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According to the court, abolition of two-way cycle streets and introduction of “blue zones” in Karlín violated the law

11/09/2018

The anticipated decision of the Prague Municipal Court stipulated that the general measure that introduced the first stage of paid parking (blue zones) in Karlín while abolishing Karlín’s two-way cycle streets was issued in violation of the law. The Prague 8 Municipal District has 90 days from the date of the final decision to issue a new measure. The petitioner was represented by our Štěpán Holub.

In the case at hand, the association 
Auto*mat and two other individuals demanded that the two-way cycle streets in Karlín, i.e., streets where cars can only travel in one direction while cyclists can travel in both, not be abolished. Although the intention of the legal action was not to contest the establishment of blue zones, it was not possible to separate their introduction from the petition because the two-way cycle streets were abolished by the same general measure that introduced paid parking for automobiles.

The court reproached the Prague 8 Municipal District in several places, specifically: the draft measure failed to duly justify the proposed change; traffic signs put in place in the area of the Negrelli viaduct were confusing; and, moreover, the municipal district failed to request the standpoint from the monument care authority required before parking could be introduced around the viaduct, which is technical monument. The court also criticized the vagueness of the measure from 2017 which “corrected” the measure from 2016, although it was not clear what state was in fact being changed – i.e., whether the one from 2012 or the one from 2016.

The court further stated that the rule set out in the measure from 2016 was replaced by a rule set out in the measure from 2017, thereby making it impossible for the court to address the proposal to abolish the measure from 2016, as, in its opinion, this measure ceased to exist according to the principle of "lex posterior derogat priori". Based on the decision, no measure will be effective once the decision comes into force. Thus, in effect, the regime applicable to Karlin’s streets prior to 2016 was reinstated.

According to the court, the municipal district has ample time to issue a new general measure and not have to undertake the expensive endeavour of removing existing signs.