Car parks and parking spaces have long been a hot topic of discussion in Monaco. Waiting lists are long and certain residents have to wait years before finally being given one of the coveted spots. At the same time, the Princely Government encourages the use of public transport and other environmentally friendly means of getting around.

In Monaco, there are 17,000 public car parking spaces, but as requests for spaces increase from residents, authorities are finding it increasingly difficult to satisfy everyone’s needs. In fact, the Public Car Parks Office currently has 6,000 residents’ requests on its waiting list.

“Every month I write to the car park service enquiring about my request and they tell me that they are currently dealing with requests from 2016,” explains Corinne, a 60-year-old resident who is in desperate need of a place to park her car. “I’ve managed to get a card that I top up as I go along, but the daily parking charges are costing me so much money with the current parking rates.”

Parking somewhere for several days is still very tricky in Monaco and it’s practically illegal in France

More than 6,000 requests put on waiting list

“I think Monaco Car Parks or the Town Hall should ensure that every apartment comes with at least one parking space, if they are in a block that doesn’t have its own garage or private car park,” says Riccardo, a 40-year-old suffering from heart failure. “I’m in no way prioritised because of my health problems,” explains the local who is still trying to get his own parking space. For now, he has decided to rent a lock-up garage in France, more than four kilometres from his house, as well as sell one of his three cars. “Parking somewhere for several days is still very tricky in Monaco and it’s practically illegal in France… my car was impounded after I parked it for only a couple of days in a car park in Cap d’Ail.

It is important to strike the balance between equity and general interest

The issue of cars left in public car parks for long periods of time

In Monaco, some vehicles are parked for long periods of time and other people are unable to use these spots. The Principality is currently trying to solve the issue of vehicles, whose owners seem to have permanently “reserved” some parking places. At the moment, almost 400 vehicles fall into this category.

Earlier this year, the Princely Government wanted to make this issue a fineable offence of 60 euros, but in the end decided such a measure would not be enforced. “I am hoping that a constructive dialogue can be established,” says Marie-Pierre Gramaglia, Minister of Equipment, Environment, and Urban Planning, as she explains her desire to reevaluate the measure. “It is important to strike the balance between equity and general interest.”

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Use your car, but no more than 15 times!

In Monaco, people who use their cars no more than 15 times a month get ten euros taken off their monthly bill. However, with reward schemes and punishments being used at the same time, drivers are sometimes getting a little lost and have taken to social media with their criticism. “I have seen these comments and received letters from drivers expressing their lack of understanding,” says Marie-Pierre Gramaglia, before reminding that “using your car all the time can not be the only option for getting around: the Government’s policies still very much favour the use of public transport and encourage soft mobility, particularly walking which is facilitated by a wide network of mechanical installations and the development of the Monabike cycling service.”

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“Living in Monaco without a car is very easy, but in my opinion it is essential to own one in order to do shopping, go to appointments outside of the Principality, as well as for any other emergencies,” says a 49-year-old resident, who has one petrol-powered car and is patiently waiting for her own parking space. She has been on the waiting list as a salaried employee in Monaco for seven years, and for the last three as a resident. “I thought that the Government’s desire to make people pay more for a space, if they didn’t use their vehicle at least once a month, was very fair, but after negative responses from some selfish people, the measure was never introduced, which is a great shame.”

Some residents, such as Gianfranco, are investing in hybrid vehicles, which are more environmentally friendly. “I asked Monaco Public Car Parks if it was possible for me to have a space, as I was unable to charge my electric car at home and the other charging points were far from my house.” Grianfranco was left with no choice but to fill his car up with petrol: “it’s a shame that the Principality supports eco-friendly initiatives, but the people living here can’t always make the most of them.”

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