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    Moscow eyes hefty parking fines to ease traffic jams

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    Higher fines for illegal parking will help alleviate Moscow's notorious traffic congestion, a deputy mayor said on Thursday.

    Higher fines for illegal parking will help alleviate Moscow's notorious traffic congestion, a deputy mayor said on Thursday.

    At present the fine for illegal parking is 100 to 300 rubles ($3-10).

    "Fines need to be increased, as is commonplace all over the world," Nikolai Lyamov said.

    Thousands of parking lots in the city sit idle because motorists are reluctant to pay for something they can get free of charge, he said.

    Many drivers in the city prefer instead to park on the edges and sidewalks of the already busy downtown roads, adding to the traffic chaos.

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in late October the elimination of Moscow's traffic jams was a "viability test" for the federal government and a key to making the capital a world financial hub.

    Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has put forward three strategies for solving Moscow's traffic problems: increasing the number of parking places, developing public transport, and road construction.

    MOSCOW, November 11 (RIA Novosti)

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