Parking management

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Sign 314.1: Start of a parking space management zone
Residential parking area in a street in Munich's Schwabing-West district

Parking space management is the targeted control of the ratio of traffic looking for a parking space to the number of available parking spaces in public street space .

Parking space is mainly managed where the number of parked vehicles exceeds the number of available parking spaces and there is therefore excess demand . Excess demand can lead to increased traffic looking for a parking space and thus to increased noise and environmental pollution , as well as an incentive to park a vehicle contrary to the provisions of the national road traffic regulations .

The management is possible as individual management of the parking spaces or within a parking space management zone .

Parking space management options

There are, among others, the following options for managing parking in public street space.

  • Free parking
  • Restricted stopping bans
  • Stopping bans
  • Parking disc regulation
  • Parking with a parking ticket
  • Special parking spaces
  • Special parking permits

Objectives of parking space management

Management can pursue various goals:

  • Reduction of motorized traffic and thus of noise and environmental pollution
  • Relative increase in the attractiveness of local public transport (ÖPNV) in relation to the car
  • Reduction of illegal land use (parking offenders)
  • Maximizing income by generating income
  • Provision of available parking space for businesses and residents of the city centers

While private individuals manage almost exclusively with the aim of maximizing earnings, in cities and municipalities parking space management is a means of traffic planning to achieve various goals. The management can start on the supply or on the demand side , depending on the target.

In general, a distinction can be made between on-street and off-street parking, whereby the term on-street parking includes parking spaces that can be reached directly from the public street. Off-street parking spaces are understood to mean parking spaces that are separated from general road traffic, for example by barriers or gates. Different management measures are possible due to the different accessibility.

Control of demand

Two classic mechanical parking meters in Trier
Two modernized parking meters with digital display in Biberach
Parking ticket machine

By introducing costs for parking, the demand should be reduced. The public transport offer seems more attractive and more people should use alternative methods to get into the managed zone. This means that more parking spaces are available for the remaining vehicles. Search traffic decreases and so does the incentive to park incorrectly.

Parking fees can vary from street to street in a city, depending on the parking situation. In most cases, a parking fee is only charged during the main usage time (shop opening hours), but there are exceptions. Whether and when the use of a parking lot is chargeable can sometimes be seen from an additional sign, always from the imprint on the parking meter or the parking ticket machine. There are opportunities for residents in areas with managed parking spaces to obtain vignettes and ID cards in order to be able to park in the respective residential area without a parking ticket ( resident parking ). There is often the same option for companies and traders as well as long-term guests. At the end of 2003, some cities began to allow parking fees to be paid using mobile phones , and m-parking was introduced.

Fee collection in Germany

In Germany , long parking meters were set up at the edge of every parking space to collect charges . Columns with a mechanical clock which upon insertion of coins ( Park dime jumps) on the remaining parking time and then counts down. The mechanical parking meters are largely since the 2000s parking ticket machines replaced. These are always set up for several parking spaces, issue a parking ticket with the end of the parking period printed on after coins have been inserted (or after cashless payment, by GeldKarte ). It must be clearly legible from the outside in the vehicle. The imprint on many parking tickets for visible display behind the windshield of the vehicle contradicts the corresponding regulation in the road traffic regulations, is therefore irrelevant and is only to be understood as a reference.

Newer machines allow “real-time parking” or “parking with ec card”, where you register on arrival using your GeldKarte or girocard and repeat this process when you pick up the vehicle in order to pay for the actual parking time. This avoids overpayment, as is often the case with conventional parking ticket machines. After initial experiences, abuse or overpayment only occurs occasionally. The latest development are mobile pocket parking meters, also known as electronic pocket parking meters. These are small devices with displays that offer the option of paying parking fees without cash. They work like a stopwatch and gradually use up the parking value of a previously purchased credit card. Instead of a parking ticket drawn from the parking ticket machine, the device remains on the vehicle's dashboard during the parking process. The main advantage is billing that is accurate to the minute and therefore fair.

In some cities the parking fee can be paid with a mobile phone . The advantage of cell phone parking is that the user does not have to set his parking time in advance. He starts the parking process with a call to his cell phone parking operator. When he gets back to the vehicle, he calls the operator again and logs off again. The call is now being replaced more and more by apps from various providers that make it possible to start and stop the parking process at the touch of a finger.

Collection of fees in Austria

Parking ticket machines only exist in Vienna as an exception, for example at special parking spaces for coaches, some of which are free, but also cost up to € 20 / hour. If a fee is charged for privately operated parking spaces, this is usually done by machine, department stores there also offer free short-term parking for a few minutes, or generally free of charge, but limited to about an hour.

