The Return of Prague’s Night-Time Driving Ban

The city district of Prague 1 is making a fresh attempt to restrict night-time vehicle access to part of the Old Town. An ordinance proposal has been put up on the city district’s official board, aiming to quieten the area around Dlouhá, Revoluční, and Dvořákovo nábřeží streets between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Last autumn, a similar ordinance was invalidated by the Prague City Hall, a situation that the city district says should not repeat itself this time.

The ordinance’s rationale involves changing traffic signs on streets such as Králodvorská, Dlouhá, Soukenická, Kozí, Pařížská, Břehová, Revoluční, Dvořákovo nábřeží and 17. listopadu. According to Terezie Radoměřská, the mayor of the first city district, the introduction of these signs would help calm this key part of the Old Town. The ordinance would apply to all motor vehicles except transport services.

Last year, a similar ordinance was canceled by the Prague City Hall department. “We have discussed the proposal with the City Hall in advance and subsequently adjusted it according to their comments,” says Vojtěch Ryvola, the Deputy for Transport for Prague 1. However, he admits that the material mainly underwent formal changes and in principle, it represents an identical measure.

The installation of prohibition signs with an additional panel in November last year surprised the City Hall management. Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda stated that he was not informed about the action. Shortly after the ordinance was canceled, Prague 1 announced its intentions to reintroduce the ban.

According to Prague 1, the ordinance should be effective no later than June. The public can currently comment on it. The proposal was prompted by people complaining about night-time noise disturbances or blocked reserved parking. According to the justification, its goal is to “maintain a calm and safe environment for the comfort of residents, protect the environment and overall quality of life.”