It is often difficult to find a parking space, especially in large cities. Cities are developing, public space is becoming scarce. At the same time, environmentally friendly means of transport such as bicycles need more space. The VDA is now pushing for a reform of the parking system.
Higher incomes should pay more for parking permits for residents, electric cars should have special parking spots – and municipalities should be given more leeway to raise or lower the prices for parking spaces. These are the key points of a fundamental reform of the parking system in Germany presented by the Automobile Industry Association (VDA).
Parking pressure in city centers must be reduced
According to this, parking traffic should be better oriented given the growth of cities and increasing densification of areas and the “parking pressure” should be reduced, especially in residential areas in city centers. “Anyone dependent on a parking space should be able to access a free parking space as much as possible without looking for traffic,” he said. Traffic zones should be used as efficiently as possible.
With this paper, the VDA wants to get involved in the debate on how public space in cities should be used in the future. In an attempt to improve the quality of life in cities, the use of space by traffic in its current form is increasingly being questioned, the newspaper said. “Last but not least, this also applies to stationary traffic, ie parking.” At the same time, however, it is still “indispensable” to meet the mobility needs of residents both within and around the cities themselves as well as the demands of commercial traffic.
Cyclist traffic must be reinforced
The background to the debate is, for example, that cycling in Germany should be stepped up for climate policy reasons – but bicycles need more space for this. There are also new mobility offers such as carsharing. VDA also refers to the increase in logistics traffic. The parcel industry is booming.
Parking lot search traffic and the volume of traffic in the city as a whole are expected to be reduced, the newspaper said. The municipalities therefore play a key role. Today it is often necessary to charge a fee for the use of the parking space, writes the VDA. “The narrow legal framework for charges makes it difficult to show the real value of using limited public space.”
In the future, therefore, it should be possible for cities to increase the prices for the use of parking space instead of fees as part of “holistic mobility concepts”. Parking prices could be differentiated, they say. In this way, “traffic flows and volume” could be actively controlled and a more uniform use of parking spaces could be achieved. In plain language, this means that municipalities could make parking more expensive when space is limited or at peak times, but also reduce it elsewhere.
New framework for resident parking permits
The VDA also proposes to spread the prices of residents’ parking permits according to their income. So that means those with higher incomes should pay more.
Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) announced in the autumn that he wanted to work with federal states and municipalities to examine to what extent the upper limit for resident parking, currently 30.70 euros per year, could be redefined and set individually by municipalities. The German Association of Cities has welcomed the projects and considers that a future framework for resident parking permits of 20 to 200 euros per year is possible.
The VDA also suggests using more digital solutions for optimized management of parking spaces. Self-parking can significantly reduce the need for parking space per vehicle. The vehicles collected data on free parking spaces and informed each other about them. “It can drastically reduce the traffic looking for a parking space.”
Cheaper special parking spaces for electric vehicles?
Parking management should also contribute to the achievement of climate objectives. As a result, special parking spaces for electric vehicles could be provided and parking costs reduced. Parking spaces could be created for new sharing offers. Special parking areas for delivery traffic could prevent delivery vehicles from stopping in the second row.
The document also states that parking management cannot do without checks and penalties. The rules would only be respected if the fines reached a “significant level”. The higher fines provided for improper parking, for example on bicycle lanes, when the traffic laws have been changed, are a step in the right direction.
“Second row” parking fines set to increase
Scheuer predicts that the fines for parking in the “second row” on sidewalks and cycle paths are expected to increase significantly. Instead of 15 euros, a fine of up to 100 euros should then be due. “It would be worth considering implementing it accordingly for reverse parking in delivery parking lots,” according to the VDA. “In addition, there is a need to discuss to what extent fines for illegal parking should also be staggered according to income. In addition, the possibilities for” automated monitoring of parking spaces “should be explored.