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FOCUS : The decriminalisation of parking

Posted on Tuesday, August 4th 2015

1. Law:
The decriminalisation of parking was adopted by Law No. 2014-58 of 27 January 2014 related to the modernization of territorial public action and affirmation of metropolises (MAPTAM). It was to take effect on 1st January 2016 but was postponed to 1 October 2016 and its application induces the establishment of legal and technical provisions to that date.

2. Objective:
This law will replace the existing parking regulation in the city center's policies in order to integrate it into the planning guidelines and in particular the development of public transport. In some cities, this will send a strong signal to encourage citizens to turn their travel habits, and change both the use of private cars but also the practice of parking.

3. The reason:
The main reason for the new directive is that the potential of the parking revenue is underexploited. For example, the rotary parking payment rate is around 14% in the capital, against 35% in France on average. This new manna should also rebalance the shortfall of reduced state grants to municipalities amounting to more than 12.5 billion euros between 2014 and 2017.

4. Difficulties:
There will be a great disparity between the hourly parking rate of each city that can range from 1 to 7. With a unique fine as it is today of 17€, many motorists take the risk of not paying parking. To remedy to this default, and to adjust the offense and the penalty, the legislature decided to release the public parking from the penal sanctions. In other words, the fine must be paid locally and may not exceed ten times the hourly rate. The trend would be therefore that most common parking rates increase. Communities will also provide means to determine and then to pay the remaining difference between the post-parking fine and a possible upfront payment of part of the parking time ... A real headache for some communities that will properly calculate their investments.
More recently, the national Agency for the automated processing of offenses (Antai), which is responsible for sending their fines on offenders and has already asked for the postponement of the application of the law, is preparing to request an extension for a further period, following a legal problem faced to amend the IT market it is negotiating. A letter written by five major associations of local elected officials was sent to prime Minister Manuel Valls on 16 July, in order he takes a measure to keep the original schedule.

5. Solutions:
Local councils will also have to invest in the development of digital tools and services to facilitate both the payment of parking through the expansion of paperless payment methods (applications on mobile phones, NFC ...) but also equip electronics of offense of the sworn officers (terminal used for automated control or direct reading of license plates for vehicles in circulation).

6. Study (Axis Image / June 2015):
Decentralization seemed to be far from a consensus, but the survey conducted this year by the AMGVF and the FNMS shows strong resistance. This one shows a very clear split between supporters (46% of respondents mayors) and opponents (36%) of decentralization. Evidence of the concern over the implementation of this law, only 1 of 4 mayor is ready to participate in the experimental phase foreshadowing while half of the elected respondents expressed their refusal. On the issue of electronic ticketing, 80% of respondents already use it. And the 20% that are still remained in print era, 70% nevertheless say they are ready to spend technological cap.Decentralization seemed far to consensus, but the survey conducted this year by the AMGVF and FNMS shows strong resistance. It shows a very clear split between supporters (46% of respondents mayors) and opponents (36%) of decentralization. Evidence of the concern over the implementation of this law, only 1 of 4 mayor is ready to participate in the experimental phase foreshadowing while half of the respondents expressed directly elected refusal. On the issue of electronic ticketing, 80% of respondents already use. And the 20% that are still remained in print era, 70% nevertheless say they are ready to take the technology course.