Baku residents complain as traffic paralyzed ahead of Formula-1
Formula-1 paralysed traffic in Baku
On June 10-12 Baku will host the next round of the Formula-1 World Championship. A few days before the start of the Grand Prix in Azerbaijan, traffic in the country’s capital was almost completely paralyzed. The Azerbaijani segment of social media is full of malicious messages from local residents complaining about the impossibility of traveling by ground transport in Baku.
- Baku citizens rejoice over Formula 1 cancellations
- Controversial Formula 1 to remain in Azerbaijan for at least 3 more years
- Formula-1: Why does Azerbaijan need it?
Almost all central streets of the city, along which the races will actually take place, are closed, the rest of the streets cannot cope with the flow of cars.
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix is one of the two Formula-1 stages, which takes place directly on the streets of the city. Another such stage is organized annually in Monte Carlo, which has a population of less than 3,000 people. All other championship races in other countries are held on specially built tracks.
The Baku stage of the “royal races” will be held for the fifth time. It has been running since 2017. Only in 2020, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The contract to host the Azerbaijan Grand Prix expires in 2023. If the Azerbaijani authorities fail to agree on an extension of the contract, then next year the last Formula 1 round will take place in Baku.
Traffic in Baku is paralyzed
Since Monday morning, June 6, almost all of Baku has been stuck in traffic jams. Traffic on 15 main highways of the city was paralyzed. All morning there was only one road connecting nearby cities and towns with Baku, whose population mainly works in the capital.
In the Azerbaijani segment of social media, Baku residents express their indignation at the holding of races in the city center and the inability to travel by transport.
Here are some typical comments:
“Someone will earn millions and people must suffer. It is impossible to move in the city because of traffic jams.”
“The other day, someone tried to prove to me the benefits of holding these races, supposedly it is good for the image of the country.
I cannot call something useful for my people and my country, if it makes people suffer and live in stress for several days.
The country’s image is formed not by any competition, but by the freedom, comfort and well-being of its citizens.
Even if 10 World Cups are organized in Qatar, Qatar will not be different. There is nothing to say about the “Formula”.
“The state continues to violate the rights of its citizens. Unprofitable races consume the country’s budget, people suffer in traffic jams. They create such problems for the population that people forget about their other troubles.”
“If you are planning a family in Baku, then try not to have a child born in June. Because you simply won’t get to the hospital, 90 percent of the roads simply don’t work.”
Formula-1 in Karabakh?
According to Natik Jafarli, an economist and one of the leaders of the Republican Alternative opposition party, it would be more rational to move the Formula-1 races from Baku to one of the cities in Karabakh.
“Creative solutions are needed to revitalize the liberated territories, stimulate the population to move to these lands. The traditional model of restoration at the expense of budgetary funds will not give the desired effect, will not revive the economy. If this were possible, we would see development and economic recovery in other regions of the country in 30 years of independence.
One such creative solution would be to move the Formula-1 competition to Agdam. There you can build a good track, organize an interesting route. This would draw the attention of the whole world to the restoration of Karabakh, revive the economy, and help attract investment. At the same time, Baku would get rid of these races, its population would stop suffering.
And during the rest of the year, races for ordinary citizens could be organized on the same track in Aghdam. Agdam people are already famous for their love for cars”, Jafarli wrote on his Facebook page.
Ministry of Internal Affairs’ warning
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan reported that from 01:00 on Monday, June 6, the movement of vehicles along the streets and avenues of Baku, which will be used for Formula-1 races, will be stopped.
Traffic on these streets will be restored in the morning of Tuesday, June 14.