Can Bucharest end the car chaos?
According to official statistics Bucharest's 1.8 million inhabitants own 1.4 million cars. People often park their cars without any regard for the rules, turning the city into an obstacle course for people with prams or wheelchair users. Now measures are being taken to end the chaos: on Monday, parking fees of up to the equivalent of two euros per hour came into force in the city centre and illegal parkers will face fines of around 41 euros. The national press is divided in its assessment of the new rules.
Way too many cars in cities
Republica.ro addresses the opponents of the new parking system:
“Very simple measures can be implemented for people to regain control of the cities: limit the number of parking spaces and create a fee system that discourages drivers from driving their private vehicles into the city to do their business. But opponents of the system say it is illegal to introduce a parking fee until the city government has created tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of parking spaces. This is an unrealistic expectation because common sense and logic dictate that it is unfeasible for any administration to keep up with the number of vehicles in the city.”
Rules won't have the desired effect
The Romanian service of Radio France International argues that for the new regulations to have the desired effect, public transport must first be improved:
“Most of the trams and buses are old, worn with use, rusty and dirty, with small windows that can't be opened and without air conditioning - a basic necessity in a city where temperatures on public transport can easily reach 50 degrees Celsius in the summer. On top of that, there are not enough bus lanes, so buses are often stuck in traffic jams. Ultimately, the new parking rules in the capital are definitely necessary, but without coordinated strategies at the city level, they will not have the desired effect.”