How a city manages its parking has a huge influence on other facets of city life, from transit access to public spaces. In a recent study commissioned by USAID, ITDP and consultants SARECO and GIDE assessed Kiev’s on-street parking problem and recommended ways to improve the city’s parking management system. The overarching message is clear: although broad solutions (e.g. changes to the legal system to enable better enforcement, attracting an international parking operator) are unlikely in the short-term, there are many steps the city can take immediately to make the system start working better for users and the urban environment.
To start, the report recommends that Kiev focus on the basics. Improving information and planning will bring Kiev’s parking system closer to a modern scheme that improves access throughout the city and the supports the quality of public spaces. First, the city can clarify the rules of the paid parking system and clearly communicate them to the public. Good ways to inform the public how parking works include clearer signage, maps, leaflets, and a user-friendly website. In addition, clarifying the rules for how parking fees are collected and violations charged, as well as other reforms, would strengthen the parking authority’s standing, and help create a more effective system. A further recommendation is to update the paid parking zones to better align with current parking demands in the greater city. To stimulate turnover in on-street parking spaces, introduce limits for how long a car can stay parked in the central zone where short-term demand is greatest.
A full inventory of public parking supply should be conducted, and the data used for advanced mapping and planning. A clear understanding of the spaces available will support financial planning and accountability efforts by the city. To help keep vehicles in legal spaces, installing physical obstacles like bollards to block cars from pedestrian areas lets drivers know exactly where they can and cannot park, while also protecting those on foot. These steps will help any municipality improve the public’s understanding of how the parking management system functions.
With these improvements in place, Kiev will have a foundation for better transparency, enforcement, and administration. Faced with insufficient legal backing to enforce parking laws when they are broken or ignored (specifically non-payment at paid parking spaces), improving revenue collection from parking attendants is the best course to encourage drivers to pay for parking. The city should take steps to increase accountability and reduce the potential for corruption by rotating existing attendants to different streets. Changing out agents regularly and conducting annual audits of both the finances and physical assets (parking spaces) would help increase both the revenue and legitimacy of parking system’s rules.
Ultimately, these improvements will prepare Kiev for investments in a more robust, modern on-street parking system. In the future, amending local laws to allow revenue from parking to directly support public transit, rather than a general municipal budget, would secure funding for transport improvements. With a clear strategy and commitment to act, Kiev can begin to alleviate the major parking issues it and cities like it face. Once this happens, the city will start to reduce traffic conflicts, improve walkability, improve transit access, and increase the value of public space throughout the city.
Read the full report here, including an analysis of Kiev’s urban and parking history, current challenges, and recommendations for solutions.
All photos credit to Christophe Begon, Sareco