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Parking at multilevel parking sites

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, November 22
Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania says his office will very soon announce a tender to construct 10 multilevel parking areas in central Tbilisi, to ease traffic and settle parking problems on central streets.

However, the Mayor added this did not refer to any contract with City Park, a company currently running parking issues in Tbilisi.

Despite the fact that the Mayor’s Office, NGOs and general public have all openly expressed dislike for how City Park regulates parking in Tbilisi, the office refrains from abolishing the contract signed with the company in 2007, under the previous United National Movement state leadership.

Narmania stressed 10 projects have already been elaborated by Tbilisi City Hall about the new parking areas and for implementing the projects tenders would be announced.

The Mayor stated that in many European countries, parking costs in central districts are high, but he said setting high prices for parking in central Tbilisi is not on the agenda.

He also said it was very likely a tender winner company will specify the price for parking in the multilevel parking areas.

Narmania claimed that City Park does not have the right to oppose the new initiative.

To return to the City Park issue, Narmania had earlier stated it could not abolish the agreement with the company, as according to international auditing company Ernst & Young, cancellation of the agreement will cost the Mayor’s office 25 million GEL in expenses.

However, the contract signed with the company in 2007 envisaged City Park remaining active in Tbilisi until 2025.

An Independent Deputy of Tbilisi City Council Elisashvili and a representative from the Republican party, David Zurabishvili, have appealed to the Mayor’s Office to pay the fine, and instead run the parking in Tbilisi for a year, to get the money back.

The duo stated that in 2014-2016 City Park earned 62 million GEL from regulating the city's parking; out of the money, 18 million was paid for by the Tbilisi city budget and nearly 44 million was taken by the company.

“It means if City Park stays in Tbilisi until 2025, it will take about 270 million from Tbilisi residents,” Elisashvili stated.

Regulating traffic problems in Tbilisi requires a complex approach that includes an honest company that will operate parking issues, better infrastructure, using modern parking methods - the multilevel parking areas among them – and the technical check of cars.

All of these components are essential for settling the problem.

The last few years have apparently not been enough time for the Mayor’s Office to form a plan to solve the parking issue.

The Office admitted that City Park had failed to meet its obligations, but at the same time always refrained from taking radical steps.

The city infrastructure also requires fundamental renovation.

With regards to the technical check of cars, in the election period the Government refrained from implementing it, allegedly with the motivation not to lose thousands of votes, as Georgia’s streets are overcrowded with outdated cars that are a key source of income for families in many cases.

Unfortunately, the previous administration took the advantage and concluded several deals with foreign companies, thus taking profit on those contracts. Current city administration has to solve the situation and in some cases pay extra money for that.