It’s raining parking complaints. Too expensive, not enough space and particularly unclear: mobility organization received no less than 2,029 messages full of dissatisfaction with parking policies in our cities and towns last year. That’s 25 percent more than last year. Especially the price of parking is the subject of all these complaints. 65 percent find parking too expensive, according to an analysis by mobility organization Touring. 8 in 10 road users think paid parking is mainly a way for cities and municipalities to generate revenue. 52 percent avoid paying zones and drive to shopping complexes where it is easy to park for free.

The parking policy is also unclear, according to an analysis of the complaints. For example, more than half believe that the blue zones, where parking discs are mandatory and cars can usually park for a maximum of two hours, are poorly marked. “The large number of complains about the blue zone signs is due to the fact that there must only be signs at the beginning of the zone, and thus no longer when entering each street,” explains Danny Smagghe of Touring. “Because these zones are often very large, people no longer always know whether they are in them or not.”

A slew of complaints also deal with a shortage of spaces. Five in ten drivers feel there is not enough space above ground. Three-quarters feel there are too few interchange parking lots on the outskirts of the city and near public transit.

Parking legislation currently gives local governments all the autonomy they need to define signage, fees and conditions for parking. “This fragmentation almost automatically leads to a tangle of ambiguity and obscurity.” Touring therefore calls for making parking policy more unified and uniform, as part of an efficient mobility policy. “It can serve as one of the measures to further encourage people to move more sustainably. Although that must be preceded by consistently building out alternatives to car travel. A sound and acceptable parking policy would already lead to fewer disputes and also benefit the authorities,” Touring concludes.

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