Ufa to relieve centre with chargeable parking

Ufa citizens have different opinions of the project, some think a fee will cause more problems than benefit

The idea of organising a chargeable parking space in Ufa’s centre has been discussed for a few years. However, the issue didn’t go beyond projects. This autumn, Ufa Mayor Sergey Grekov announced that Ufa citizens would have to pay for the right to park a car on some central streets of the city in 2022. Read in Realnoe Vremya’s report where one will have to pay for parking, how Ufa citizens responded to this and what experts think about it.

It is a necessary measure

Mayor Ufa Sergey Grekov voiced a firm intention of implementing a project for chargeable parking next year. Specialists from the Moscow Transport Department were invited to develop the project. The mayor thinks that chargeable parking is a necessary measure because today it is sometimes impossible to find a free parking lot in Ufa’s centre on working days. The mayor says the imposition of a fee for parking will relieve the streets.

“The tariff will be regulated in a way that 20% of parking will always be free so that a citizen can leave a car for a while and urgently go about their business. A car owner in this case will find it easy to park and leave. Of course, chargeable parking is impossible without alternative parking. Now we are looking for a space for it,” Sergey Grekov said.

The mayor thinks that chargeable parking is a necessary measure. Photo: ufacity.info

“Not all are ready to pay”

However, a lot of Ufa citizens were hostile to the novelty. Citizens think that the introduction of chargeable parking won’t solve existing problems but create inconveniences.

“Firstly, chargeable parking doesn’t solve problems in courtyards and on the lawn. Secondly, not all are ready to pay for parking, moreover, an hour costs is as little as 100 rubles. Considering that many go to work, they risk of losing more than 700 rubles a day. This will rather make them park in remote places and others’ courtyards. Such a decision will provoke parking in prohibited places,” thinks Ufa citizen Aydar Nigmatullin.

On the other hand, some support the new system. Dinar Nuriakhmetov thinks that a fee for parking will help to restore the order:

“Everything is correct. Our people don’t understand that buying a car it is necessary to buy a lot in the courtyard or pay for a lot in the city. While everybody parks a car wherever they want causing discomfort for all residents of their block of flats and citizens for free.”

Some Ufa citizens aren’t against the idea of chargeable parking but doubt that the realisation of the new idea will relieve the streets.

“To create parking! What pompous words. Might they do this like in Kazan, with ordinary lots on the right lane. Though new parking should be built smartly, might they be chargeable but not along streets. It doesn’t matter if the car is parked for a fee or free, the roads will be full of cars anyways,” Irek Nugumanov notes.

The absence of an alternative to a car is another moment raising questions. Photo: bashinform.ru

“If you want to make chargeable parking, put public transport in order first!”

The absence of an alternative to a car is another moment raising questions. Some citizens consider that one shouldn’t look at other cities in this aspect.

“Moscow has a metro, Petersburg has a metro, even Kazan has a metro. Public transport in these citizens is much better developed than in Ufa. I live next to Zelyonaya Roshcha bus stop, work on Karl Marx Street. If I take a bus, I have to go on foot for 20-25 minutes. And if it is the rush hour, it is 40 minutes. That’s to say, the road takes an hour, moreover, if the bus arrives on time. While it takes me 10-15 minutes. If you want to make chargeable parking, put public transport in order!” indicated Maria Kozlova.

“You won’t see the bus come, there is no parking. What to do? I have to go on foot from Yuzhnaya to Chernikovka,” Ufa citizen Lyudmila Maturina is sad.

40 rubles per hour at first

Head of the Transport Planning Department of Bashkirdortransproject Azamat Khatmullin participating in the development of the new system noted that it would become much easier to find a spot for parking, while the project is scheduled to be completed next summer:

“The goal is to avoid chaotic parking, including the second row, on the lawn which impede cars from passing by. The task of the parking space is to make areas available in the city centre. 15% of lots must always be free. It improves the transport accessibility for car drivers. The areas are chosen, the way cars are parked has also been chosen, along the road or at an angle. The chargeable parking will appear by the summer of 2022.”

Azamat Khatmullin shared data about the cost of the parking with Realnoe Vremya. The parking on all the streets will have the same cost at first.

“At first, the tariff is the same everywhere. Kazan authorities raised the tariff at some parking because parking demand is huge there and the occupancy rate is high. There are recommendations of the Higher School of Economics to enter the city with 40 rubles an hour. When it is seen where demand is higher, the fee either rises or reduces. It is planned to introduce residential permits for people living in the area of chargeable parking.”

“It isn’t enough to draw the zone of chargeable parking with a marker”

Expert in transport Oleg Arefyev is sure that the main task of chargeable parking will be done only with a smart administration system:

“Chargeable parking has quite a clear task, to reduce the traffic on central streets, including thanks to cars looking for a parking lot and hoping that some drivers won’t go to the centre because it won’t be possible to park a car free. In fact, it isn’t enough to draw the zone of chargeable parking with a marker on the map. It is necessary to build a management and fee collection system for this parking, most importantly, the payment control mechanism. If some of these components started to limp, the whole project will start to collapse.”

Oleg Arefyev told Realnoe Vremya that other cities cannot be blindly copied when creating a chargeable parking space, it is at the same time important to build it in the existing transport system:

“The issue of chargeable parking has been discussed for a long time. But those who discuss seem to poorly understand how it works and what it needs. The concept of chargeable parking itself for them is a step towards civilisation, they think: ‘Look at Moscow,’ and hope for making money. The outcome in such an approach is sad, of course. It is necessary to be Moscow to have it like in Moscow. But we are talking about Ufa whose traffic on central streets today isn’t so high to urgently look for a solution in this area. Not used leverage within existing mechanisms is enough to calm it down nowadays and put some order. Moreover, it is not only early to talk about chargeable parking with our system of public transport, which is becoming only worse every day, in fact, it is a crime.”

Ufa’s today transport system, the expert thinks, has a lot of problems that need to be solved before the introduction of chargeable parking:

“For starters, it is necessary to organise the traffic, install road signs correctly, organise the park and ride, resolve the issue of entrances to courtyards, which will turn into spontaneous parking immediately after the introduction of the parking zone. Then the traffic can be adjusted with fine tuning, particularly, traffic light phases. Only after that, we can understand what and where we can relieve and make a decision on chargeable parking. Generally speaking, chargeable parking itself isn’t a bad mechanism, but much turns on in whose hands it is. If it is in professional hands, it can give a serious positive effect. In Ufa, I don’t personally know such hands. As a result, this will either work poorly and add negativism into the already dark picture of urban life or won’t work at all. I think that Ufa now has much more important issues that should be resolved first of all. As for ‘Muscovites will now make a project’, the project still needs to be correctly implemented, while it isn’t rocket science to draw a spherical horse in a vacuum.”

It is planned that chargeable parking will be located along main roads and parking spaces in the historical centre, which is Revolyutsionnaya, Validi, Aksakov, Ayskaya, Vorovsky Streets.

This is not the first attempt at organising a chargeable parking space in the city. In 2018, City R company was ready to invest 2 billion rubles in the creation of urban chargeable parking. Then the investor refused the idea because of imperfections of the legislation because the traffic police didn’t have legal possibilities to send confidential information about car owners to a private company.

Emil Ziyangirov