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Prague to have more parking zones

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Prague 5, 6, 8 and 10 are considering introducing paid parking zones. This could make life harder for commuters.

It will not be easy to park your car on the outskirts of the city, as other parts of Prague are also striving to introduce paid parking zones.

Cars that were earlier parking in the city centre moved to streets in Břevnov or Kobylisy. “It’s like throwing a stone into water, the waves spread further from the centre,” said Prague 6 spokesman Martin Šalek.

Last year, paid parking zones also spread from the city centre to the wider centre including Žižkov and Letná. And some city parts are starting to fight the new influx of cars.

Prague 6 has made the biggest progress in the preparation of its parking zones. Its councillors approved a plan and sent it to Prague City Hall. Theoretically, the zones could be introduced already this year. And Prague 5, 8, and 10 are preparing similar measures.

From Prague to the metro

In practise, this would mean that people from the Kladno area who come to work in Prague will not be able to leave their cars for free on the streets of Dejvice. Similarly, people from northern Bohemia will have a problem with parking in Kobylisy, where they take public transport to get to the city centre.

However, parking zones are advantageous for locals, who will be able to find free space for their cars close to their home more easily. Commuters will either have to buy a parking card, which will cost several dozens of thousands a year, or park further from the centre. “The introduction of parking zones has proved effective. There are enough parking spots for residents,” Libor Šíma, head of development and transport organization department at Prague’s town hall, evaluated the parking zones one year after they have been introduced.

Deputy Mayor Rudolf Blažek does not want to hear about the different town halls’ considerations. “We cannot discuss it before the parking zones in Prague 1, 2, 3 and 7 have been evaluated,” he said. The key talks of Prague city councillors will take place in February.

Prague 6 already knows what parking should look like. Like other town halls, it will introduce alleviations.

One of the innovations will be mixed zones, where visitors to the city and residents alike will be able to park. Parking cards should be available to all Prague 6 inhabitants, not only to those living in houses with blue lines for residents in front of them. Special spots will be designated for cars supplying local shops. “It’s up to the city hall now whether they will like our plan or not,” spokesman Šalek said.

Experts warn about ad hoc changes in parking approved by the city hall. “It is necessary to create a model of transport behaviour based on an analysis. Individual zones across town parts must be in agreement, so that some parts are not overburdened and there are no traffic jams,” said Petr Moos from Prague’s Czech Technical University’s (ČVUT) faculty of transportation sciences.

36,000 of non-residents

People who have permanent residency in a Prague district, pay CZK 700 for one car, ten times more for another car, and a third and more cars cost CZK 14,000. Entrepreneurs, whose firm has a seat in a given part, pay CZK 12,000 for one car per year. The basic price of a parking card for people without permanent residency in a given Prague district is up to CZK 36,000.

After parking zones were introduced, the number of residents in the affected Prague district increased. People living in rented flats have started applying for permanent residency. In Prague 2, the zones stopped the decrease in the number of permanent residents, and in Prague 7 almost three times more people in comparison with the previous year applied for residency after the zones were introduced.

A group of ODS deputies tried to ban paid parking zones in Prague by law. However, nobody else supported the idea.

Translated with permission by the Prague Daily Monitor.

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