policy similarities and differences

Germany and Italy both can be just as bureaucratic as the U.S. in their zoning, and land development procedures including  footprints, building heights, # of floors,  even roof pitch and siding materials. Both have strict parking standards for  redevelopment areas and undeveloped areas; built up areas have parking requirements that are 50% less than the requirement of the former.

National law in Italy requires more public parking than Germany and requires  a percentage  of the property to be donated to the City. This seems to result in more fees and more parking. Italy does, however, allow for the required parking to be off-site.

Germany parking is set at the state level, and requires parking be on site.

In both countries, if the required number of spaces is not built, then the developers  must pay for the parking spaces, in Hamburg it is 10,000 euros per space.

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Hamburg Public Transit; Hochbahn and HVV

The transit company in Hamburg is called the Hochbahn, but like everywhere else I have been, the tickets and fares are integrated among all the modes  and  with all the other public transit companies in the metropolitan area.  So it does not matter which modes or service you actually ride, it only matters how far you are go.  There are fare zones, and the metro fares for instance, are distance based like BART, but the single ticket will also get you onto the local bus or ferry  for that trip.

The coordination is done by Hamburger Verkehrsverbund (HVV) which translates into English as the Hamburg Transport Association, which has had Integrated Tickets since 1965: “That’s when we became the world’s very first integrated public transport association. One ticket, one timetable: use any HVV public transport service you like.”

The total public transport network consists of buses in the many (dozens?) of communities in three states  that belong to HVV; the Schnellbahn rapid transit rail services (U-bahn, S-bahn und A-Bahn); the  Regional Rail (R-Bahn), and the five ferries around the  Hamburg harbour and on the River Elbe.  Note that the City of Hamburg is also a state- one  of the 16 states in Germany. So HVV includes the entire city- state of Hamburg plus neighboring communities from two adjacent states.

People/ Customer friendly features
• On weekends the rapid transit U-Bahn and S-Bahn rail services run every 20 minutes all through the night within Hamburg.
• 7 days a week there are night buses that run after the rapid transit shuts down
• After 7 PM on some bus lines, specially marked buses, drivers can stop in between official stops to discharge passengers
• Real time “next bus” and “next three buses”
• Dogs allowed oboard,  on a leash, free
• Bikes allowed free with certain time restrictions which vary  depending on bus, u- bahn or s-bahn
• Bikes allowed at all times on regional trains for a Euro 3.50 a day fee
• Bikes allowed at all times for free on 4 of 5 ferries
• Tickets available from machine as well as Bus drivers who sell single tickets and day tickets, (but not the weekly /monthly /annual passes)
• After 9 am, discounted fare for all
• Any time, up to three kids under age 14 travel free with one adult
• After 9 am:  Group ticket  for 5 people of any age
• Special pass prices for children /seniors and apprentice/college students

Hamburg Parking Policies for New Land Development

Parking Requirements are set by the City of Hamburg since it is also the state.  There is a ratio for number of cars spaces and bike spaces  for dozens of land use types, (no requirement for  motorcycles).  The  parking requirements are  typically based on building floor area, but for some land uses, it is based on # units or number of seats. The parking ordinance also specifies the  % of this amount that is for the  “residents or employees “ or the visitors of the land use.  The permitted variations to the requirements set forth in the table are:

  1. In the “city center”, most uses are reduced to 25% exactly; no more no less can be provided (this does not apply to residential or hotels). There used to be three tiers of reduced parking but it was  discontinued about 7 years ago as it was difficult to administer.
  2. Residential parking can be reduced or eliminated if four conditions are present:
  • The building has at least 30 units
  • The residents sign a contract not to own a car (or it’s in their lease)
  • The building must be at a U bahn or S bahn station
  • Other concepts are incorporated to reduce need for car such exceptional bike parking, car sharing, no specific requirements, but there must have a strategy of some kind.

3. For office commercial sites, the number of parking spaces can be reduced on a sliding scale if at least 50% of employees are given a HVV transit pass; reduction begins at 5%,  and increases to 50 % if 90% of employees are given a pass.

4. For new theatres, if they have a contract with HVV that the ticket for the event also is valid on all public transportation to and from the event, they can reduce parking 50%.  There is also some sort of deal with existing theatres and but not quite sure what it is. Up to 50 % of new required parking can be shared with another nearby land use if the peak time periods do not overlap , for example an office and a theatre;  new rules will increase this to 80% .

Consequences

  1. If there is no space for the required parking on the parcel or it is difficult to go underground due to the high water table in Hamburg, it is permitted to build parking up to 300 meters away, this will be increased to 500 meters.
  2. The developer can also contract with an existing public parking garage so that the spaces needed are permanently leased from the garage as part of the parking for this building.
  3. If the required parking is not provided or cannot be provided, they pay the city 10000 euro  per space in the city center and 6000 outside the city center.
  4. Finally if developer calculates that their project  won’t generate as much parking demand as the standards require, they may be allowed to have Stundung,  a temporary reprieve or delay to see if that really is the case. In five years, if they for example only have 20 employees for the business and 40 spaces were required, they do not have to provide the full amount. If however, they cannot verify their assumptions, then they need to  build it or they  have to pay as described  above.

