In the future, parking would only be allowed in marked spaces in the city centre
The parking reform would be implemented with regional road signs prohibiting the parking of shared electric scooters and bicycles. The restricted area is planned to cover the Hesperia Esplanade and the area south of the Pitkäsilta bridge in the city centre. To the west, the border would run along the Lauttasaari bridge.
The restricted area only covers roughly 4% of Helsinki's area, but nearly half of the micromobility vehicles in Helsinki were parked in this area during the 2022 summer season. The area is also one of the densest in the city, which is why the large number of scooters has raised difficulties.
The plans propose that, in the future, the so-called micromobility vehicles for rent should only be allowed to park in marked spaces in this area. The restricted area would be marked using road signs with text located at the borders of the area, and the available parking spaces would be marked with their own road signs.
250 parking areas for the city centre
Parking spaces are proposed to be placed on squares, marketplaces and roadside parking areas. There would be an estimated 250 parking areas, of which 130 would be in car parking spaces. As a rule, 1–2 existing car parking spaces at these sites would be transformed into micromobility parking spaces, and they could also be used for temporary snow storage in winter, if necessary.
Contracts for the use of the parking areas
The city will make contracts with the micromobility operators for the use of the new parking areas if the reforms are approved.
The contracts would specify the maximum number of each operator's vehicles in the restricted area, charges for the use of the parking spaces and oblige the operators to create a geofenced parking area, in which parking would only be allowed in the parking spaces specified by the city.
The charges collected from the operators would cover the expenses of the parking reform. The reform has been planned in cooperation with the micromobility operators. In practise, non-contracted operators would not be able to operate in the restricted area without breaking the traffic law, as parking the scooters or bikes of the operators in question would be forbidden. The parking control has prepared to relocate any scooters or bikes violating the parking restriction based on the vehicle relocation act.
A clear majority of survey respondents considered the reform necessary
In early 2023, we held a survey to gather comments on the reform from residents. A clear majority of the respondents to the survey considered the reform necessary, but opinions were divided regarding the decrease in the number of car parking spaces.
”This reform aims to deal with the inconveniences caused by the parking of micromobility vehicles. If the reforms go through, parking on the pavement will be against the traffic law in the restricted area. The restrictions would not apply to personal electric scooters or bikes owned by the residents,” says Reetta Putkonen, Head of Traffic and Street Planning.
The city will also continue to work with the Ministry of Transport and Communications to promote legislative changes for better governance of micromobility services. The Ministry has requested that statements be submitted by 31 March for a memorandum proposing legislative changes regarding electric scooters and micromobility.
The Urban Environment committee will consider the reforms in their meeting on Tuesday 14 March.
If the committee approves the reform, the office holders will be appointed for the traffic arrangements and road signs will be installed as soon as possible.