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Instead of declining, problem with lack of parking spaces in Skopje is growing

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The lack of parking spaces in Skopje is becoming a chronic problem. The number of cars on the streets of the capital of North Macedonia is on the rise from year to year and this trend is not leading to opening new parking locations for these vehicles. The statistical data shows that the city’s authorities aren’t able to open additional parking lots that would satisfy the parking needs of all new vehicles.

According to data from the Public Enterprise “Gradski parking” (City Parking), last year, in Skopje, it had at its disposal 9,396 parking spaces in “closed” parking lots, public spaces with parking zones and multi-story garages. The number of parking spaces was increased by 397 compared to 2019. Still, the number of issued free permits for parking to residents in 2020 has climbed to 124,724 i.e. in a single year the number of these permits has risen by 10,761.

At the same time, an increase in the number of free permits for residential parking was noticed in the parking zones in Centar and Aerodrom and there is a decline in the issue of these types of permits at “closed” public parking spots.

In accordance with this data, in Skopje, during last year, on average, 13 residential vehicles have been using 1 parking space. Apart from the residents, the marked parking lots are used by company vehicles and cars that are gravitating around the parking lots, including citizens that are leaving their cars for several hours on one location.

The residents in the center of Skopje are having the biggest headaches with finding free parking space. The pressure of finding a free parking space in the city’s center is the biggest during the day. Despite having free parking permits, the residents of the buildings are forced to pay several thousands of MKD for additional parking spots at other locations, since it is impossible to find a parking space at locations around their residences every day.

Despite the fact that City Parking PE – Skopje each year has been increasing the number of new parking spots, this public enterprise isn’t doing anything to increase the parking capacity at the current locations it is managing, which could best be done through primarily construction of two-level metal parking garages, in order to increase the capacity of the current public spaces. The sole investments last year by this public enterprise was enlarging or renovating the current parking lots.

“During 2020, in the midst of the global crisis caused by the pandemic, the enterprise has managed to provide an additional number of parking spots. There weren’t any new parking lots or zones, but it worked on expanding the renovating the existing ones” said the Annual Report of City Parking PE’s work for 2020.

Otherwise, the zone parking in Skopje was introduced in 2009, and the city’s residents were promised that this type of parking would allow a drastic decrease in time spent on finding a free parking space. A new public enterprise was founded, but the problem with the lack of parking spaces has been rising throughout the years.

The current situation with the parking spaces in Skopje is worsened by the citizens themselves, whose car fleet is constantly on the rise. In 2019, the number of registered cars in the capital was 148,892, and a large number of households have two or more cars which is additionally worsening the problem with the lack of parking spaces.

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