A year ago, in April 2022, the minister for mobility and public works François Bausch (déi Gréng) presented his National Mobility Plan (PNM) for 2035. A problem that goes hand in hand with transport is that of parking. The national strategy on this subject was presented on Thursday 25 May.
“Parking spaces are being created even along main roads. We therefore lack space for bus lanes, safe cycle paths and comfortable footpaths,” explains the minister in a video.
“Since there is no attractive alternative to the car for many journeys, we are imposing new parking spaces for every new building permit. In this way, we are combining economic growth with an increase in traffic jams. Which brings us back to square one: more cars looking for cheap parking spaces.” He calls this the “vicious cycle of parking”. And with his plan, he wants to “break” this circle.
1,518 kilometres of roadside spaces
To ensure that the strategy is accepted by as many people as possible, the ministry is focusing on education. As well as an explanatory video available in four languages, its report is packed with figures. Like the number of authorised parking spaces in Luxembourg: 893,000 in total--not including illegal parking.
271,000 spaces are located along roads, which represents 1,518 kilometres or “the equivalent of a parking strip between Luxembourg and Stockholm, Naples or Madrid”. The 325,000 open-air parking spaces away from the roads represent “253 times the surface area of the Schueberfouer”.
The 205,000 underground parking spaces in buildings represent 20 million cubic metres, “7.8 times the volume of the Cheops pyramid”. To this must be added the 92,000 surface parking spaces in the buildings, equivalent to a 286-storey, 833-metre-high P+R Bouillon car park. This is more than double the height of the Eiffel Tower, which is 324 metres high.
53% of the spaces are public, 47% private.
In the capital, there are 2.73 parking spaces per vehicle and 1.34 per inhabitant--compared with 2.98 and 1.43 respectively for the country as a whole. By way of comparison, Amsterdam has less than one space per vehicle (0.98), Paris 1.23 and Barcelona 1.31.
Variable occupancy rates
Plenty of spaces... not always used. The occupancy rate is between 70% and 80% during the day in Luxembourg City and Esch. In the “medium-sized centres” (south of the city, the capital’s suburban belt, Nordstad) and in rural areas, it even falls to between 40% and 70%.
These parking spaces cost money. They range from €250,000 for a closed garage in the centre of Luxembourg city to €9,000 for an outdoor space in Wiltz.
On the other hand, “most car parks, either in public spaces or at the workplace, are made available at a low price, or even free of charge. This helps to encourage individual motorised transport, particularly to get to work.”
Bausch sees in these figures an inefficient management of parking in the country. In his view, a number of solutions need to be considered: giving priority to short-term parking in towns and cities, grouping certain spaces together, making room for bicycle parking, installing small P+Rs or even car-sharing.
More information about the ministry’s proposals are available on www.parken.lu.
This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.