The city of Dubrovnik is tightening the rules on noise nuisance, with a series of new measures announced by Mayor Mato Franković at a recent citizens’ assembly. According to Croatian media Jutarnji, the move comes after legal changes made it possible for local governments to sanction noise, which was previously the responsibility of the health inspection authorities.
Besides installing decibel metres on the streets of the Old City to monitor establishments’ sound levels, the famous coastal town will no longer allow tourists to bring wheeled suitcases on its old cobblestoned streets.
The most important thing is that Dubrovnik has stopped being a city of excessive tourism, although we still have a lot of work left.Mato Franković, Mayor of Dubrovnik
Starting this summer, tourists will have to carry their suitcases instead of wheeling them around or face a €265 fine. As of November, designated luggage storage areas will be set up for tourists to leave their suitcases at. The city will then arrange for transportation to the visitors’ accommodation, free of charge.
“This is just the beginning, the ultimate goal is to create a logistics centre within the airport, after which all the luggage of Dubrovnik visitors will be transported from Ćilipo directly to the guests’ addresses”, Franković told Jutarnji. After the storage facilities are implemented, tourists will no longer be allowed to bring suitcases to the city, regardless of whether they are wheeling or carrying them.
The city will also be cracking down on cafés, restaurants and bars, the first to feel the consequences being a well-known bar called Cele. For legal entities, the €1,327 fine is supplemented by the seizure of public spaces, i.e. terraces, for 7 days for the first offence, 30 days for the second, and permanently closing down the terrace area after the third offence.
Terraces are vital for the establishments in the city centre, so even a 7-day closure has a significant financial impact. “The first calculation is that Cele will lose €70,000 because of this move, so let people be careful in the future if they want to continue being fully operational”, Franković warned. The noise level allowed in outdoor areas is 55 decibels.
Changes will also be made to the delivery system to the historic city centre. Currently, deliveries are only allowed between 5 and 7:30 in the morning and no more than 10 trucks are allowed to be in the centre at the same time. The city plans to take over these deliveries, acquiring electric vehicles and hiring staff especially for this purpose. The same vehicles and couriers will also take tourists’ luggage to their accommodation.