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City Officials Planning Paid-Parking Expansion

Moscow authorities plan to dramatically increase the amount of paid parking in the city center and charge steeper fines for drivers whose cars get towed, a city transportation official said Tuesday.

"We will try to make all parking spaces inside the Garden Ring paid-parking spots over the course of 2013," Maxim Liksutov, deputy Moscow mayor for transportation, told Interfax.

Liksutov said authorities have already laid out more than 3,000 new parking spots within the Boulevard Ring that will become paid starting May 1.

City officials also envisage a policy that would begin in June and charge Muscovites 5,000 rubles ($160) if their cars are towed for being incorrectly parked, the report said.

City Hall's plans to introduce paid parking comes as city residents are getting used to a pilot project on 21 central streets around Ulitsa Petrovka, where motorists have been obligated to pay 50 rubles an hour since Nov. 1.

Parking elsewhere remains free except in designated parking zones.

The project is the city's first attempt to get parking revenue using automated payment terminals, and it is designed to discourage drivers from bringing their cars into the overcrowded city center.

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