Before the elections, politicians in Prague promise to complete the ring road, metro D and parking lots
In addition to transport constructions, which are the biggest topic for most candidates, they all also want to focus on the issue of public transport and the financing of the transport company. They will look for savings so that they don't have to proceed with the previously mentioned fare hike, they agree. Only communists promise free public transport travel, which would mean an annual shortfall of roughly four billion crowns. The triple coalition (STAN, KDU-ČSL and SZ) wants a fare of 10 crowns per day.
Right-wing and left-wing candidates are also addressing the issue of homelessness and the environment in the pre-election race. They promise, among other things, greater safety in the streets and more greenery. Municipal elections will take place on October 10 and 11. Candidates from a record 31 parties and movements will compete for the posts of representatives in Prague.
1. Which project should be the city's investment priority in the upcoming election period and how should it be financed?
Adriana Krnáčová (YES): First of all, overpriced projects. We have to complete the Blanka tunnel, the Prague ring road and the connection to the airport. We also expect to build a treatment plant and will look for a way to finance it from European funds. We count on the involvement of the private sector, even with regard to opencard.
Miroslav Ludvík (ČSSD): For us, the construction of metro line D to Písnice is an investment priority. An investment in the amount of tens of billions is assumed to be necessary, therefore construction of such a scale must be financed from multiple sources with an emphasis on the use of money from European funds.
Marta Semelová (KSČM): Firstly, the completion of the Prague ring road, which should be financed from the state budget and from European funds. Second, the completion of the construction of the subway line A to Motola and the start of the construction of line D. Third, the reconstruction of the central wastewater treatment plant.
Bohuslav Svoboda (ODS): The municipality's operating expenses need to be reduced and duplicate official agendas merged wherever possible. I want to make the office slimmer and more efficient. The priorities definitely include metro D (but in a version 10 billion cheaper than now) and the completion of Prague's inner ring road. We expect to repair Šlecht's restaurant and the swimming area in Podolí.
Tomáš Hudeček (TOP 09): The investment priority is metro D, which has a valid zoning decision and the city is working on documentation for a building permit. We are negotiating with the EU and the state about funding. We will start construction of parking garages - first in Černý Most, Zličín and in Letňany. We plan to involve private capital. We want to spend a billion a year on road repairs.
Petr Štěpánek (Trial Coalition for the People of Prague): Parents and children lack places in kindergartens. The capital city and city districts will have to participate in the construction of new kindergartens. Metro D will be a priority among transport constructions.
Marek Černoch (Dawn of Direct Democracy): My priority is the immediate opening of the Blanka tunnel system, the gradual completion of the inner city ring and an effort to prepare the conditions for the ŘSD so that state-funded work on the outer ring can begin. Furthermore, the connection between Florenc and Ruzyně-Kladno airport and the construction of metro line D - the effort is to secure partial financing from the state and prepare the conditions for the possible drawing of money from EU funds.
2. What will you do to make the town hall more transparent and friendly to the public?
Adriana Krnáčová (YES): We want to completely change the approach of the town hall and authorities to citizens. Officials should be more accommodating. At the same time, we will open all meetings, including those of the city council. We also expect to meet with the people of Prague once a month. A review of contracts, an audit of investments and an overview of the city's assets must be a matter of course.
Miroslav Ludvík (ČSSD): We will enable people to handle official matters via the Internet. We will inform you about what we will spend public funds on in the budget, including detailed overviews of the city's income and expenses. Everyone will be able to control the awarding of public contracts and their progress. We will also support local referenda.
Marta Semelová (KSČM): We want to introduce proper registration, management and protection of city property, strengthen control during tendering procedures by the council and the public, prevent the sale of city property, publish information about contracts, cancel disadvantageous outsourcing of activities to external companies.
Bohuslav Svoboda (ODS): Prague must have a clickable budget, it must publish contracts. I will unequivocally push for the life cycle of the order to be on the website from its inception to the payment of the last invoice. The winners of tenders must be decided by electronic auctions.
