The survey was conducted by the chamber from October 25 to 30 and 840 respondents aged 18 to 65 took part in it.
“Six out of 10 respondents are against restricting access to the center of Prague until there is a ring road. One in ten would ban entry,” the Prague Chamber of Commerce presented the results of the investigation.
A total of 59 percent of those interviewed, on the other hand, see the solution to traffic problems in the center of Prague in the completion of the city and Prague ring road. 16 percent of respondents believe that better traffic management, such as adjusting traffic lights, would help.
White and green columns litter Prague, there are thousands of them in absurd places
Only 15 percent of respondents would support the discussed charging of entry into the center of Prague, while seven percent, on the contrary, would reach for a tougher solution, namely a complete ban on entry into the center. Three percent have no opinion on this issue.
The survey also included a question about the willingness to pay for entrance to the center. A third of Prague residents refuse to pay, 23 percent would only pay if it would solve traffic problems in the rest of the city. Six percent of respondents would be willing to pay for entry.
In Prague 1 they are in favor, Hřib questioned the survey
The considered measure has considerable support among the citizens of Prague 1. 57 percent of the respondents there believe that charging an entrance fee would improve the quality of life for the citizens there.
There was a lot of talk about tolls for passing through the center of Prague in August, with the possibility that they could start paying next year. The daily amount for entry would be 200 crowns. The measure should not apply to the entire area of the city center, but only to some areas of the conservation area in the Malá Strana part and by Smetanova nábřeží – for example, Karmelitská, Křižovnická, Divadelní streets or their parts, Tržiště, Újezd or Maltézské náměstí were mentioned. The fee would not apply to residents or local businesses.
According to Deputy Mayor for Transport Zdeňko Hřib (Piráti), the aim of the measure under consideration is to calm traffic in the city center and prevent queues causing public transport delays.
On Wednesday, the Prague Chamber of Commerce also organized a round table on the topic, which was attended by deputy Hřib, the chairman of the municipal transport committee Martin Sedeke (ODS) and the councilor for the area of transport from Prague 1 Vojtěch Ryvola (ANO) and Prague 2 Tomáš Halva (TOP 09)
On Wednesday, following the current Ipsos survey, Hřib reminded that several surveys were conducted on the same topic this year and the results were different. For example, he cited a survey by the NMS Market Research agency, according to which 54 percent of respondents would support charging for entry into the center of Prague in order to improve the quality of public transport. “Polls are very nice, but people often say one thing and then do another,” said the deputy.
There is no consensus in the coalition
Some time ago, the news reported that the leadership of Prague, consisting of ODS, TOP 09, KDU-ČSL, Pirátů and STAN, does not agree on the entrance fee. For example, the ODS, which has a mayor, is strictly against it and conditions the charging of entrance to the center with the completion of roundabouts and the reform of the parking zone system. Most of the city districts adjacent to Prague 1 are not inclined to this either, with the exception of Prague 5 and Prague 7.
“Now we have a discussion within the coalition. There is no agreement yet. In general, however, it can be said that when an agreement is reached and it is implemented, there will have to be a technical deadline for implementation,” Hřib said in a round table discussion on Wednesday, adding that it would be at least half a year from approval to implementation .
“Let’s not fixate on the fact that building new roads will solve the traffic problem in the center. It’s the same as if you solved obesity by loosening your belt,” added Hřib.
The chairman of the municipal transport committee, Martin Sedeke (ODS), is skeptical about the introduction of the fee in the coming months.
“I understand the motivation. But I am convinced that we cannot solve one problem by creating a problem elsewhere. I know that the city districts were informed, on the other hand, I am not sure that it was discussed with them, at least that a consensus was found. So I cannot imagine that we would be able to enforce it in the council, that we would have the support of at least the majority of the city districts. I am rather skeptical that it will be possible in the next six months,” Sedeke responded to Hřib.
At the same time, the head of the transport committee mentioned that in the “foreseeable time horizon” an agreement could be found on the reform of the parking zone system, which, according to him, could also relieve the congested Prague 1. He also acknowledged that the reform of paid parking would have a greater impact on the situation in Prague Hřib, who confirmed that there is a fairly strong agreement with the city districts on the adjustment.