CITY COUNCIL ADMITS URGENT ACTION IS NEEDED

PALMA is 35'020 car parking spaces short and 18 percent of the capital's inhabitants cannot find a space to park their cars legally near where they live overnight. The Mayor of Palma, Joan Fageda yesterday presented the results of a study “Parking in the city of Palma” and in short, there are either too many cars, 807 per 1'000 people, or not enough parking spaces. Fageda admitted that he has always been aware of the need for more parking, but never knew the true scale of the problem. But, faced with a city with the highest number of cars per capita in Europe and a serious lack of space to build more parking spaces, the Mayor said that the study has left the city council with little choice but to boost public transport. In the city there are 198'804 registered vehicles “all parked next to each other and occupying 9 per cent of the city - if they were all parked in a line, they would stretch for 795 kilometres” according to Jose Maria Rodriguez who was in charge of the study. One of the biggest traffic problems in the city is caused by hire cars and by having most of the large institutions which employ hundreds of people based in the city centre. The worst area of the capital is the city centre where there are 20'091 inhabitants, but out of the 15'990 parking spaces, only 6'455 are for residents. The study has recommended that the city council take urgent action and Mayor Fageda said yesterday that there are three plans on the table for new underground car parks in Palma which will provide an extra 2'608 spaces. But while the city council will set about looking at how and where more spaces can be built, the Mayor is going to start lobbying for a tram or railway service which will run the length of the Bay of Palma and eventually have a link into the centre of the city.

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