Sofia city council approves expansion of ‘blue zone’ paid parking area

Sofia city council voted on October 28 to approve changes to the Bulgarian capital city’s traffic regulations, increasing the size of the “blue zone” paid parking area starting December 1.

Sofia uses a two-tier paid parking system, with the more expensive “blue zone” area in the centre of the city and the cheaper “green zone” surrounding it.

The amended regulations converted part of the “green zone” near the city centre to “blue zone”. The change will result in adding about 7000 parking places to the “blue zone”, to a total of 12 000, Bulgarian National Radio reported.

Most of the new “blue zone” parking places were in the Oborishte, Sredets, Triaditsa and Vuzrazhdane boroughs, the report said.

As part of the same amendments, the number of reserved parking places for a single address was limited to five, which will result in a 29 per cent reduction in the number of such spots, according to a city hall report.

At the same time, free parking for municipal and state-owned vehicles will be abolished.

The duration of “blue zone” rules was similarly extended and will be in effect Monday to Saturday, from 8.30am to 8pm.

Opposition councilors argued that the expansion of the “blue zone” will do little to solve the parking spots shortage in the centre of the city.

According to Sofia city council transport committee chief Carlos Contrera, the increased revenue from paid parking would go towards covering the expenses of Sofia’s public transportation system.

Map of Sofia showing where ‘blue zone’ and ‘green zone’ paid parking rules are in effect. Lighter shade of blue denotes the areas converted under the amendments passed by Sofia city council on October 28. Image: Sofia Municipality.

(Top photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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