On April 14, 1975 (entry into force), Vienna introduced a fee obligation (“parking meter tax” for multi-lane vehicles in a short-term parking zone that is subject to charges) in short-term parking zones using a parking ticket to be filled out by the user and placed under the windshield. The areas with short-term parking zones (and lanes) and those with an obligation to pay were initially limited to the center and were expanded repeatedly over time, most recently on July 1, 2019 to large parts of the 19th district. The relevant times are usually only on weekdays during the day, around Monday to Friday 9 am to 10 pm (inner districts) or Monday to Friday 9 am to 7 pm (outer districts), sometimes also on Saturday mornings (shopping streets). In addition, there is a special zone around the Wiener Stadthalle , in which different regulations apply (fees also apply on weekends and on public holidays).

The maximum parking time is usually 1.5, 2 or 3 hours. If a parking fee is charged, it is the same throughout the city; there are differences in the period of the fee obligation and the maximum short-term parking period. The parking ticket (since 1975), which is sensitive to erasure, is canceled by the car parker by ticking the date and time (rounded up, in a 15-minute grid) of arrival and entering the year. The ticket must be placed under the windshield of the vehicle . Parking tickets for 1/2 (red), 1 (blue), 1 1/2 (green) or 2 (yellow) hours are available in advance (also for blocks) and a. Available in tobacconists (tobacco shops ), advance booking offices and underground station ticket machines operated by Wiener Linien . As of January 1, 2017, the fee was increased by 5% to € 1.05 / h, old notes could only be exchanged until the end of June 2017. Several tickets (marked with the same arrival time) used next to each other add up the parking time. Formerly 10 minutes, since September 1, 2013 15 minutes, you can alternatively park for free with a free parking ticket. You only have to enter the time, but to the minute.

Other cities in Austria joined this system . In order to modernize short-term parking, many Austrian cities are setting up parking ticket machines , similar to Germany . Many still allow parking for up to 10 or 15 minutes. All you have to do is press the button without inserting money - and a parking ticket for the free time is printed out.

Since autumn 2002 there has been an additional possibility of cell phone parking, which will be offered by twelve municipalities in March 2011. This form of payment transmits at least the car number and the planned parking time to the operator. The service requires a mobile phone, was formerly based on sending SMS and is now based on an internet-based app, and can incur connection costs. A debt collection operator sometimes charges a surcharge on the municipality's parking fee. It is advantageous that an extension of the parking time that may be necessary can be ordered remotely. In Vienna, the Kurz Parking? map-based information about the local legal situation depending on the GPS location.

Short-term parking zones are signposted once at the beginning of the zone with the "Kurzparkzone" traffic sign. In the case of chargeable short-term parking zones, the traffic sign contains the addition "chargeable". It should be noted that in the case of comprehensive short-term parking zones, traffic signs are only attached at the entrances to this zone and there are no further indications of the short-term parking zone thereafter.

In Graz you can park for 12 minutes without a ticket, the control bodies have to wait the 13th minute before they can issue a penalty mandate. In Vienna, however, there has been a 15-minute parking ticket since September 1, 2013, which is available free of charge in tobacconists. The arrival time is entered and free parking is allowed for 15 minutes. Before that, parking was free for 10 minutes. The corresponding 10-minute parking tickets were visually identical to today's 15-minute parking tickets.

Short-term parking spaces and zones are often marked with blue road markings , in addition to traffic signs. The short-term parking zones are popularly known as blue zones . A colored marking on the road is not mandatory. Often the boards are only at the zone entrances (Vienna, Graz) without any further information about the short-term parking zone. Naturally, criticism comes from residents who want to park in front of their house. In Vienna and Graz, for example, residents (or nearby entrepreneurs) of short-term parking zones can obtain a two-year special permit (parking sticker , see Wiener Parkpickerl ) for a fee , which allows unrestricted parking in the immediate vicinity of their place of residence. This permit can only be applied for by residents with their main residence in the respective city.

In summer 2007 chargeable parking zones were set up in Graz, which have no time limit and are cheaper than short-term parking zones. There is also the option of paying the parking fee for up to a whole year in advance. There are also special permits for residents (138 euros for 2 years). The zones are marked by green road markings and green boards and are therefore called green zones . However, this green marking is not anchored in the Austrian road traffic regulations. The lawfulness was confirmed by the Styrian UVS in summer 2008 .

Concepts in Switzerland

Central parking meter in Switzerland

In the majority of the cantons , parking space management belongs to the area of municipal autonomy . As far as parking spaces on public land are concerned, it has been implemented on a large scale. The standard is the toll-free blue zone , which is marked in blue and has a time limit (regulated in the federal road traffic law ); in parking garages and in many larger parking lots, this is associated with a fee obligation. The privilege of residents has been introduced in the cities as a relatively new feature : residents of certain districts enjoy largely unlimited priority with the appropriate logo under the car window over non-district search traffic , which has a time limit and is subject to charges. Parking space management by means of fees is also being increasingly introduced on large private parking lots and in private parking garages, mostly supported by an act of public law (see environmental impact assessment ).

