Prague's new nighttime no-go zone may ban vehicles from part of Old Town

A new no-go zone aims to crack down on excess noise in the area and improve residents’ quality of life. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.11.2023 11:38:00 (updated on 25.11.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

UPDATE: As of Friday afternoon, Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda has said he will invalidate the new signs that ban cars' entry to parts of the Old Town. He wants to further examine the proposed ban and discuss with city officials if it is actually needed. Svoboda said that the City of Prague had been unaware of Prague 1's plans, even though Prague 1 gained the police's consent to impose the restrictions. He has therefore overruled the City Hall of Prague 1's decision.

Starting tonight, significant parts of Prague’s Old Town will be off-limits to motorists during night hours under plans to reduce noise in the center of Prague. The decision by the City Hall of Prague 1 aims to safeguard residents and improve their overall quality of life amid long-running noise complaints.

Prohibited access to major roads

Prague has installed several signs that prohibit vehicle entry to certain streetin Prague 1 between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The restricted zone encompasses Pařížská, Dlouhá, Rybná, Břehová, and Kozí streets. It also includes the entirety of the Jewish Quarter and Na Františku Hospital. The new rule applies to cars, motorcycles, vans, and trucks.

Emergency, maintenance, and repair vehicles are able to enter the area at any time. The entry ban does not apply to taxi drivers. Residents of the no-go area or people who own businesses in the no-traffic zone are also free from the new restriction.

Cutting down on noise

According to Prague 1 district spokesperson Karolina Šnejdarová, city police authorities will actively monitor compliance, halting drivers during nighttime hours to ensure adherence to traffic signs and to ascertain reasons for violating the ban. Fines will be issued for any drivers accessing the area at night, unless they are on the list of exempt vehicles.

The decision to create a no-go night zone stems from reported instances of sports car races; authorities want to curb activities that disrupt the peace and safety of the area. Narrow roads and the relatively high concentration of nightclubs and bars in the area – especially on Dlouhá Sreet – continue to cause serious noise issues for residents.

The new zone reflects prior attempts by Prague 1 to temporarily limit non-resident motor access to Dlouhá and surrounding streets over weekends, marking the district's ongoing efforts to regulate and assess traffic-related matters.

The district has already erected multiple signs warning people – mainly tourists – not to drink in parts of the Old Town and to keep noise to a minimum after 10 p.m. Prague 1’s introduction of a noise meter for vehicles on Dlouhá Street in 2018 inadvertently encouraged drunken people to “test” it by shouting loudly. 

This new regulation represents a proactive effort by Prague 1 to enhance the area's livability, with a review of the no-go zone’s effectiveness scheduled in one year’s time.

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