Vladivostok community suggests adopting measures used abroad to tackle congestion.
VLADIVOSTOK. September 22. VOSTOK-MEDIA – We have received a lot of comments from our readers lately as part of the ongoing Voice of People project, suggesting possible ways of addressing the issue of chronic lack of parking spaces within the city. The debate has by far gone beyond the scope of the topic in hand as the Vladivostok community shifted to a broader issue of the city’s transportation problems.
“If Vladivostok introduces a congestion charge exceeding bus fare several times then it’s likely that about 30% of car owners would switch to going by bus,” said V.A. in his comment. “I have a car myself but it’s been more than a year now since I started using public transport. Firstly, it is cheaper. Secondly, you don’t have to go through the headache of finding a parking space, and the last but not the least, if the bus you are on gets stuck in a traffic tie-up you may simply leave it and walk wherever you need without giving much thought to the vehicle, something that you cannot do when driving a car. So now I use the car only when I need to haul large cargo and for an occasional ride to the country!”
It is generally known that in 2003 London authorities introduced the congestion charge for motorists traveling within Central London to reduce congestion in the city. The road pricing measure proved effective both for tackling congestion problems and improving the environment. A charge of £8 is required each day for traveling within the so-called Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ) between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays. Drivers of sports cars and SUVs are required to pay a charge of £25. The charge may be paid the day after travel in the zone at an increased cost of £10. A failure to pay may cost motorists a fine of £50 to £150.
Another Vostok-Media reader, Andrei, appears to be more pessimistic about the whole thing. “I’m afraid there’s nothing to be done to change things for the better,” he wrote. “Construction of overpasses could relieve the problem pretty much… Still, I think the government will help us: the rich will continue driving their cars, while the poor would not be able afford driving their own car. Basically, everything will be put in its right place.”
“The city needs the kind of automated car parks used in South Korea,” commented the reader Alexander. “They are a way cheaper than the Japanese ones. A car park for 75 car spaces will cost as little as $300,000. Aside from that, traffic police should pay more attention to managing the traffic instead of profiteering. Vladivostok authorities should crack down on unauthorised roadside parking in the downtown traffic areas.”
“Police should persistently prosecute corrupt officials who sell driving licenses,” said another unnamed reader. “The number of motorists with forged driver’s licenses would reduce dramatically, which would in turn lead to a drop in traffic fatalities and help relieve congested roads.”
Other readers suggested developing the transportation infrastructure, raising parking charges and enforcing traffic regulations.