Paid Parking Could Hit City by Year’s End

Paid Parking Could Hit City by Year’s End

A pilot scheme of paid parking could be introduced in the central district by the end of this year.

Published: May 25, 2011 (Issue # 1657)

Parking in the city center may cease to be free of charge by the end of this year.

The Municipal Services Commission of the Legislative Assembly last week approved amendments to the bill “On the introduction of changes to St. Petersburg legislation for the distinction of authority between the legislative assembly and the St. Petersburg government for activities relating to roads and other road activities within St. Petersburg.”

The document was put forward by St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko in April. In accordance with federal law No. 69: “On the introduction of changes to Russian Federation legislation,” dated 21 April 2011, the bill would grant City Hall the authority to set up paid parking on regional public streets. Local authorities will be able to set prices for parking. Deputies passed the first reading on Wednesday.

“Deputies would like to retain their right to decide on a tariff system for parking,” said commission member Alexei Belousov.

Deputy Vitaly Milonov said that the government has guaranteed members of parliament reductions for subsidized households and that payment will be carried out using parking meters and not car parking attendants.

City Hall could begin charging for car parks by the end of this year, with a pilot scheme set to take place in the central district, said Alexei Bakirei, deputy head of St. Petersburg’s Committee for Transport and Transit policy, speaking via its press service. According to Bakirei, the cost of parking has not yet been decided and a payment system is still being developed.

Milonov believes that the price should be reasonable. “For the first three hours, no more than 100 rubles ($3.50) per hour,” he said.

Denis Shubin, head of the motoring organization A24, said the optimal price would be 30 rubles ($1.10) per hour for the first few hours. According to Shubin, if the price is any higher, City Hall will receive nothing but non-payments.

Parking a car in New York costs $0.75 an hour (except in Manhattan where parking costs $1.50). In Dublin, depending on the area, prices vary from $0.85 to $4, in Seattle parking costs from $1 to $4 an hour and in Paris from $1.40 to $4.20 per hour. Parking at St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport costs 100 rubles ($3.50) per hour for the first three hours.

Car parks at the city’s shopping malls charge about 200 rubles to 300 rubles ($7 to $10.50) for two hours, said Sergei Fyodorov, general director of Praktis CB. “Having paid street parking is a sound idea but a lot will depend on how car users are supposed to pay, whether or not parking meters will be available and who will monitor how long cars are left for,” said Fyodorov.

In order to avoid corruption, parking should be controlled without any human input — i.e., by using parking meters and video cameras, and fines should then be issued by post, said Shubin.

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