Tomáš Hudeček (TOP 09): In the city management, we decided that not only the municipality, but gradually also the companies controlled by it will publish all contracts on the Internet. We will now demand that it be retroactive for the entire current election period. We want to complete purchases through electronic auctions, we support the central purchase of services for contributory organizations. We will thus achieve significant savings.
Petr Štěpánek (Trial Coalition for the People of Prague): I will promote maximum transparency. A maximum of public contracts must go through a public tender process with subsequent publication of all contracts and invoicing. The municipality, as an office, needs a career code so that officials can make qualified decisions.
Marek Černoch (Dawn of Direct Democracy): One of the tools is the register of contracts, thanks to which it will be possible to see the contracts concluded by the city. I consider it very important that the mayor communicates with citizens. It sounds like a cliché, but communication is what brings arguments, stimuli and people more confidence.
3. How do you feel about gambling, are you in favor of its restriction/zero tolerance? How do you feel about the still unresolved debate surrounding the change in the redistribution of gambling money?
Adriana Krnáčová (YES): It is a complex problem that is being solved at the national level. Municipalities have gained more powers and we would like to make maximum use of them. There is no reason for us to cultivate casinos, gambling and all the negative things that go with it in the center of Prague.
Miroslav Ludvík (ČSSD): We are in favor of reducing the number of gambling halls and casinos, including regulation of their operating hours. The current distribution of gambling funds based on the number of machines is not logical, it has nothing to do with sports. The distribution should take place according to the number of inhabitants of the given city district.
Marta Semelová (KSČM): I am for zero tolerance for gambling. The method of distributing gambling money to individual city districts in such a way that the more gambling halls and machines, the more money, is unacceptable to us. It does not motivate urban districts to limit gambling, but the opposite. We have repeatedly proposed a change.
Bohuslav Svoboda (ODS): Under my leadership, the city took a step that led to a reduction in the number of gambling halls by 305 places, and compared to the actual number of places where lotteries and other similar games are now operated, even to a reduction of 687 places. These steps show how I approach gambling and slots.
Tomáš Hudeček (TOP 09): Last year, we significantly reduced legal gambling in Prague. Thanks to the new decree, the number of gambling halls has been reduced by a full two-thirds. The decree also prohibited the operation of lotteries in restaurants. We want to further tighten the conditions for legal gambling. The aim is to allow only a limited number of casinos to operate.
Petr Štěpánek (Trojkoalice pro Pražany): We advocate zero tolerance for gambling, prevention and education for groups at risk of over-indebtedness and foreclosures, and free legal aid for people whose gambling addiction has actually become over-indebted.
Marek Černoch (Dawn of Direct Democracy): I have zero tolerance for gambling. But in this day and age, when a pathological gamer can sit at home at a computer and lose a paycheck, and since every prohibition brings a black market, I'm willing to discuss some compromise where conditions are met, such as gaming rooms out of reach of schools, etc.
4. What changes do you propose regarding public transport, fare prices and the operation of the transport company?
Adriana Krnáčová (YES): The network in Prague is of high quality, but we need to develop it further. Given the fact that Prague is one of the most visited cities, I would also like to see labels and timetables in English. We would check the economics of the transport company right after the elections, it will be necessary to break some ties with politicians and companies. We will not increase fares.
Miroslav Ludvík (ČSSD): We will keep fares free for passengers under 15 and over 65, and we will continue to prevent fare increases in public transport. We will expand the scope of public transport by starting the construction of route D, quickly complete the completion of metro route A, and continue the construction of new tram lines.
Marta Semelová (KSČM): We propose to introduce free public transport. As for the transport company, we want to preserve its integrity and develop its services. It is necessary to complete the construction of road rings and connected other roads, the construction of P+R parking lots on the outskirts of the city with connections to public transport.
