Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

REAL ESTATE

Parking a key problem in capital

Many people are familiar with traffic patterns in the centre of Bratislava during evenings and weekends. Drivers circle the streets trying to find a place to park; many spots are vacant but inaccessible, having been prepaid by other users.
Parking has become the biggest problem in the centre of Bratislava. More than 160,000 cars frequent the capital, an increase of 60,000 compared with 1990. But while the number of cars is growing, the centre has not changed to accomdate them, resulting in traffic congestion and complaints from pedestrians about the cars parked on sidewalks and grass plots.


Milan Vajda

Many people are familiar with traffic patterns in the centre of Bratislava during evenings and weekends. Drivers circle the streets trying to find a place to park; many spots are vacant but inaccessible, having been prepaid by other users.

Parking has become the biggest problem in the centre of Bratislava. More than 160,000 cars frequent the capital, an increase of 60,000 compared with 1990. But while the number of cars is growing, the centre has not changed to accomdate them, resulting in traffic congestion and complaints from pedestrians about the cars parked on sidewalks and grass plots.

Nobody is eager to build large garages, since they require significant investments and afford only low rates of return. The price for one parking space in an underground garage in the centre has reached 500,000 to 700,000 crowns. But Alexia, the only underground garage in the centre, remains half-empty due to the difference between prices for parking in the garage and on the street (where one pays only 5 crowns per hour). At present, new garages are under construction on Hviezoslavovo Square, Uršulínska Street and M. Benka Square, and the city is considering a plan to cancel an equivalent number of street parking spaces.

The problem is also one of traffic patterns. More than 14% of parking lots are permanently occupied by cars which do not move. Thousands of cars park illegally on a daily basis, but only 100 to 150 cars can be blocked or towed away by the police every day. Only 36% of cars actually carry one or more passengers when driving to the centre. Most companies ignore their emplyees' parking problems, believing instead that this problem will be solved by the city.

During the last six months, some changes to parking conditions have been prepared in the Old Town, in particular for restricted traffic zones. Old Town City Council is about to make use of the above data in its search for the best type of parking for every street and for all forms of traffic.

Firstly, the development of a new zone with regulated parking should improve downtown parking conditions. Local authorities will make every effort to lower the number of cars in the centre by preferring public transport over cars. The ratio of transport capacities, (75 to 25 in favour of public transport) is already very good in Bratislava and is admired by many western European cities. This ratio can be improved even further by 'Park and Go' parking areas on the borders of the new regulated parking zone, while access to residential areas will be restricted to residents and employees working there.

A new system of road signs should also be established to direct drivers to free parking areas and garages and lower the number of cars circulating haphazardly to find free parking spots. At present, street parking represents a crucial part of static traffic. However, up to 15% of vehicles are parked on the streets for long times, blocking access by other vehicles. The possibility of using parking places at the rear and inside blocks of flats will be investigated.

Milan Vajda is the spokesman for the Bratislava Old Town District Mayor. His column appears monthly. Send comments or questions to hovorca@town.sk.

Top stories

12 places where you can see the works of one of the best medieval wood carvers Photo

The works of the renowned Master Paul are not limited just to Levoča.

St Geirge Curch in Spišská Sobota

Ukrainian caught beauty of Nitra in video Video

The city under Zobor is beautiful also from a bird’s perspective.

Heatwaves to continue in Slovakia over the following days

More than 40 people collapsed due to hot weather on Thursday.

Foreigners: Events around Slovakia Photo

Tips for performances and other events in the Slovak regions between July 21 and 30, including a castle festival, a parkour meeting, a hip-hop dance and music festival, a festival of minorities, a special run,…

Onyx will perform at the Legits Blast event in Banská Bystrica