Parking Scarcity Drives Up Search Time

YERUSHALAYIM -

Recently implemented regulations have effectively reduced the number of available parking spaces in Israeli cities, forcing drivers to spend more time looking for a place to park, Globes reported on Tuesday.

Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon (who also heads the Planning Administration) signed an order last July for new national parking standards that dramatically bring down the number of spaces close to public transport routes, especially in offices and commercial buildings.

For example, under the new regime, office buildings within 300 yards of the light rail line will be allotted one parking spot per 240 square yards of main built area, as compared to one parking spot per 40 square yards permitted until July. Residential areas will be affected in a similar manner.

As a result, the average search for a parking space has increased, according to a survey by Promote Parking Systems Ltd. Comparing search times in 2012 to the past few months, researchers found a double-digit increase in the time taken to find a space and park a vehicle. On average, the increase in the time taken was a whopping 43 percent, though the time varied according to time of day and type of area.

The outlook for Israeli drivers is bleak, says Efi Magen of Promote Parking: “The figures already prefigure an apocalypse. In 2020, people in Israel’s main cities will still not want to give up their private vehicles, since there is no realistic, feasible alternative allowing them to leave their cars at home, and the parking problem will only keep getting worse.”