Sofia Rallies against New Parking Rules, FeesSociety | August 15, 2012, Wednesday // 10:15| views
The new higher parking fees, expected to be enforced as of September 1, have already been challenged in the administrative court. Photo by BGNES
Residents of Bulgaria's capital Sofia are staging another protest rally against the upcoming new parking rules and hike in parking fees.
The demonstrators, who are slamming these changes as nothing short of racketeering and arm-twisting, will gather at 5 pm Wednesday at the Patriarch Evtimiy monument in downtown Sofia.
According to the civil movement DNES (Today), which challenged the new ordinance in Court, the petition has been signed by 15 000 people.
The protest is organized through the social network Facebook, where it has an official page.
The adopted measures triggered anger among drivers, as well as people living in the blue and green zones, who will be obliged to pay an annual fee of BGN 150 and BGN 100 respectively. Families living there will have to dig deeper in their pockets and pay fees three times higher if they have a second car. But even if the fee is paid, a parking lot is far from certain.
In a bid to justify the controversial measures, municipality members said they aim to bring order in the parking lots and ease traffic in the capital.
Sofia municipal council approved at the beginning of March plans for a hike in parking fees, to be enforced as of the beginning of September.
The fee for an hour's stay in the blue parking zones in downtown Sofia will increase from BGN 1 to BGN 2, under the adopted program for development of the public transport.
The fee for parking in the green zone in Sofia has been set at BGN 1 per hour.
Drivers will be allowed to park their vehicles in the blue and green zones for no more than two and four hours respectively.
All who want to pay their parking fees in a hassle-free way have to send a text message to number 1302 for subscribers of the three mobile operators Mtel, Globul and Vivacom.
After sending the SMS, the person gets a reply that the payment was successful. Five minutes before the pre-paid hour elapses, the subscriber receives a notification.
The new higher fees, expected to be enforced as of September 1, have already been challenged in the Administrative Court by DNES. The case was filed on July 4.
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