Posted 7 сентября 2022, 14:44

Published 7 сентября 2022, 14:44

Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:38

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Urbanism or business. Petersburg take over paid parking

7 сентября 2022, 14:44
In St. Petersburg, the paid parking area has been expanded. Now it covers the territory from the Smolny to the Winter Palace. Next in line is another historical district - the Admiralteisky, as well as the Vasileostrovsky and Petrogradsky quarters. Novye Izvestiya walked around the northern capital in search of a parking spot.

Alexander Dybin, St. Petersburg

The next expansion of the paid parking zone took place on September 1, with an additional 4,000 parking spaces created. At the same time, there are now no streets left in the Central District where one could park for free. The previous wave of expansion occurred in July, when 56 streets were transferred to a paid format.

Officials from the government of St. Petersburg said that even in a truncated form, paid parking unloaded city streets: traffic on them decreased by 20%, and the number of accidents by 25%. Income from the work of paid zones in 2022 was estimated at 350 million rubles.

The coordinator of the Central District for a Comfortable Environment movement, Yaroslav Kostrov , noted that it became freer on the previously busy streets of the city. However, the public figure believes that residents of the area should not pay for parking near the house. Now they can get a permit that costs 1,800 rubles for a year, while an hour of parking for milestones of the rest costs 100 rubles.

“Paid parking is a positive change,” he says, “we have already felt the effect: a huge number of streets have been cleared of cars. I believe that parking should be expanded to cover the entire historical center of the city and made absolutely free for residents of the area.”

But, according to Kostrov, there is also a fly in the ointment - with one hand the city authorities establish paid parking, with the other they force residents to remove gates and barriers to courtyards-wells, giving motorists a free alternative.

“Unfortunately, the committee on transport with paid parking has failed in matters of interdepartmental cooperation. For example, the property committee cuts gates, barriers and freeloaders who do not want to pay for parking easily park cars in residential yards,” the public figure notes.

Urbanists greeted the news about the expansion of the paid parking zone with comments in the spirit of “long overdue”, but they admit that there are problems: parking meters do not always work, and the mobile payment application crashes.

“In general, this is a positive development,” says urbanist Daniil Voronin . - It's bad that for five years there was some very strange experiment with these parking lots, and in fact the committee on transport and the traffic police simply could not agree. But the effect of the appearance of blue markings is already being felt: people park more carefully, get up less often in the second row, traffic really decreases. But negligent motorists have already appeared, who began to seal the numbers. And the transport committee itself admitted that it could not fight it in any way. I wrote an appeal to them, but they replied that they had no leverage. In addition, normal payment functionality has not been made: everything works crookedly, the application crashes, I’m not talking about parking meters at all.”

More "air" in the parking lot

A Novye Izvestiya correspondent walked through the center of St. Petersburg, where less than a week ago they drew blue markings that mark a paid parking area. The car had to be left in the Admiralteisky district, which is waiting for paid parking in November. A lone parking meter looks out at Gorokhovaya Street like a black mirror of an extinguished screen. The iron blockhead turned out to be turned off, however, and there was no queue for it. There were single cars in the blue zone.

From the pea we turn onto Kazanskaya, where cars used to stand tightly on both sides. Now the street is strikingly empty, although single cars still block the path and only one lane remains for travel. Closer to Nevsky Prospekt and the Kazan Cathedral, it becomes denser, but here you can still find places.

Along the same deserted Lomonosov, we move to the street of the Architect of Russia, which is famous for its balance of height and width. Until recently, behind the accumulation of cars one could not even make out the architectural design: the width is equal to the height of the symmetrical buildings forming the street - 22 meters, and the length of the street is 10 times greater than the width, which should create an effect of harmony. This open-air exhibit did not remain completely without cars, but, it must be admitted, it noticeably prettier.

Note that paid parking is not at all striking. The corresponding signs are rarely installed, on the entire route there was only one parking meter and one small plate with prices and payment rules. And the blue markings can be overlooked on a cloudy day or in winter. But standing without payment here costs 3,000 rubles. At the same time, general rudeness on the part of drivers is also not noticed. Only three cars with hidden numbers were found on the route.

All for money

With all the advantages of paid parking, there are also disadvantages. If you decide not to travel by car, you will face the harsh reality of public transport. Petersburg has been undergoing a transport reform since spring, and complaints about the overcrowded metro and inconvenient bus routes have been heard regularly on social networks. And in winter, bicycles and scooters are not the best form of transport.

The fact that public transport does not keep up with paid parking is said by the head of the public organization of motorists "SPB.AVTO" Svyatoslav Danilov .

“Paid parking is perceived as the only measure that can save the city from traffic jams, but we all know the pace of metro construction, we know that public transport is not improving, there are no intercepting parking lots,” he says, “there are no alternatives to go to the center does not get on the car anymore. This gives misunderstanding and dissatisfaction of drivers. But in general, as a tool, paid parking has existed for several years and has proven to be an effective measure. They perform their function, and if you need to go to the center, you are sure that you will definitely find a place. No need to lay half an hour for parking. But there are also disadvantages that do not allow you to fully enjoy it.

Alexander Kholodov , Deputy Chairman of the Commission on Security and Interaction with the POC of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, proposes to resolutely reject all talk about urbanism and admit that the whole epic with paid parking is an attempt to once again make money on motorists.

“All over the world, paid parking is a business,” the expert says, “I have a negative attitude to the fact that they are trying to portray that this is some kind of regulation. They're just fooling the drivers. The rate of 100 rubles per hour is taken from the bulldozer. For five years the system worked at a loss, only now it has begun to bring money. For people to perceive paid parking positively, you need to treat it like a business. For example, differentiated tariff. Where the load is more than 85% - more expensive, where less than 85% - cheaper. In the meantime, this is another way to milk drivers, the same as tax, OSAGO, excise taxes, etc. It would be nice if some official honestly said what they would spend this money from the parking lot on: build a junction or repair something.”

According to the expert, the positive effect on traffic from paid parking is also very doubtful. If earlier the city center was filled with people who come to work, now someone is constantly coming to the vacant places. Instead of one car that stood all day, there are five that stand during the day for an hour.

“From the point of view of a free street and better traffic, this is not true. Even if one car is in a paid parking lot, then the lane is already occupied and you need to drive along another one, and it doesn’t matter that 25 more places are free, - says Alexander Holdov, - if you want to increase the capacity, put up a “no stopping” sign, then everyone will go” .

Meanwhile, the government of St. Petersburg has already confirmed plans to expand the paid parking area. On November 1, 153 streets in the Admiralteisky district will become paid, and in 2023 a number of streets in the Petrogradsky and Vasileostrovsky districts.