Sofia: Green parking zone to be extended in October

Written by on July 20, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Sofia: Green parking zone to be extended in October

On October 1, 2017, there will be Green Zones in Sofia’s quarters Losenets and Sredets as well, which means car owners will have to pay 1 Lev per hour for parking. This applies on working days from 08:30 a.m. to 7:30 pm..

So far, both the Green and Blue Zones were active from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.. The Bulgarian capital’s municipality decided to change these hours, by pushing them forward 30 minutes.

Residents can obtain a parking permit at the authorities for 150 Leva per year. Those permits are valid for a perimeter around the registered address of any applicant, who will be exempt in that area.

The extended Green Zones will be located South-East of the city center, around the Borisova Gradina Park. One of them will be between Boulevard Evlogi i Hristo Georgiev and Boulevard Mihai Eminescu, as well as between Han Omurtag Street and Tsarigradsko Chaussee. The other one will be in the area between Boulevards Evlogi i Hristo Georgiev, Dragan Tsankov, James Bourchier and Cherni Vrah.

The decision to extend the existing Green Zone in Sofia will have implications for the income the city can count on, but also for the quarters adjacent to the new Green Zones. Drivers without permits, who live or work in Losenets or Sredets, will likely try to park in the closest areas without Green Zone. In those quarters, this might lead to a substantial increase of cars parked all over the place.

The very center of Sofia is a Blue Zone, where parking costs 2 Leva per hour. In all Green Zones, it is 1 Lev. Drivers who do not have parking vouchers, which are being sold by convenient stores and city employees wearing yellow vests, can send SMS with the registration number of their vehicle (example: CA 1234 AB) to the number 1303 (Green Zone) or 1302 (Blue Zone). The duration of parking with payment via SMS is limited to four hours per day.

Vehicle owners without permit are usually fined 32 Leva, if they pick up their vehicles before 6:00 p.m.. They will have a ticket on their windshield wiper or door, with a number to call. It can take up to 30 minutes until the wheel clamp is removed from the vehicle. This will happen after payment.

Otherwise, if not picked up on time, cars without permit, voucher or parking SMS will be towed away. This increases the price tag substantially.

A few months back, there was a discussion about extending the Green Zone even further and about establishing a Yellow Zone as well, in which parking would be 0.50 Leva per hour.

Apart from filling the city’s bank accounts, the parking zones in Sofia have another effect: They decrease the number of vehicles moving and parking in and around the city center.

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com