The former Prague mayor and current Prague deputy mayor for transport Zdeněk Hřib (Piráti) is planning drastic changes for Prague’s car traffic.
According to Hřib, citizens should prepare themselves for the fact that in Prague they will no longer be able to get to where they are going by car.
“We are starting to tell people that it is perfectly normal not to stop your car right in front of the door of the building you are heading to,” Hřib says, outlining that Prague is planning to introduce charging for entering some streets.
Hřib presented a reform of the parking system as part of the transport changes in the capital, which he said will lead to “traffic calming in the center” and will mean, among other things, that if a visitor arrives in the center of Prague by car, they will not park unless the locals buy “a credit for parking in the blue zone” in advance.
“You can now park in blue zones for a more expensive parking fee even if you are not a resident. Going forward, this will no longer be an option, people can use underground car parks where capacity is not filled. This is part of a plan to calm down the city center,” Hřib said, adding that it should also be adjusted how much parking costs in individual Prague districts, seeing no reason why parking should cost the same in Prague 1 and Prague 11.
Individual Prague districts should also decide on parking prices in their territory. The former Prague mayor does not think that this could lead to cheaper parking in some districts. “Some districts consider parking too cheap,” he said, adding that parking could become more expensive in many parts of Prague.
Owners of electric cars will also be out of luck, as they will have to deal with free parking in Prague just like all other drivers. “I am surprised that anyone is surprised. This advantage is being abandoned in cities all over Europe,” Hřib said, adding that it is a matter of equalization and owners of electric cars will simply pay for parking like everyone else.
Hřib also outlined that Prague is planning to charge for entering some streets in the city center. The charges would apply to Karmelitská, Smetanova nábřeží, and Křižovnická Street. Cars driving to these places will be controlled by cameras. “If it’s not a resident and they haven’t paid, they will pay a fine,” says Prague’s deputy for transport, who will be waiting for the driver on the spot.
“It’s a logical step to motivate people to transfer to public transport and free up the roads for those who need it and don’t just cut their journey through the Old Town.”
He said people can use the garages at the Rudolfinum or the National Theatre, where the parking fee is CZK 960 per day and CZK 60 for the first to eighth hour.
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