I understand why the municipality is in a hurry. He fears a waterbed effect. It’s their turn one neighborhood further north and you don’t want everyone to move their car en masse to free zones. Equal monks, equal caps. I am curious about the motive. Paid parking should be the solution to a problem. Relieving pressure on busy areas, reducing parking pressure, caring about air quality. These are relevant themes in the Groningen city centre. But there is no parking pressure in Hoornse Meer, while that is the aim of the Groningen parking policy. It is a quiet, spacious suburb with lots of greenery and little through traffic. There is parking space. Even at the many public charging stations – because the municipality of Groningen does that very well – I can almost always go. In the heart of Amsterdam, despite a parking fee of 7.50 per hour, that becomes quite a task, I found out this weekend. That’s how effective paid parking is, cough. According to the responsible alderman, a Groenlinks man, there is a reason, I see on RTV Noord. He wants room for green, I read. He wants to reclaim public space. And he thinks that ‘parking a private property in public space’ does not have to be ‘per se free’. Wait a second. It can’t get much greener than it is there now. The public space was already no problem. The third argument is painfully chafing. Who parks on the street here? People without their own driveway. Anyone who had enough money for their own yard does not need a parking permit, while people without can now pay 50 euros per year. For someone in a social rental home, it is yet another cost item in a household budget that already leaves little room for cars. And I think it’s unequal treatment. Again you make the least fortunate bleed for your political goals. ‘Again’, yes. This was already the case with the low addition for EVs, and with the purchase subsidies for privately purchased plug-in cars, it is again the better-off who benefit unilaterally from tax advantages. They receive an average monthly salary as a gift with a car that is unattainable for average incomes. It is an interesting question how this state of affairs relates to the traditional Dutch profit principle that as a government you can put a price tag on facilities that benefit the citizenry. Whether that is the case here seems to me very questionable. Do you know why you parked for free in Hoornse Meer? Because you live five kilometers from the Groningen city center. We are officially a suburb of the city, but actually a village where, depending on your age and condition or the weather conditions, you are more often dependent on bicycle, public transport or car. Before choosing to live here, and you did so because a house used to be affordable there, you had already paid the price in time and money. That is why cities used to have the decency to draw a border and leave the edges of the city alone. They are now past that shame, but the residents will get very little in return. It doesn’t even get cheap at 2.40 an hour. It makes sense that my neighbors are furious. They feel robbed. An earlier petition against the introduction has already been signed more than a thousand times. Justifiably.