Bratislava is the last remaining European capital without a parking policy. This will change in 2020, when the authorities plan to introduce city-wide parking policy. It aims to rid the city of the cars now overflowing its streets and parking lots, and provide parking places for Bratislava residents.
“The parking policy is a must,” said Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo when introducing the policy on April 11. “The number of cars in the city is growing and a parking policy is a tested tool to curb them and improve traffic in the city.”
The number of cars registered in Bratislava has almost doubled over the last 15 years, exceeding 300,000 cars. This results in drivers experiencing severe problems in the search for parking, both day and night. It also leads to Bratislava’s infamous traffic jams.
When introducing the new policy, which has provoked controversial reactions among residents, Mayor Vallo cited a study from Düsseldorf, which shows that searching for a parking place takes up as much as 12 percent of all the traffic in the city centre.
“For those commuting to Bratislava, coming to the city by car and parking in front of their workplace for 8-10 hours will be the most expensive option,” Vallo described the intended effects of his new policy.
Authorities hope that people will change their commuting habits and instead opt for buses or trains, or park their cars at incentive parking lots on the city’s outskirts and continue by bus or tram. This should decrease the number of car rides in Bratislava by one fifth and eliminate traffic jams.
Vallo admits the parking policy is also meant as a tool to inspire those who live and work in Bratislava but do not have permanent residence in the city to register as permanent residents in the capital. Each permanent resident brings on average €300 to the city’s coffers and €200 to the respective borough’s coffers in income taxes per year. It is estimated that tens of thousands of people without permanent residence in Bratislava live and work in the city. The city thus effectively loses millions of euros in revenues every year.
How will the parking policy affect people who live and/or work in Bratislava? Here are the ten most important things you need to know:
1. How will the parking policy work?
2. How much will the residence parking card cost?
3. How much will parking cost for non-residents?
4. I am a foreigner and do not have permanent residence in Bratislava. Can I still get a resident parking card?
5. I have a private garage or parking place. How much will I pay in the rest of the city?
6. When will the parking policy become effective?
7. Will the parking policy apply across the city?
8. Who will run the parking policy and how will the authorities use the money they raise?
9. Who will supervise the keeping of the parking policy?
10. What will be the alternatives to driving a car in the city?