Bohuslav Svoboda (ODS): The transport company is not managed effectively. The solution is offered by the example of railways, where private pressure has increased the quality of transport even on the state-owned Czech Railways. The involvement of private transporters is mainly offered for bus transport. The goal of the ODS is to reduce the cost of the transport company for the city coffers.
Tomáš Hudeček (TOP 09): We managed to stabilize the economy of the transport company, mainly thanks to the change in the contractual conditions for the supply of trams. Thanks to this, the pressure to increase fares has decreased. We will promote the creation of new all-day group tickets at discounted prices.
Petr Štěpánek (Trial Coalition for the People of Prague): Public transport plays (and will play) a key role in Prague transport. We want to make public transport significantly cheaper, we will promote subscription fares for CZK 10 per day. We believe that this will ultimately have a positive effect on the traffic situation and public budgets.
Marek Černoch (Dawn of Direct Democracy): Given that the people of Prague contribute to the functioning of public transport with their taxes, I would advocate certain advantages for residents. For example, a fare discount for an annual subscription and an advantage for Prague residents when using Opencard. The operation of the transport company is a political decision, there is a need for discussion and agreement within the new council and the council.
5. How do you want to solve the problem of homelessness, the increasing number of drug addicts, public houses?
Adriana Krnáčová (YES): Like any metropolis, Prague attracts many people in need. It is necessary to realize that anyone can become homeless. In general, it is advisable to expand the social network and help those who want to return to society. We will still offer solutions on how to cultivate the center, push out prostitution, drug addicts and the homeless, but I don't want to introduce them completely now.
Miroslav Ludvík (ČSSD): We want to focus on increasing prevention, not just pushing the problem aside with repressive methods. The problem of homelessness needs to be prevented above all by creating a functioning interception network and by supporting the field work of non-profit organizations. We will also increase the number of city police officers.
Marta Semelová (KSČM): A person must have an income, so we will focus on creating jobs, opportunities for community service, apartments with social rent, support for social services and centers with resocialization programs. Field work among drug addicts, after-treatment centers and prevention are necessary.
Bohuslav Svoboda (ODS): I want to focus on having more police officers on the streets. I would like to significantly expand asylum centers in the creation of social programs that will enable the fastest and dignified return to a full life. There should be a special center for the homeless in every city district.
Tomáš Hudeček (TOP 09): We cooperate with city districts and non-profit organizations. We allocated 60 million crowns for this. This winter, we started a targeted project where social workers offered basic treatment and shelter to the homeless directly in public transport vehicles. The key to success in solving the drug problem is the further expansion of cooperation with all city districts. Prague passed a law on the regulation of prostitution.
Petr Štěpánek (Trial Coalition for the People of Prague): We must prevent homelessness. We will renew the construction of municipal apartments, we will build 500 of them every year. The metropolis must join forces with the state, but also with non-profit organizations. The solution is, of course, prevention, the prevention of poverty in disadvantaged population groups. We will help non-profit organizations in the form of multi-year, predictable funding.
Marek Černoch (Dawn of Direct Democracy): It is primarily a problem of people who are not from Prague - 90 percent of them have permanent residence elsewhere. I will advocate for their return to permanent residence. If this route is unenforceable, I will request additional fees for services from the authorities of the relevant permanent residences of the homeless. Question of drug addicts? Increase the number of substitution centers, improve hygienic conditions and services.
6. What do you intend to do to improve the environment in Prague?
Adriana Krnáčová (YES): We want to improve the lives of the people of Prague in general, and not only in terms of the air , greenery and parks. We want a healthy, vital city where it will be possible to play sports, but also culturally and to sit in safety, for example on Wenceslas Square. A vital city means that we have 300 inhabitants per hectare, when that number drops, vital zones, small shops, parks and cafes are not built, where people go to, for example, here in Bubenč for buns in pyjamas.
