Residents of the north Tallinn district of Kalamaja, and neighboring areas, have voiced their opposition to the widening of the central Tallinn paid-only on-street parking zone to incorporate their area.
In a questionnaire organized by the North Tallinn district of the city government, 71 percent of Kalamaja residents polled said they were opposed to the move, with the majority of the remainder in support, ERR's online news in Estonian reports. A small number of respondents said they had no strong opinion on the matter.
Kalamaja lies to the west of Tallinn city center, immediately adjacent to the harbor district and between it and the Kopli peninsula (see map).
In neighboring Kelmiküla, just to the south of Kalamaja and delineated by Telliskivi street and the northwestern edge of the Old Town, paid parking met with less opposition, at 56 percent of respondents, compared with 24 percent who expressed no firm stance and 20 percent opposed.
A total of 1,854 people took part in the questionnaire, though 234 of these did not live in or near those streets which would switch to paid parking under the current proposal. These people's views were reportedly taken into account separately by the city government.
The vast majority of respondents were polled online, though paper responses were accepted too.
The survey results are to be forwarded to the city government's transport department.
This is not the first time on-street paid parking has been proposed in Kalamaja at least. In 2010, the authorities attempted to introduce paid parking, citing the high volume of parked cars in an area which is within walking distance of the city center, and associated issues. However, residents then rejected both the plan and any compromise, and the districts streets have retained free parking down to the present.
Mandatory paid parking has been in force in streets in the City Centre (Kesklinn) and Old Town (Vanalinn) and some adjacent areas for several years. The most common method of payment utilizes a mobile phone. Short stays are permissible, with drivers having to mark their parked time using a cardboard clock placed on the dashboard, should they wish to avoid picking up a ticket.
While North Tallinn has remained outside this zone to date, some paid parking lots operate in the area, for instance on Telliskivi street (where on-street parking is restricted for traffic flow reasons).
Kalamaja is a largely residential district, which has been highly sought after for over a decade. It is characterized by large, wooden houses, principally built in the early 20th century, interspersed with new builds. The older houses often, but not always, have backyards utilized for residents' parking. Many of the new builds in the area will have underground parking included.
Editor: Andrew Whyte