When residents of an apartment block in a leafy area of Almaty, Kazakhstan’s business capital, came out into their courtyard one morning last year, they discovered a tree that had been chopped down at the root. The culprit, they later discovered, was a motorist who had resorted to drastic measures to create a parking spot.
Such is the situation for car owners in a city where parking is getting ever more expensive and harder to find. The number of vehicles on Almaty streets has exploded over the past two decades.
Authorities in Almaty are wrestling with the issue, and have taken steps in recent years to improve quality of life. Two things in particular that they are working on are reducing traffic jams and rooting out illegal parking. This has come at a cost for the motorists, however.
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Aktan Rysaliev is a pseudonym for a journalist working in Almaty, Kazakhstan.