Monday May 2, 2011
Move to create more parking space in PJ
Story and photo by EDWARD R. HENRY
TRAFFIC congestion and the problem of insufficient parking space which are the bane of those who work and do business in the commercial area of PJ New Town can be overcome if the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) applies an innovative approach.
MCA Selangor Public Complaints Bureau deputy chairman Kelvin Chong Seng Foo said the council’s traffic sub-committee must be innovative and go down to the ground to reassess the current parking bays and not pin the blame solely on street hawkers for hogging the lots.
In recent news reports, street hawkers were blamed for taking up several parking bays in PJ New Town, thereby contributing to the traffic congestion and depriving motorists of parking space.
“Our bureau would like to advise the current councillors to walk around PJ New Town and see for themselves the traffic congestion and not make decisions from the boardroom.
“From their walkabout, the committee will understand the situation and be able to rearrrange and see the potential areas that can be converted for extra parking bays,” he said.
Chong, who is an adviser to developers on parking bay designs, said there were existing parking lots that could be changed from L-parking to side parking which could accommodate more vehicles.
On Friday, he conducted a one-hour survey in PJ New Town’s commercial area and found that certain road curbs were too wide and it deprived motorists of parking space.
“Some pavements that measure two metres are too wide and could be reduced to 1.2m which is the national standard measurement. This will free up space on the roadside for vehicles to park. Height of curbs can be maintained if we want to ensure safety,” he said.
Chong highlighted Jalan Lapangan Merdeka, opposite Menara MBPJ, as the one area where parking space was direly needed. He said the planter boxes and the pavement could be moved back, thus providing enough space to create 20 parking bays.
“Freeing up space for parking is not new, we can learn a lot from seeing townships such as Zhuhai in China where the town planning department has done a good job in providing good landscape and ample parking bays,” he added.
Chong urged MBPJ to consider building a three-storey parking facilitiy in the current open space in Jalan 52/6 that now accomodates 60 vehicles.
“MBPJ may not have the financial capacity to build the multi-storey carpark but the council can privatise it. With the new carpark, it will be able to have 300 parking lots and the council can lease the facility to the builder for a set number of years and earn a commission,” he said.
He said the venture was a win-win situation where the council could overcome the parking congestion for a period of time and the builder could get back his investment and make a profit after the fourth-year of operation.
“We must fully utilise the space we have,” he reiterated.