Gagik Aghbalyan

Yerevan’s Illegal Parking Barriers: Hindering Traffic and Creating Headaches for Drivers

Gagik Aghbalyan

Drivers looking for a place to park in Yerevan often encounter a variety of barriers placed on the street by local retail business owners, banks, and other organizations. It’s as if they own not only the sidewalks, but curb space as well.  

The parking barriers come in various forms; ranging from the aesthetic, to a chair, a pile of bricks, or whatever else is at hand.

It’s an unwritten entitlement that has irked many seeking to park their cars in Yerevan.

A month ago, the Traffic Police of Armenia toured the country’s capital and recorded a video, asking businesses and others to remove illegally placed parking barriers.

Article 140 of the RA Code on Administrative Offenses envisages a fine of AMD 30,000 for creating obstacles for traffic. Offenders were warned they’d be fined if the barriers weren’t removed.

Hetq went out to check if anything has changed after the tour.

In some places, traffic hindering objects have been removed. However, though the Czech Embassy and Mellat Bank employees were warned a month ago, the parking barriers are still standing in front of their buildings to assure employees and staffers parking spots.

The Embassy of the Czech Republic is not the only foreign diplomatic mission violating the law.

A section of Melik-Adamyan Street is filled with parking barriers of the Embassy of Switzerland. 

Neighbors of the Swiss Embassy, the Central Office of the Republican Party of Armenia and the Government Building, also reserve spaces in front of their buildings in Melik-Adamyan Street. 

Other state bodies also prefer to dictate their own traffic rules. In front of the State Committee of Real Estate Cadastre office, the parking barriers are in place during most of the day, ensuring parking spaces for the board of directors.  

The situation is the same near the State Cadastre Committee. Here, parking spaces are reserved for the Armenian-Russian Cossack Union and DOSAAF staff.

According to the RA Law on Local Taxes for Parking Vehicles, individuals and legal entities may apply to the community leader for having a parking space in the territory specified by the city council and pay monthly or annual fee.

The fee is calculated based on the number of parking spaces in the parking lot and the rate of one vehicle as set by the council.

Individuals and legal entities who pay for the entire parking area may limit the right of others to parking in the parking lot. For example, Mellat Bank has paid the local fee and has the right to reserve the parking lot for its own vehicles or bank visitors. However, they are not allowed to place parking barriers.

There are companies that also use parking barriers, but they do not pay for the parking space. By placing the barriers, they illegally deprive drivers, who have paid the local fee, of the right to use the paid parking space.

To find out whether the company blocking the parking lot pays the local fee, the presence of the appropriate sign should be checked in the parking lots.

ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank, which is Armenia’s third largest taxpayer, is among the companies that do not pay any parking fees. 

Another is Samvel Karapetyan's Tashir Group. It has seized several parking lots on Teryan Street, reserving the space for the rare visits of the company’s top brass.