Miroslav Ludvík (ČSSD): We will strive to preserve and revitalize existing recreation, green and water areas and support their further expansion and care. We will use funds from EU funds to implement measures to reduce energy consumption. We will advocate for the expansion of the collection of types of sorted waste.
Marta Semelová (KSČM): Unbearable traffic situations must be solved, waterways must be regularly cleaned, black dumps must be removed, weedy places must be recultivated and gardening settlements must be supported. We will expand the areas of the parks and improve the green banks of the Vltava. We will take measures to improve air cleanliness and reduce noise.
Bohuslav Svoboda (ODS): We want to dedicate ourselves to the reconstruction of city parks. We will promote the gradual reconstruction of Letná, Stromovka, Riegrovy sady, Karlovo náměstí and Petřín parks. We don't support blanket alcohol bans that target the homeless, but hit students and young families the hardest.
Tomáš Hudeček (TOP 09): We are promoting key conceptual documents that will ensure the improvement of the environment in Prague. The new spatial planning system will prevent the expansion of the city in width, thus saving the green belt around the city, ensuring new parks in places where people have a longer than 15-minute journey to the green.
Petr Štěpánek (Trial Coalition for the People of Prague): The Triple Coalition will promote anti-noise measures wherever the health of the people of Prague is threatened by excessive traffic. We will be absolutely consistent in protecting residents from fine flying dust from massive development construction and disruptive manufacturing. The goal is a clean Vltava so that the people of Prague can swim in it without fear.
Marek Černoch (Dawn of Direct Democracy): First of all, divert traffic from the center of Prague by completing city ring roads, increase the capacity of parking lots with transfer to public transport.
7. How will you control development construction? Will spatial planning change in any way? How do you prevent buying land, including municipal land?
Adriana Krnáčová (YES): Prague needs a clear long-term urban planning concept, a spatial plan that will not be created by godfathers and politicians, but by experts. The town hall must clearly state what concept the city will have, where it should develop and where it should grow. If this is not clear, they will continue to invest in overpriced nonsense that serves the godfathers, but not the people of Prague.
Miroslav Ludvík (ČSSD): We want to more strictly control and regulate new projects so that they do not reduce the quality of life of Prague citizens. We will reassess major projects based on their contribution to the city. By developing the spatial plan in more detail, we will protect green areas against construction and senseless densification.
Marta Semelová (KSČM): We will prevent developers from densifying the area with construction at the expense of greenery. We will not allow agricultural and other green areas to be subject to land speculation. We want to keep territorial reserves for the future with judicious construction closures. We will promote the financial participation of developers in the construction of the city's infrastructure.
Bohuslav Svoboda (ODS): The current state of territorial and construction regulation in the Czech Republic is due to the previous regime. We don't want to come up with a revolutionary solution. We prefer investments in greenery in places where there is dense construction. Buying land can only be prevented if you have their records online and for every individual sale of land or real estate you call a public auction, in which the only criterion will be the highest possible price.
Tomáš Hudeček (TOP 09): City planning is undergoing huge changes. The new metropolitan plan (territorial plan) that we have prepared will clearly determine the character of individual territories and will prevent machinations with land. So it will be completely understandable and predictable where further construction will be possible. It will not be possible to make purposeful changes in the spatial plan, as happened during the ODS government.
Petr Štěpánek (Trojkoalice pro Pražani): The city is working on a strategic plan, principles of territorial development, assignment of a spatial plan and a metropolitan plan at the same time. Anywhere they would get fired for that. We will proceed in a logical sequence. In the spatial plan, we will refer developers strictly to development areas on brownfields and we will try to protect all existing greenery from them.
Marek Černoch (Dawn of Direct Democracy): Developer construction on their private land can only be controlled by observing the spatial plan and valid regulations. As part of spatial planning, I would review the changes made. It is very difficult to prevent the purchase of land, I believe that it is always corruption, which I would severely punish if proven.