When you live in a global pandemic that complicates life, and when a war in Europe makes the energy prices and the inflation increase substantially at the same time, rising parking fees are just what you need, right? At least that is what the Berlin Senate seems to believe.
Berlin, May 13th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — The number of paid parking zones in Berlin is growing. Less than two weeks ago, dozens of parking ticket vending machines popped up in parts of the German capital’s Pankow borough. Berlin’s total number of paid parking zones is now 56.
Exception for Some
Depending on where you park your car, today’s fees vary. In Berlin’s western city center, on Kurfürstendamm, Tauentzienstrasse and around Bahnhof Zoo, they are 3 Euro per hour right now. In other zones, the fee is 2 Euro, and in some areas 1 Euro per hour. According to the RBB TV and radio network, the Berlin Senate is about to increase them by 1 Euro per hour, which means the fees will be 2, 3 or 4 Euro soon, instead of 1, 2 or 3 Euro.
It is supposed to happen rather soon, on October 1st. Early next year, the price for resident’s parking permits is supposed to rise as well. There will be exceptions for some Berliners who work in shifts, including police officers, fire fighters and persons employed by state-owned hospitals. They will have to hand in documents that prove they are working in shifts. Then, they are supposed to be allowed to park free of charge, in the zones around their workplaces.
Less Room for Cars
There are several reasons for the parking fee increases the Berlin Senate is preparing. First of all, this step is part of the coalition agreement Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey, a Social Democrat (SPD), signed with the Greens and ‘Die Linke’. Secondly, the last parking fees increase was implemented 18 years ago, meaning it is about time for the next one.
From the perspective of Environment and Mobility Senator Bettina Jarasch, the step the city state of Berlin is taking is part of the ‘traffic transition’ she is working on. Creating more space for pedestrians and cyclists, but decreasing the room for cars, and a reduction of the number of motorized vehicles in the city center are part of the plan. Presumably, more Berliners will choose to go to the luxury department store ‘KaDeWe’ or other shops in the western city center by public transport once an hour of parking costs more than a bus or train trip.
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There is another justification Berlin uses for parking fee increases in the outskirts of the city. Recently, the residents of the new paid parking zone in Pankow received flyers which said too many non-locals were parking their cars in their vicinity. Parking fees needed to be introduced to keep them away. Guess why so many non-locals used to park there: Because of the parking fees the city charged in a neighboring zone.
Now, all non-locals park their scrapheaps on wheels a bit further away, in yet another neighborhood located further northeast. The city might decide to react there as well, by introducing parking fees. There obviously is a domino effect. Soon, everyone will have to park their cars in Brandenburg province, Czechia or on Mars.
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