Inspired by the advanced parking policies in developed EU countries, the local government decided to develop a large paid on-street parking system (blue zone divided on 2 parts) in the central part of the city thus encompassing the historical city center. The municipal company "Municipal Parks and Blue Zone" that is actually responsible for the operation and maintenance of 13 paid parking lots and the short-stay parking areas will manage the new Blue zone. The repatriation of improperly parked and end-of-life vehicles is also part of the company's obligations. Its staff will be increased with 105 people and a part of the actual staff was trained in the frames of LAST MILE. The Varna Вlue zone integrates a lot of innovations introduced for the first time in a city of Bulgaria. The new system will be implemented on 2 stages:
Stage 1: Total number of parking places - 3,000; Parking places for people with disabilities - 110; Parking places for electric cars - 20; Permits for residents in the area - 2500; Permits for companies in the area - 200; Business subscription in Zone 1 - 100; Business subscription outside Zone 1 - up to 150;
Stage 2: Total number of parking places - 4,000; Parking places for people with disabilities - 150; Parking places for electric cars - 24; Permits for residents in the area - 3500; Permits for companies in the area - 100; Business subscription in Zone 2 - 100; Subscription outside of Zone 1 and Zone 2 - up to 50.
The parking area will have shared and reserved places. The public parking spaces will be designed for residents, companies and visitors. Savings will be leased to companies and their number will be limited. Certain parking places will be marked and used only by police cars, the municipality, and disabled people. The working time will be from 9:00 to 19:00 h. On weekends and holidays parking will be free of charge.
The project envisages the installation of road and information signs, the laying of a horizontal marking; purchase of light commercial electric cars for parking control; purchase and installation of charging stations for electric vehicles; technical means of brackets; purchase of hybrid cars for teams in charge of parking "Business Subscription" and "Paid Parking"; purchase of specialized Spider-type cars; Call center equipment.
The value of the project is € 2 705 000, as the municipal budget will be invested € 572 000 and the remaining € 2 133 000 through a bank loan from the EBRD.
The preliminary calculations show possible reducing with 30% of the congestions, noise, air pollution and road accidents in city central part. The narrow streets and curved roads in the historical part of Varna being full of parked cars caused many road accidents.
It will strengthen the use of e-cars, because their parking in the Blue zone will be free-of-charge and there will be 11 charging stations.
Finally it will improve the landscape, thus increasing the attractiveness of the public spaces and making Varna more attractive destination for tourists.