Traffic in the Klang Valley isn’t getting any better, which is no surprise when one considers that over half a million new vehicles are released into the jungle that is our road network every year. High density developments are popping up everywhere to cater for the urban population boom (six million people in KL now, set to grow to 10 by 2020), and I shudder to think what our daily commute will be like a few years from now.
Something needs to be done to ensure KL roads don’t end up like Jakarta’s, and the work-in-progress Klang Valley MRT project can’t come soon enough. But the MRT alone isn’t enough, and our city planners are thinking of measures to ease congestion. One suggestion is to impose parking charges of up to RM40 per hour, Business Times reported.
According to Khairiah Mohd Talha, a board member for the Federal Department of Town and Country Planning, parking charges should be raised to encourage people to leave their cars at home and use public transport. This measure has proved to be successful in other countries, she said.
She said that Australia and Singapore charge A$40 (RM120) and S$40 (RM100) per hour, respectively, while in the USA, cities such as Boston and New York also charge US$40 (RM130) per hour. High parking charges would also help lower carbon emissions and create a safer environment, she added.
Now, we’re not sure if parking in these countries are as expensive as quoted, but public transport in Singapore and cities Down Under are much better than in KL, without a doubt.
The BT report adds that DBKL is currently reviewing parking needs in the city, especially in areas accessible to public transport. Mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal said the review includes reducing parking lots as public transportation “rises”.
Reducing parking lots and charging high fees for limited spots, do you think this measure will be successful in helping ease congestion? Bear in mind that the MRT will be ready soon, and coupled with the existing LRT lines (extension underway) and KTM Komuter service, Klang Valley will have a decent rail network in terms of coverage.