Annex 6 International Case Studies

Warsaw, Poland

Present Situation

  • Turnover rate in on-street paid parking areas is 4.65 (meaning that between 7:00–17:00, a parking space on average was used by 4.65 differently parked vehicles), with an average parking duration of 1 hour and 29 minutes. Prior to the introduction of paid parking, the parking turnover in the area was 3.4, and the average parking duration was 2 hours and 20 minutes.
  • In the area where paid parking was not introduced, the turnover was 2.6 and the average parking duration about three hours.
  • Surveys outside the regulated area found that 50–60% of all parked vehicles stayed for one hour or more, and that in the different unregulated areas, between 21–36% of the vehicles parking there, belonged to residents.
  • In the area without paid parking, only 22% of the drivers found it easy to find a parking space, while 40% found it troublesome, and 38% found it difficult.
  • Around noon especially, most drivers experience trouble in finding a parking space (assumed to be mainly long-staying parkers), showing that customers in the area have real trouble with parking, because parking places are occupied by drivers working in the area and residents.
  • For 31% of the respondents, the introduction of paid parking results in lower car usage for trips to come to the city center.


  • Improve the parking situation in the central area and in other problem areas in Warsaw.
  • Better utilize parking spaces.
  • Decrease traffic within downtown streets.

Policy and Organization

  • Paid parking was introduced in Warsaw in July 1999. The area for paid parking covers the city center. An expansion of the paid parking area has been proposed, first for areas around areas where occupancy exceeds 100%, and in a later stage, areas with a slightly lower occupancy (95% or more).
  • Paid parking is in force on weekdays from Monday for Friday, from 8:00–18:00 hrs. Parking on Saturdays, Sundays, and on holidays is free.
  • Parking places are indicated on the pavement and are marked with traffic signs.
  • Paid parking includes parking on sidewalks (where this is permitted), and does not include institutional and private parking.
  • Parking charges can be paid with coins or electronic cards in Pay-and-Display machines (about 1,270 Pay-and-Display machines are installed in the paid parking area, serving 25,000 parking spaces.), or by mobile phone.
  • Residents (on identified parking spaces), handicapped drivers, motorcyclists, and blood donors (when giving blood) are allowed to park free of charge.
  • Usage of parking spaces by postal services and taxis is not free during the hours for paid parking operations.


  • On-street enforcement is permanently connected to the central computer system, allowing an up-to-date overview of the parking system.

Lessons to be Learned

  • Warsaw represents a successful case of introducing paid parking.
  • Expansion of paid parking areas has been introduced.
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