Over the last few months, drivers in Krakow have been finding it increasingly difficult to find a parking spot as the three car parks closest to the city centre have been taken out of circulation and no new spaces have been made available. In January, Grzegorz Stawowy, head of the city’s planning and environment committee was quoted in Gazeta Wyborcza as saying that a “communication catastrophe” awaits the city, with the prospect of drivers having to hunt down and pounce on increasingly rare parking spaces.
The first of the three car parks, on the Maly Rynek, was closed in 2007 for an expensive renovation carried out for the 750th anniversary of Krakow receiving Magdeburg rights. Plac Szczepański followed suit this year with the city promising to turn it into Krakow’s “guest room” in order to relieve the pressure on the Rynek. How this will happen remains to be seen, as at the moment however, Plac Szczepański, like the Mały Rynek, is a dead space according to Bogulsaw Krzeczkowski, head of the district councillors.
Finally, earlier this year the largest of the three car parks, a massive site that stretches between Karmelicka and Dolnych Młynow streets, was closed down in preparation for the building of a new 120 million zloty four star hotel and leisure facility. The situation looks unlikely to improve as the city’s development strategy foresees further restrictions on parking spaces in and around the city centre.