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Case Study: Vienna’s ‘Parkraumbewirtschaftung’

Like many historically-grown cities, Vienna was not built for the car.  With increasing traffic and scarce space for parking it was clear that intervention was necessary to protect Vienna’s vitality and the high quality of life enjoyed by its residents.

Solution

Parking space management (‘Parkraumbewirtschaftung’) is Vienna’s primary TDM tool to mitigate the negative externalities of motoring.  The scheme has seen entire districts transformed into short-term parking zones beginning with 1st district in 1993 and expanding into many of the outer districts of the city in two phases, limiting parking during the day (Monday to Friday) to 2 or 3 hours, depending on the area.  Vienna also implemented park-and-ride to help car users shift modes and reduce the numbers of cars entering the city centre.  All revenues from the scheme are hypothecated for investment in Vienna’s transport system including funds for public transport and road safety improvements.

Impact

The first expansion of the short-term parking zones from districts 1 to 9 brought a reduction in parking space occupancy rates from 109% to 71% in the morning and from 108% to 89% in the evening, a reduction in unauthorised parking (86% in the morning and 76% in the evening) and a 26% reduction in traffic volumes on secondary streets directly linked to a reduction in the volume of traffic cruising for parking – from 10 million to 3.3 million passenger kilometres annually.  Furthermore, the number of people travelling into Vienna by car from outside the city reduced by two thirds, while there was a higher than expected shift to public transport (25% versus the forecasted 15%).

The second expansion – which encompassed districts 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 – brought similar results.  It reduced parking space occupancy rates from 83% to 60% in the morning and from 88% to 79% in the evening, reduced unauthorised parking by 72% in the morning and 13% in the evening, reduced the number of parked cars that did not originate in Vienna (from 20% to 3%) and reduced the prevalence of cruising for parking.

Although there is evidence of traffic displacement effects in some areas due to some districts choosing not participate in the scheme and therefore it is not city-wide, the policy is credited with decreasing occupancy rates, parking violations and traffic, improving parking space availability, reducing air and noise pollution and improvements in trade and retail footfall in the city as a whole.

Source: Vienncouver (2015)

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