Annex 6 International Case Studies

Rome, Italy

Strategy

  • The strategy of Rome, in regards to parking, is to change traffic behavior and minimize the impact of parking in the public domain, to thereby encourage off-street parking.
  • Furthermore, the strategy calls for the improvement of the situation for residential parking, in terms of the parking conditions and the availability of parking spaces.

Policy and Organization

  • Concessions have been introduced to carry out parking activities within certain areas in the city by private operators. The boundaries for concession areas are determined by functional and administrative borders. The concessionaires develop and plan the organization of parking, taking into account the functional structure of the area and within the frameworks set by the Municipality.
  • Parking management scheme have been introduced, covering all involved parties
  • One of the first steps was immediate introduction of paid on-street parking (without any exemptions), guaranteeing accessibility for visitors.
  • A residential permits scheme has been applied, where parking permits for residential or commercial usage are no longer free, meaning that the number of permits in the area can be maximized (with permits only being valid in one sub-zone (the area where the resident lives), and covering related administrative costs).
  • Tariffs for paid parking vary according to the importance of the area.
  • Rome has two types of zones: (i) in mixed residential/commercial zones, parking regulations are in force from 8:00-19:00 hrs.; and (ii) in areas with restaurants, cinemas, theaters, etc., parking regulations apply from 8:00-23:00 hrs.
  • In Italy, it was decided to use cash payment as the basis for paid parking and to consider other means of payment (i.e., electronic purses, smartcards, and mobile phones), as potential means that may eventually be adopted.
  • A communication process was employed and divided into three steps by using local communication experts. This process included: (i) dissemination of the message and description of the system and benefits to local politicians; (ii) dissemination of publicity leaflets by mail, explaining the new system; and (iii) development of media campaigns, through the local radio and television stations, as well as newspapers, to introduce the system.

Enforcement

  • A special firm was established, which has the undisputable legal basis to function as a parking enforcement warden, as parking enforcement should not be executed by the local police in these areas, as parking does not usually receive sufficient priority from the police force, which is tasked with other duties it must fulfill. This means that the parking warden may take over certain police duties, and consequently must be trained well.
  • The parking warden is employed by the concessionaire that operates parking in an area. Every single parking warden must acquire an authorization from the Mayor. The one and only task of a parking warden is the enforcement of parking rules. Selection procedures for traffic wardens are stringent and include the satisfactory meeting of high training standards and the good performance on nationally approved exams.
  • Enforcement is carried out manually, or with the help of electronic equipment, but needs to be organized very well.

Lessons to be Learned

From Italian experiences with the introduction of paid parking, parking for permit holders and private sector participation in parking operations, the following lessons may be learned:

  • In terms of enforcement, strict enforcement is required, which is to be performed only by qualified personnel, leading to a public perception that the chances of being caught for not paying or cheating is extremely high. In the first six months after changing to a new parking regulation scheme, parking enforcement should be additionally strict.
  • In terms of organizing parking in the concession area, it is not necessary to place a limit on the allowed time to park, as the price of parking will naturally regulate that. Furthermore: (i) an easy payment system is required; (ii) the times that parking regulations apply may vary; (iii) the new parking system must be accompanied by adequate road signage; and (iv) the new parking permits and other tickets should be of high quality, making them difficult to counterfeit.
  • In terms of public perception, it is important that continuous discussions with the local community be conducted. The key theme throughout these discussions are that the new parking regulations are aimed at introducing equal rights for all car drivers that need a parking space. The introduction of new parking measures should start in areas of the city, where “civilized behavior” is most common, to prevent demolition of parking equipment and ultimate failure of the system. This is the best way to create public consensus.
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