The committee determined that the difference between the price and the hour of parking paid by a foreign resident and the price per resident of a city shall not exceed 30%; Chairman Bitton: “The proposal will not solve the whole problem of traffic jams, but will help reduce congestion from the heart of the cities and allow free parking for city residents in their living space.”
Accordingly, it was determined today that the maximum price for parking, which currently stands at NIS 6.3 per hour, will be abolished starting next year, and municipalities will be able to set a price in accordance with their policies. A municipality that has decided to determine the price of parking in accordance with the maximum price, and not a female at an absolute price, will continue to charge NIS 6.3 per hour, index-linked, until the Ministry of Transportation sets regulations in the matter.
As for the abolition of free parking for residents throughout the city and its restriction to the residential area only, it was determined that the provision will apply only to authorities with more than 40,000 residents. These authorities will have to regulate, within three years, areas where a parking exemption will be granted to a resident of that area only. An authority that does not regulate parking areas will not be able to exempt its residents from payment, or alternatively will not be able to charge for parking. The Minister of Transport, in consultation with the Minister of the Interior, will be allowed at this time to set conditions and criteria for determining parking areas, and these will apply to authorities that will not regulate the issue within three years.
MK Uri Maklev asked to address the gap between the price to be paid by city residents and the price to be charged from nonresidents, and warned of price expropriation and harm to nonresidents. He mentioned that he proposed that the gap be 20-25 percent. They are interested in a slightly larger gap, and asked to set it at 30%. He added that the proposal would not solve the whole traffic jam problem, but would help reduce congestion from the heart of the cities and allow free parking for city residents in their neighborhoods, which is their living space.
The committee therefore approved that a local authority that establishes a parking arrangement that includes a different price for a resident and non-resident, will be required to limit this gap by up to 30%. An authority that decides not to charge a fee for parking will not be able to charge foreign residents either, but if it has given a certain exemption to its residents, part of the time, then the parking rate paid by a foreign resident will not exceed the minimum rate set by the authority for an internal resident. MK Eitan Ginzburg objected to this, saying that it was too much of an intervention in the powers of the local authorities.
MK Ofir Katz referred to the fact that the authorities were given 3 years to complete the arrangement, and expressed concern that due to the long time that will pass there will be authorities who forget to address the issue.
Also, during the hearing, Meltzer asked to clarify that after the end of the 3 years of preparation and after the Minister of Transportation sets criteria for determining parking areas, an authority that wants to change the arrangement it will have will have to conform to the same criteria set by the Minister. Chairman Bitton summed up and welcomed another issue in the transportation chapter that the committee approves from the Arrangements Law, prior to the approval of the state budget.