The impassable dirt in which the wheels of any vehicle are buried is still a symbol of our country. And what can we say about 1928, when the first issue of “Behind the Wheel” was released! There were very few cars in the USSR, there were practically no roads in the modern sense. Starting from the first issue, the magazine persistently promoted a sound idea: before it’s too late, it is necessary to build roads at a faster pace, which, if not cars, but at least carts, could drive.
“In many areas of the Union,” they wrote then, “the roads are not only not passable, but also not passable, and in a number of areas there are no roads.” Almost every issue published articles on the construction of roads, mixtures for their construction. Now it looks naive, but after such publications somewhere in the outback they could have built several kilometers of something more or less decent.
Roads, or rather, impassability, are one of the main topics of “Driving” in the late 1920s and early 1930s
In accordance with the romantic spirit of the 1920s, the magazine sometimes initiated completely utopian projects. In 1929, they wrote about the "construction of the Amur-Yakutsk highway 1, 200 km long, originating from the Bolshoi Never station of the Ussuri railway and having a direction to Yakutsk." In those parts to this day, not all is well with the roads.
The current Yaroslavl highway within the borders of the Moscow Region only recently began to resemble a freeway, for which the magazine campaigned back in the autumn of 1929. She had to go to the Pushkin district, where they planned to build the Green City - a "show garden city" according to the project of architect N. Ladovsky. The idea in those years was very popular, there was a very real plan and even built life-size models of houses. But the undertaking stalled the year in 1934.
Our expedition to Magadan demonstrated: with the roads in the country, everything is not going smoothly
Something nonetheless embodied in reality. “At the wheel” actively promoted the construction of the Moscow-Gorky highway, and already in 1935 it was ready. Around the same time, the magazine started a discussion about the so-called "road spider" - the main entrances to Moscow. Journalists insisted: access roads should have improved coverage at least within a radius of 100-150 km from the capital.
Then, in the 1960-1970s, we wrote about the Moscow-Kuybyshev-Chelyabinsk highway project, which “will be laid in places where you can now drive by car only in the summer in dry weather”, on the Moscow-Voronezh-Shakhty highway, about the modern road between Vilnius and Riga.
The MKAD construction, the highest achievement of Soviet road construction of the 1960s, was given special attention by the magazine
The magazine described in detail each stage of the construction of the Moscow ring. In the first half of the 1960s, it was one of the most modern routes of the Union. By the way, they intended it primarily for transit countries, because the ring was 15-18 km from the borders of the then Moscow.
Well, in the very recent past, we closely watched the route to the Far East, raised the question of building a good highway from the European part of the country to Magadan, opened the Chita-Khabarovsk section, sending an expedition to the east.