Thanks to  Thorsten Gierenz, City of Hamburg, for explaining all this to me, any errors are my own. Thanks also to Arno Plentz, City of Hamburg for arranging this and other meetings while I was in Hamburg, a free and hanseatic city.

Street Parking – Torino, Genova and Milano

Before 1989, Italian law did not allow charges for parking unless it was “custodito”, i.e. there was a parking attendant. This applied to street parking as well, and essentially resulted in free on-street parking. Although cities could and did implement time limits, there was not very strict enforcement, since it was usually a low priority of local police departments. By the 1980’s  city leaders and  urban planners realized a  change was needed and in 1989 the government  delegated the authority to regulate parking charges to the cities.

In 1994, Torino implemented its parking program, which included the designation of blue zones where parking would cost a fee, and assigning the management of the  street parking program to the same agency that operated the public transportation service, (then AMT, now the GTT).   It is based on the principle of charging more for street parking the closer the street is to the city center and is described in post link here.  The city used the generated revenue to not only pay for the striping and parking machines but also to build underground parking garages. Today, there are 55,000 paid spaces, 7200 of which are underground. Currently the revenues are €25 million per year.

Milano and Genova also have blue zones  but the three cities vary in how residential parking  is accommodated with respect to these blue zones.

Torino- Torino’s blue zones  is essentially the center core of the city, about 1.5 mile in diameter.  It is available for any member of the public and also residents with permits.  The difference is that residents pay for the permit but  __??

This system benefits the nonresidents since there are more spots available for them to park in.

Torino uses Yellow pavement striping  for designating disabled parking spaces, bus stops and taxi zones.

torino

torino

MIlano- Milano has also divided its street parking into blue and yellow zones but with different meanings. Only residents with permits can park in the yellow zones. All others, i.e. vsitors, workers, shoppers, etc.  must park in the blue zones. This system benefits the residents since they do not have to share their spaces with non residents. They pay the same or no?

DSCF1995

Genova Street Parking Sign

Genova – Genova has more acute shortage of land, exemplified by many very narrow streets and thus has far less onstreet parking to begin with compared to Torino and Milano. Their approach was to designate blue zones in the most congested locations of the city, the centro storico and  a few other locations, and only residents and people who work in the vicinity can park there. They need to display a permit and pay the parking fee  if they park during the hours the fee applies.  If you are not are resident or work, for example you are visiting someone who lives there or want to shop or go to a restaurant, your options are to arrive without a car or pay for parking at a private parking facility (called a parcheggio rotazione- since these parking spaces are not reserned but turnover frequently).

Not sure how motorcyles are accommodated, in this situation but judging from the mass quantities of motorcycles and scooters, I would guess they park for free or less.

I would like to thank  Prof. Franco Corsico,  Arch. Federica Alcozar and  Prof. Paolo Rigante of Milano for help in describing the policies of Torino, Genova and Milano, respectively.

Steep and Forested Stuttgart

“Old” Stuttgart is located in the valley of the Neckar River  (Flüss Neckar) surrounded by steep hills up to 300 meters high. On many of these hilltops and other valleys were independent villages with their own town centers.  Stuttgart grew from a city of almost 300,000 to over 500,000 in the 1920’s mainly by  annexing many of these surrounding villages.  At late as 1942, they incorporated the village of Möhringen into their city. (The words annex and incorporate are used descriptively  and do not  necessarily have the  same legal meaning as used in the United States; these villages may or may not have been cities in their own right). The map shown below, labelled by others as “Stuttgart’s suburbs”  is really a map of Stuttgart’s neighborhoods, many of which were these former villages. Gerlingen on the west is outside the city limits and is one of the many separate cities or suburbs that surround the city.

Given the terrain of mountainous forests and valleys, the results is that 40 % of Stuttgart’s current land area of 207 square kilometers is protected forest. As can be seen in Figure 2, these forests are located throughout the city, not merely on the perimeter or the far east or west. Historically, these forests were considered too steep for building and now, they are mostly owned by the state  of Baden-Württemberg or the City.  The state not only owns the forest land, they also manage and harvest the timber themselves, bringing in revenue to the state.  Decades if not centuries of forest management in Germany could and probably has filled the pages of several research papers.

In addition, 10% of the land area is agriculture; this land use is  also considered essential for many reasons, not the least of which is climate; the winds from the mountains need the corridors provided by the agricultural  lands to cool the city in the summertime. Retaining agriculture designation was aided if not enforced by national legislation in the 1960’s. Again, this crucial practice will be left for another research paper.  Despite the industrial growth spurred by the invention of the automobile in the late 1800’s  simultaneously in both Bad Cannstatt, (formerly a village and now a neighborhood of Stuttgart)  and nearby Mannheim, and the resulting development pressures, Stuttgart retained both of these types of crucial “Open Space” that make Stuttgart a very green and visually attractive city.

