Much of the night-time disturbances occur in the vicinity of Dlouha street (pictured at the corner of Staroměstské náměstí). Credit: Daniel Baránek, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Prague Mayor Annuls Ban On Cars Entering Old Town During Night Hours

Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda has ordered the new signs banning private cars from entering parts of the Old Town to be invalidated, and has referred the ban, imposed by the Prague 1 local authority, for review by the City Hall’s traffic department, he said after a meeting of Prague district mayors yesterday.

The signs will be invalidated by crossing them out, said Svoboda (ODS).

Martin Sedeke (ODS), who chairs the transport committee in the City Assembly, said the City has already requested an information file about the installation of the signs from the Prague 1 District Council, which, according to Sedeke, had used the road law prematurely.

The District Council had the signs installed on Thursday night, prohibiting entry into a large part of the historical Old Town between 10pm and 6am, with the aim of reducing the noise that disturbs local residents at night. Svoboda said the City Hall had been unaware of Prague 1’s intentions.

“I will have the signs invalidated and the problem will be handed over to the city’s traffic department,” Svoboda said. “And until I have their opinion closed, discussed even at the level of the capital and the district, this decision will stand.” 

Sedeke said the City Hall has review authority over the districts’ decisions, so a review has now been initiated to see if this decision is in accordance with the law.

“I personally believe that there was an expedient use of a part of the road law, and so I believe that such a decision is unlawful,” Sedeke added.

According to Prague 1 councillor Vojtech Ryvola (ANO), residents of Dlouha Street, where a number of nightlife venues are located, have long complained about noise. Amid the ban, public transport operators, local residents, and taxi services could still enter the area, but everyone could be stopped and their eligibility of entry checked by officers, Ryvola told CTK on Thursday.

He said that the district had already consulted with the police, receiving their consent.

According to Ryvola, the target of the ban is mainly the young people who like to drive around the Old Town in powerful cars at night or hold races in the vicinity of Dlouha. The measure gives the city police a tool to launch systematic checks and start fining those who see nighttime trips to the historic centre as just a frolic. “It’s the simplest thing we can do for now,” Ryvola said.

Prague Mayor Annuls Ban On Cars Entering Old Town During Night Hours
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