When Europe Bans Cars, Croatia Does the Opposite

Total Croatia News

Is a new parking incentive in Čakovec sending out the wrong message?

Čakovec boasts itself as a proud mid-European city. But is it really? Located in North Croatia, Čakovec was famous during the Yugoslavia times as the most beautiful small city in the Republic. Now, it’s fame is ill-advised as Čakovec was rated last as the most insecure city to live in Croatia

The sources of the problems are multiple and we will get to them another time, but just how smart is Čakovec today?

County of Međimurje, and Čakovec, are proud to say they’re clean, smart, developed and open for new ideas. Is it true?

Communal company Čakom is a publicly owned (100% owned by the city of Čakovec) firm that controls, collects and maintains the parking problem in Čakovec. As a bright new idea, how to generate buzz, create interest in people to come to the city center they’ve come up with this

“If you come by car downtown and spend over 50 kuna in one of the partner’s shops, bars, or whatever, partners will deduct a 1 hour of parking from the total sum on your bill.”

Just read it again. If you spend more than 50 kuna, you’ll get a 3 kuna discount. Yes, that’s the barrier, that people who work in Čakom believe, responsible for the lack of monetary spending in Čakovec. Yes, modern cities do tend to encourage visitors and people to come downtown by cars and yes it is even in the direction of creating an interesting tourist destination.

Or it’s not. In Europe the general idea is to lessen the amount of “motorized” traffic in the city centers, to call for pedestrians and other means of transport to get there, and to promote a safe and pollutant free city.

The trend is to create a safe and clean environment. On one hand, the city has built the first local network of e-bikes for rent (which we will get to next time) and they promote Čakovec as a bike – friendly destination. On the other hand, they ban cycling in the main pedestrian zone, the city park “Zrinski” and welcome car drivers with subventions and promotions.


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