Control of the offer

While new parking space can usually not be made available in narrow and built-up city centers, attempts are being made to reduce the maximum parking time (to 15 minutes or 2 hours) to free up more parking spaces in the spatially limited parking space, thereby increasing the turnover rate of the parking spaces improved, i.e. the number of parking maneuvers per time segment increases and long-term parking is prevented ( parking lot rotation ). The pressure to park and search traffic decreases and more cars can enter the managed zone. This concept is called short-term parking and is used by municipalities at train stations, for example .

In Germany, it is officially forbidden to extend the parking time by throwing coins into parking meters or by buying a new parking ticket shortly before the end of the parking time that has expired , and readjusting the parking disc is also prohibited. However, a subsequent extension that demonstrably does not exceed the maximum parking time is not necessarily illegal and in principle not if no maximum parking time is specified.

Free short-term parking

291: Parking disc according to Section 41 (2) StVO-D

The free short-term parking, which localities often only allow in the peripheral areas and zones with high fluctuation, was introduced by many in the 1960s. The vehicle must show when the parking time began

  • in Germany with a standardized parking disc or with a free parking ticket from machines with a "bread roll button".
  • In Austria , free short-term parking was introduced on March 16, 1959 in the inner city of Vienna . Since then there has been the parking disc (originally named after its "inventor" Pechtscheibe , colloquially mostly called the parking meter ), on which the start of parking was set manually. Originally, the maximum short-term parking time was one hour. The parking disc had two fixed pointers for the beginning and the end. Only different lengths of the parking period made the second pointer superfluous. Many companies distributed the parking meters with their advertising, because the parking discs functioned as advertising media . When paid parking was introduced, free parking was either maintained for up to 15 minutes in most places or reintroduced on the basis of test cases.

Bun button

The bread roll button on a parking ticket machine is intended to enable short-term parkers to park for free ( popularly : "to get some bread rolls").

Such a button is intended to increase the attractiveness of inner cities and means that the municipality waives part of the achievable parking fees. However, short-term parkers with a parking time of only a few minutes cannot be checked for the correct use of a parking ticket with reasonable effort. To do this, the German Bundestag first had to amend Section 6a, Paragraph 6 of the Road Traffic Act (StVG) (on November 6, 2003 to January 1, 2004). Even before that, municipalities such as Daun and Wittlich had “bread rolls”. The Duden took it up in 2006 (24th edition). At the same time, the bread roll button is controversial. The city of Bremen increased the general parking fees on June 1, 2006 to compensate for the shortfall in income caused by the bread roll. In Frankfurt am Main , the city ​​administration intends to abolish the bread roll button function. At the German Association of Cities , traffic planners discussed accusations from critics that the button was being misused, bringing too many cars into the cities, increasing the control effort and the arguments of economic planners who want to strengthen medium-sized retailers.

Management control

Monitoring of parking spaces in Spain

The control of the managed parking space as well as compliance and sanctioning of violations is necessary to maintain profitability and to secure income. The control effort, however, reduces the profit target. While private parking space owners usually use a barrier system or a parking attendant, German cities and municipalities mostly use employees and civil servants in the public service to monitor stationary traffic . In cases in which the operation of a barrier system with private parking space management is not economical or is not possible due to the structural conditions, parking offenders are usually deterred with contractual penalty clauses via general terms and conditions for cost-covering monitoring . Such contractual penalties are comparable to an increased fare in rail transport and are considered permissible by the prevailing opinion in case law and legal literature.



  • Inga Molenda: Parking space management in the field of tension between efficiency and compatibility. An economic analysis with special consideration of the special parking permit "residents' parking" . Nomos, Baden-Baden 2016, ISBN 978-3-8487-3508-2 (also dissertation, University of Münster 2016)
  • Donald C. Shoup: The High Cost of Free Parking . in: Journal of Planning Education and Research, Vol. 17 (1997), pp. 3-20

Web links

Commons : Parking Management  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Parking for buses, accessed December 28, 2016.
  2. How do you validate parking tickets correctly?, accessed December 28, 2016.
  3. Short parking? - Vienna ( Memento from October 4, 2015 in the Internet Archive ), February 28, 2013, accessed December 28, 2016.
  4. ^ Website of the city of Bremen
  5. ^ Parking meter decision , Die Zeit , November 25, 1960, accessed on June 24, 2011.
  6. Format 11 cm × 15 cm. The appearance of a parking disc is specified in Section 41 (2) of the StVO.
  7. ^ Vienna in retrospect, February 3, 1959: Short-term parking zone from March 16 - Vienna's building director invented a new parking disc
  8. Press information accusation Contipark rip-off. Retrieved February 24, 2020 .
  9. ^ Judgment of the XII. Civil Senate from December 18, 2019 - XII ZR 13/19 -. Retrieved February 24, 2020 .
  10. ZDF, article from July 22, 2008  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /