Illegal parking is a true challenge for public transport blocking, especially for trams in the Austrian Capital Vienna. The Viennese public transport operator, Wiener Linien, has teamed up with the city boroughs to mitigate the problem, by removing options for illegal parking alongside tram lines.
At the start of 2020, two streets in the city were renovated to reduce the possible risk of barrier hotspots to tram lines. Taking the example of the Blindengasse in the borough of Josefstadt, a redesign of the street with wider sidewalks reduced the illegal parking options with the potentail to blocks tram lines from 100 to 13 spots. In September 2020, experiences of a forerunner project in parts of the Döblinger Hauptstraße also succeeded in a drop of 152 parking offences (in the previous year) to 111.
Between January and mid December 2020, trams were blocked by illegally parked vehicles 1,649 times (compared to 2,030 times in 2019) - this equates to a tram being blocked 4.5 times a day. When this occurs, passengers have to wait up to 40 minutes before their tram can continue its service, causing heavy delays for people on their trips to work, school or for other needs.
Authorities want to remind residents to park properly to keep tram tracks free at all time - the concrete slabs on which the tracks lie need to be kept clear and side mirrors of cars should be folded in. Illegal parking which leads to blocking of a tram line can cost the offender several hundred euros in administrative fees, with additional costs for the fire and towing service to remove the vehicle on top.
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Article published first at TheMAYOR.eu on 2nd of January 2021.