The City of Oslo has tried to discourage motorists from driving into the city for years, by setting up toll barriers and, most recently, restricting street parking. Now the city intends to dramatically raise the price of parking on the street, to push motorists into parking garages.
The goal, according to the city government leader in charge of transportation issues, Guri Melby of the Liberal Party, is to make more room on city streets for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. She claimed that street parking meter prices were much too low compared to garage prices.
She pointed to a recent study showing that street parking in other Scandinavian cities including Copenhagen, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Bergen and Trondheim was more expensive than parking garage rates. Melby wants Oslo to follow suit. “Better pricing, to make it most expensive to park on the most attractive streets, will increase turnover and improve the situation for short-term parkers,” she told newspaper Aftenposten.
The city already has restricted parking in some neighbourhoods to favour those living there. It also has banned parking on several downtown streets and devoted some street parking spaces to electric cars, complete with free battery-charging stations. That’s also forcing motorists to use parking garages, which officials claim have enough capacity to accommodate cars pushed off the streets. Retailers were skeptical, since so many street parking spaces have been removed already.