Stuttgart suburbs

There are a few indications of the terrain when you look at the public transit system:

  1. Typical slope for the Light Rail is as high as 7 %, and one line is even steeper,  8.5%.
  2. There are several tunnels for the light rail trains, which flatter cities don’t have to fund.
  3. There is one cog rail line, with a trailer for bikes.
  4. There is one cable car line, which serves a cemetery.

EU Rules on Environmental Quality, Cars and other things

EU Rules are running the show in a lot of ways.

1. EU is encouraging all bigger cities to encourage clean transportation and public transportation and thus many cities in Italy (including Torino as of 2009) now have a Bike Office in their city government. If a country does not follow EU’s rules, (for lack of a better word), then  the UE can fine the country; in fact for certain rules  if a country fails to fulfil its obligations, the UE can put a  judgement on  the country;   the following link contains examples of judgements on various topics such as endangered species, hazardous waste :
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=en&Submit=Rechercher&docrequire=alldocs&numaff=&datefs=&datefe=&nomusuel=&domaine=ENVC&mots=&resmax=100

2.  Italian  cities’  bike share and car share programs are funded through their regione’s environment department. I  suspect but have not confirmed this is also due to an EU policy or rule to improve air quality and increase sustainable transportation modes.

3. I already posted about the rules on public transportation companies and competitive bidding  and will be updating that as I find out more at:

http://wp.me/pzsSt-1I

4.  As of September 2009, all new cars  in Europe, (not only “Made in Europe” ) must have a rating of  Euro 5 – the cleanest rating , i.e.  they must be methane, LPG or cleaner diesel, and cleaner gasoline-powered cars.  Euro5 cars have strict emission standards  for diesel and LPG; methane and gasoline, and stricter standards, Euro -6, kick in in 2014.  Social consciousness  of clean cars is already apparent: 30% of new cars sold in Italy in the last 6 months have been methane-powered.

The rules are here: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/environment/air_pollution/l28186_en.htm

In short it says :  “Member States must refuse the approval, registration, sale and introduction of vehicles that do not comply with these emission limits. An additional delay of one year is allowed for goods transport vehicles and vehicles designed to fulfil specific social needs (category N1, classes II and III, and category N2). Time frame:

  • the Euro 5 standard will come into force on 1 September 2009 for the approval of vehicles, and from 1 January 2011 for the registration and sale of new types of cars;

…..

Euro 5 standard

Emissions from diesel vehicles:

  • carbon monoxide: 500 mg/km;
  • particulates: 5 mg/km (80% reduction of emissions in comparison to the Euro 4 standard);
  • nitrogen oxides (NOx): 180 mg/km (20% reduction of emissions in comparison to the Euro 4 standard);
  • combined emissions of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides: 230 mg/km.

Emissions from petrol vehicles or those running on natural gas or LPG:

  • carbon monoxide: 1 000 mg/km;
  • non-methane hydrocarbons: 68 mg/km;
  • total hydrocarbons: 100 mg/km;
  • nitrogen oxides (NOx): 60 mg/km (25% reduction of emissions in comparison to the Euro 4 standard);
  • particulates (solely for lean burn direct-injection petrol vehicles): 5 mg/km (introduction of a limit that did not exist for the Euro 4 standard).

These car ratings can affect other aspects of your life.  For example Torino uses them determine whether you can drive your car into the center city.  Torino has two levels of ZTL Traffic Limited Zones, sort of like congestion pricing but without the pricing: you cannot buy your way in.  From 8 am to 7 pm only cars. motorcycles and scooters rated 2, 3, 4, or 5 can drive into the city, the oldest and dirtiest rated 0 and 1 may not enter.  In the inner center city no one except residents can enter between 7 a.m  and 10:30 am.. Those are called, respectively the ZTL ZTL “>ZTL “>Ambiente and the ZTL normale. Beginning in 2010 they will combine these two zones into one  the bigger zone.

4.  Not really an EU issue,   but  FYI: all the autostrade in Italy are built privately under authorization from the state i.e. country and then the company charges tolls to recoup their costs. Thus there are no “freeways ” in Italy, (I didn’t know that and wouldn’t because I have never been on an autostrade, io prendo il treno.)  (There goes one argument for funding bikeways 🙂 but taxes still pay for all the other streets and to subsidize public transit.)  Typically, (at least it is true in Torino) on the ring (or tangential) road there is no toll,  in order  to encourage people to use them instead of driving through town.

More about SSB

SSB = Stuttgarter Strassenbahnen AG

Other interesting factoids:

  1. Bikes are allowed, free of charge except mon-friday from 6 am to 8:30 and 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. (The S-Bahn has a similar policy but it charges a fee.
  • 2. SSB now prefers grassy or “lawn” around their tracks instead of hardscape because:
    • more pleasing to the eye
    • better for climate in the city
    • better for global warming
    • better for absorbing and storing moisture
    • easier to maintain
    • okay so not so gorgeous in october, but I am assured that in spring and summer, the green trackways are quite beautiful and much appreciated by the citizens .

    DSCF2354

  • 3.  50 % of light rail riders own a car, thus have choice
  • 4.   40 % of operating costs are covered by fares