Parking space is limited in the old city centre of Utrecht and the city has been struggling to put an efficient parking policy in place while traffic keeps increasing. To break new ground in parking and traffic regulation, Utrecht decided to develop an innovative system of parking permits and rates. The measure consisted of a digitised parking system and research into advanced digitised applications of parking products, and the issuing of parking products. Utrecht looked into digital permits, digital enforcement and mobile solutions.
The overall goal was:
• To implement an efficient parking policy in the urban area of Utrecht that will manage scarce parking space and reduce increasing car traffic in the city centre.
Utrecht had different parking rates, in different location. Parking costs were higher in the centre than in the surrounding areas. In some places there are parking permits for residents in combination with parking rates for visitors. This system will be extended to more areas in the city.
On January 1st, 2007, the city of Utrecht has considerably raised the rates for street parking. The rate of parking permits for residents (a second car) is also part of a study. For residents and businesses parking permit quotas will be determined per parking zone based on demand and the number of parking spaces. The level of short-stay parking tariffs will be set high to entice drivers to park their cars further away from the city centre or to choose alternative modes of transport.