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Copenhagen Introduces New Parking Zones to Ease Congestion and Discourage Long-Term Parking

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Eight new parking zones with a three-hour time limit are on their way in Copenhagen, while two existing zones are being expanded. The purpose of these new zones is to reduce congestion from external parking.

Over half a million cars cross the municipal border into Copenhagen daily. Many of these external drivers park their cars in the municipality of Copenhagen for work or travel purposes, including those going to Copenhagen Airport. However, in the future, it may become more difficult for commuters and travelers to find parking spaces if their parking exceeds three hours. A political majority agrees that several of the city’s time-limited parking zones should be expanded, and an additional eight zones should be established.

The existing zones in Vanløse and Lergravsparken are being expanded, while new zones are being created in Ryparken, Ålholm, Vigerslev Allé, Amager Strand, Sundbyvester, and Sundbyøster. They all have in common that external drivers will be allowed to park their vehicles for a maximum of three hours between 8 am and 10 pm. This means that the time frame is being extended in the existing zones, which previously had a time limit from 8 am to 7 pm.

The decision to implement more time-limited parking zones stems from the budget agreement for 2022, and the Technical and Environmental Mayor, Line Barfod (EL), is looking forward to seeing the zones become a reality:

“We face significant challenges locally with long-term parking. Especially in Amager and Vanløse, it has been a problem for years that travelers from Copenhagen Airport leave their cars near metro stations, causing parking problems and unnecessary traffic in these affected areas. Therefore, it is a strong desire for many Copenhageners to limit long-term parking, and now we are taking action,” says Line Barfod.

Commuter parking is also a significant issue in several places when drivers from neighboring municipalities and other parts of the country leave their cars in Copenhagen and use public transportation for the final leg to their workplaces. This is an issue that is being addressed in many areas, as Line Barfod explains:

“The time-limited zones are effective in preventing unnecessary commuter parking and traffic. Of course, it will still be possible to receive visits from family, friends, and craftsmen without having to pay for parking. However, commuters will no longer be able to leave their cars in large parts of Copenhagen to continue to their workplaces, and that is a big plus for the local Copenhageners. I am very pleased with that.”

The Technical and Environmental Mayor hopes that more “park and ride” facilities will be built in the surrounding municipalities and throughout Zealand in the future, allowing commuters to park their cars further away from the capital and take public transportation. This would help reduce congestion and pollution. Line Barfod also hopes that in the future, traffic policies can be developed across municipal borders based on a regional mobility analysis:

“We in Copenhagen are well aware that our parking policies may cause commuters to choose to park their cars in neighboring municipalities instead if the conditions there are more lenient, and that doesn’t solve the problems; it merely shifts them. Therefore, I hope that in the future, we can come together to keep unnecessary traffic out of the capital region, so that cities are not overwhelmed by cars and pollution can be reduced,” says Line Barfod.

In 2017, the introduction of the yellow payment zone resulted in up to 30% of cars, equivalent to more than 3,500 vehicles, disappearing from the respective areas.

In 2022, 92% of Copenhagen residents who both live and work in the municipality used bicycles, public transportation, or walked to and from work and study. Only 8% commuted by car within Copenhagen.

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