Barcelona´s Parking Restriction Scheme In 2005 Barcelona introduced a parking restriction scheme to reduce the continuously increasing number of cars entering the city. In addition to reducing congestion, the goal is to encourage travellers to use alternative means of transport and improve the environment. The city assigned parking zones for local residents, reducing the number of parking spaces available for non-residents and improving the use of public spaces (e.g. reducing illegal parking). In action: Barcelona introduced three parking categories: Blue parking places (àrea blava) Cars can park in these places at any time of day for between 1 to 4 hours. Drivers must buy a parking ticket and display it in the window. Prices may vary depending on location. Green parking spaces (verdes preferences) Residents with a permit can park free in these spaces during the times and days specified on the parking meters. Other cars can park any time of day with a valid pay-and-display ticket, which drivers can buy in the parking meters. The green area is completely free all day during August every year. Green exclusive parking zones (verdes exclusivas) If parking places do not have dividing lines for each space it is a "verde exclusiva" zone, which means that only residents with permits can park in the spaces. Since 2013 a parking payment app is available and allows payment by smartphone at over 40,000 parking places in the green and blue zones. Results: The introduction of the pricing restriction scheme has improved traffic flow and reduced incoming daily traffic in the areas covered by the parking zone. Other modes of transport, meanwhile, have experienced an increase in passengers, while average speeds in the city, and illegal parking, is down. The measure must apply together with others that help improve public transport, support cycling and walking and, in general, support more sustainable transport. Local residents and commuters should have a choice of alternatives to ensure mobility.
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