August 17, 2020

Road Diets~ Should SUVs Be Charged More for Being Fat?



Berlin has been struggling with what to do with SUVs (sport utility vehicles) especially after four people were mowed down by one in September 2019. As the Tagesspiegel reports, the Berlin Green party now wants to charge more for parking permits for SUVs in Berlin. These vehicular behemoths narrow down streets and their bulk gobble up more than their fair share of available parking spaces.

Just as in North America, Berlin estimates that of the 1.2 million cars registered in the city most of them just sit on the street waiting for an average of 23 hours daily. By basing the fee for a resident parking permit on the size and weight of a vehicle, the price could be 500 Euros a year, roughly equivalent to $785 Canadian dollars. A smaller more efficient vehicle could get the same parking pass for 80 Euros (125 Canadian dollars). Parking passes are currently only 10 Euros, about 15 Canadian dollars.

It was also felt that the higher annual permit parking cost would be a deterrent to SUV ownership in the city.

Of course SUV owners were outraged at the suggestion of such a high parking tax, and as one association noted “It is doubtful that the size of the car and the income of the vehicle owner go hand in hand. The renunciation of the car should not be forced through prices, especially since there are many people in the city who depend on the car and short distances to the car”.

The Berlin Green Party also are urging an annual parking reduction of three percent to redistribute space to pedestrians and  cyclists and to create more green spaces.



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