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Parking ticket machine in Mitte: Parking ticket should cost at least as much as public transport ticket

Photo: Schöning / IMAGO

If cars can be parked at "cheap prices" or for free, then this slows down the mobility turnaround, finds the German Environmental Aid – and calls for higher parking fees.

"Anyone who takes up an average of twelve square meters of public space should also pay a reasonable fee for it – and not just in the city center," said Federal Managing Director Jürgen Resch. For this reason, Umwelthilfe also wants comprehensive parking space management in all cities and municipalities, which would put an end to free parking in public spaces altogether.

Umwelthilfe referred to a nationwide survey of 104 cities, including all major cities and the five largest cities in each state. According to this, the parking ticket, even in paid parking zones, is available for one euro or less in 73 of the cities surveyed. Only the cities of Heidelberg and Osnabrück consistently charge fees of at least three euros per hour in their parking zones. In 27 cities, free parking is possible for a short time, even in managed zones.

Introduce or abolish the bun button?

Instead, the fee per hour should be at least as high as the cost of a single ticket on buses and trains, demanded environmental aid. She pointed to other European cities, such as London, where an hour of parking on the side of the road costs up to ten euros. The revenue could be used to expand public transport or cycle paths and sidewalks.

Again and again, the value of parking is discussed when it comes to the distribution of space in cities. This is because it is becoming more and more competitive, while on the one hand more cars are being registered and on the other hand, cycle paths, for example, are to be expanded. The environmental aid therefore previously demanded to make resident parking more expensive: While the cards in many cities still cost about 30 euros a year, the environmental aid demands a price of at least 360 euros per year – some cities are already raising the fees to similar prices.

The FDP, on the other hand, wants to enable more free short-term parking – and, according to a draft resolution, introduce a "bread roll button" at more parking machines. According to environmental aid, this is an incentive for unnecessary car trips and should be abolished.