A proposal being considered by the local council of Budapest’s 7th district could require bars and clubs in the popular nightlife area to close as early as midnight, mno.hu reports. The 14-point proposal will be voted on by the council on Tuesday, and is likely to introduce stricter regulations in the district to address the concerns of local residents, many of whom have recently called for steps to be taken against disturbances caused by high tourist traffic in the neighborhood.
“The unpleasantness caused by increased tourist traffic has intensified once again in the past months, which is causing problems in the downtown especially in the summer period,” wrote the council. “The high number of visitors here requires extraordinary public sanitation and public order efforts from all actors.”
The council will be able to vote for a number of different measures affecting the district; bars could be forced to close as early as midnight, or could stay open with certain strict conditions until 2 am, 4 am or 6 am.
Among the stricter conditions would be:
- the requirement that each establishment place a security guard on the street,
- that bars with open doors or windows not play music,
- that all restrooms be made public and available, even for non-paying customers,
- that the opening of new establishments be consented to by the residents’ assembly of the building concerned,
- the requirement that permission to operate be contingent on the payment to the council of a maintenance fee, and that permission could be revoked if the establishment does not clean its adjacent sidewalk area several times daily.
The district will reportedly refuse to rent council-owned properties to businesses that will sell alcoholic beverages, and will not allow current tenants of its properties to begin doing so.
Trash cans on the streets will be replaced with larger ones, and more will be provided. More money will also be allocated to cleaning and sanitation in the district, and existing public toilets will be renovated and new ones added.
An increased police presence in the more heavily touristed areas will also reportedly be introduced.
Residents of the 7th district staged numerous demonstrations in recent months in support of regulations to curb noise, trash, drug dealing, prostitution and other problems associated with the proliferation of bars and pubs in the “party district.” Many residents complain of loud noise every night which lasts until morning, as well as uncontrolled public urination by party-goers and excrement on the streets. Bar and club owners, however, have argued that increased regulations would negatively impact their businesses. The party district reportedly employs some 10-12,000 people, and brought more than HUF 6 billion (USD 22.6 million) in tax revenue to the government in 2016.