Pricey residential permit parking in Stockholm

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Brief summary of this reform

The City of Stockholm has unusually expensive residential on-street parking permits. As of late 2021, the most expensive residential permit parking costs SKR1100 per month (US$120/month, which comes to US$1,440 per year).

Although this is expensive compared with most other cities around the world, it is still a little cheaper than nearby garage parking and is only roughly 50 times the non-discounted hourly charge in each area. So residential parking is still heavily discounted compared to casual parking.

The City of Stockholm issues resident parking permit in numbers that roughly match the estimated number of on-street parking spaces. No on-street parking is reserved solely for permit holders.

Why should you care?

Cities around the world, even in Europe, struggle to set the prices for residential on-street permit parking at anything even remotely approaching a market price or a rent covering price.

However, the City of Stockholm has unusually expensive residential on-street permit parking in which the prices are approaching those of long-term garage parking.

This seems to be the result of a consistent long-term effort to establish and operationalize the view that parking on public streets is a privilege provided to residents, and certainly not an obligation that the city must provide. Parking policy and pricing decisions have consistently put this view into practice.

I hope to update this case with more information on the politics of how this was achieved if I can find out more.

Country

Sweden

Vehicle type

cars

State/province

Key actor type

Local government

Jurisdiction

City of Stockholm

Primary motivation

orderly parking (usually for wider benefits too)

Agencies involved

Traffic Administration, City of Stockholm

Is it a model or a warning?

useful model

Reform type

Main parking category

Main parking paradigm shift

permits

On-street in mainly residential streets

Towards more responsiveness to context/market

Adaptive Parking thrust

Implementation status

Year adopted

P: Price parking in the right ways and with the right rates for each place and time

implemented

1981

Goals of the reform

Permit parking price increases have been aimed at encouraging the use of available off-street parking and at reducing the gap between the prices of long-term off-street garage parking and on-street residential parking.

Impetus (what problem, campaign, opportunity or event prompted action?)

The initial impetus in 1981 seems to have been similar to residential permit parking in dense areas in many cities: a need to provide priority parking for residents in districts where existing residential buildings generally lacked off-street parking.

The impetus for price rises was to encourage the use of off-street parking.

Detailed description of the reform

The City of Stockholm has unusually expensive residential on-street parking permits.

As of late 2021, the most expensive residential permit parking is in Zones 2 and 3 (the pink and blue areas) where storing a car in the streets costs SKR1100 per month. That is US$120/month, which comes to US$1,440 per year.

In the purple area (zone 4) the permit parking price for cars is SKR500 per month (US$50/month or 600/year) and in the orange area (zone 5) residential permit parking for cars costs SKR300 per month (which is US$33/month or 396/year).

The city centre Zone 1 has no residential permit parking. Zones 4 and 5 were only established in 2016. The five zones under the permit program are the same zones under which the prices of metered parking vary.

The City of Stockholm residential permit parking program started in 1981.

Permit parking prices were increased successively, especially in around 2010. These increases were aimed at encouraging the use of available off-street parking and to reduce the gap between the prevailing prices of long-term off-street parking and on-street residential parking. A comparison with the monthly price of a public transport pass may also have been a consideration according to some replies I received on twitter.

Although they may seem very expensive to many of us around the world, these prices for on-street residential parking in Stockholm remain a little cheaper than nearby garage parking. Furthermore, Jonas Eliasson (former Director of the Stockholm Transport Administration and now Director of Transport Accessibility in the Swedish Transport Administration, who responded to a question via twitter) points out that residential inner-city permit parking costs roughly 50 times the non-discounted hourly charge in each area. So residential parking is still heavily discounted compared to casual parking.

Permit holders are only allowed to own one permit at any one time, no matter what zone they reside in.

The City of Stockholm issues resident parking permit in numbers that roughly match the estimated number of on-street parking spaces (63,000 in 2018).

No on-street parking is reserved solely for permit holders. Payment for residential permit parking allows residents to ignore the prices and/or time limits that apply to casual parking.

A resident who is a registered owner of a vehicle and registered in a residential parking area can apply for a residential parking permit.

Possessing a valid permit and paying for the relevant parking are separate matters. Having a permit allows a resident to then pay for parking within that area at the residential rate.

Residents have a choice of payment modalities. They can pay for an ongoing subscription or pay only for months or days when they need on-street parking. In both cases, the resident must already hold a valid residential parking permit linked to the relevant vehicle.

The fee per day fees for cars are: Zones 2 and 3 – SKR75 per day; Zone 4 – SKR35 per day; and Zone 5 – SKR20 per day.

Motorcycle owners wishing to park in the streets also require permits. Motorcycle residential permit parking costs are: Zones 2 and 3 – SKR275 per month; Zone 4 – SKR125 per month; Zone 5 – SKR75 per month.

Results or impacts

According to a 2019 report for the Office of the President, Borough of Manhattan, New York, the "permit parking program in Stockholm appears to be a relatively successful one with residents feeling that priority parking is allocated appropriately to them".

The same report cites interviewee Anders Aronsson (an Analyst for the Stockholm Traffic Administration) who explains that the permit system in Stockholm has successfully established a consensus that parking on public streets is a bonus provided to residents, not an obligation that the city must provide.

This view is supported by Swedish parking law, which enshrines an expectation that residents are supposed to arrange their parking off-street (according to Jonas Eliasson via twitter).

Zones 4 and 5 for residential permit parking began in 2016 after requests from residents and local politicians. The reaction to these provides further evidence for success. The 2019 report from the Manhattan President reports that most feedback on the new zones was positive. Residents now found it easier to find parking and residents in adjacent areas have been asking for their neighbourhoods to be included too.

Sources and acknowledgements

Traffic Administration, City of Stockholm
https://parkering.stockholm/betala-parkering/taxeomraden-avgifter/
(machine translation into English: https://parkering-stockholm.translate.goog/betala-parkering/taxeomraden-avgifter/?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl)

Office of the President, Borough of Manhattan, The City of New York (October, 2019) Residential parking permit plans in 7 cities worldwide: a survey. https://www.manhattanbp.nyc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/ParkingZoneWhitePaperFINAL.pdf

Kodransky, M. and Hermann, G. (18 Jan 2011) European Parking U-Turn: From Accommodation to Regulation, Report for the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). https://www.itdp.org/2011/01/18/europes-parking-u-turn-from-accommodation-to-regulation/

Benchmark for parking policies in large urban agglomerations (in France and Europe) (Centre d'analyse stratégique): http://www.strategie.gouv.fr/sites/strategie.gouv.fr/files/atoms/files/rapport-stationnement-benchmark1.pdf

Image via
https://parkering.stockholm/betala-parkering/taxeomraden-avgifter/

Painted Greek Island

Last updated: 

28 Dec 2021