benches and dust-bins.

New parking layout

The road setup has also been changed. Four lanes between 38 Petrovka Street and the Boulevard Ring have been reduced to three, while three lanes between the Boulevard Ring and Teatralny Proyezd have become two. Now Petrovka Street and adjoining lanes have 113 pockets for parking.

The new layout is not expected to impact the traffic flow on Petrovka but make it more organised and controlled.

Flower beds and neat facades

Apart from the granite, the new Petrovka Street is now adorned with greenery. Flower beds and new grass soften the famous 38 building, the home of the Moscow Criminal Investigation Department. Another 19 trees and 33 shrubs will be planted on the street in the next two months.

Thorough repairs are in full swing on the facades of six buildings, including 20/1; 26/3; 28/2; 28/ 5; 28/6 and 21/1. Construction at 19/1 Petrovka Street has been completed.


All 1.7 kilometres of hanging wires have been moved underground. A separate cable duct was laid for the Department of Information Technologies.

Contractors also dug out 940 running metres of drainage gutters, 307 metres of storm drains with 65 rain grates and 11 inspection wells.

Interesting discoveries

The project exposed 19th century clinker bricks that used to beplaced on their side during the paving process. An 80 square metre section of these bricks has been restored.

Another archaeological discovery was an areaway with two basement window frames near 28/6 Petrovka Street. This was part of the lower monastery cells of the Naryshkin Chambers dating back to the second half of the 17th century. The find has been rebuilt and put under glass.