Public Should Have Been Consulted First Over KL Parking Limitalmost 2 years ago
KUALA LUMPUR: Life in the city is definitely becoming more frustrating and more expensive, what with the authorities busy with coming up with more and more restrictions to annoy its people.
On Saturday, Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor broke the unwelcomed news that beginning July 16, Kuala Lumpur City Hall would impose a two-hour limit for the public to park around the central business district areas.
Claiming that this was to reduce traffic congestion, he said parking rates would also go up to RM2 for the first hour and RM3 for the second hour.
Predictably, traders’ associations, shop owners, and members of the public in the area reacted angrily to the news with Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng claiming City Hall had not consulted nor told them about this earlier.
According to news portal FMT, Lim said the minister “must explain what he stands to gain” from this “rushed policy”.
Lim added that residents and shop owners should first be told about any studies that were carried out and those who needed to park for more than two hours should be given alternatives.
Under the new ruling, people who want to park more than two hours won't even be able to top up the meter and their cars may even get clamped.
The MP said the new rates represented a drastic increase of 150% and 275% respectively, and he suggested that residents and business owners be given exemptions from the time limit, with rates discounted to previous levels.
Lim said the city should have waited for the completion of the new mass rail transit project before imposing new traffic rules as it was likely the MRT would reduce congestion.
However, it must be pointed out that other countries have also imposed parking limits and London even has half-hour maximum spots.
But to be fair to everyone, the authorities should have consulted the people beforehand instead of making snap unilateral decisions like this.
Businesses, already hit by GST imposition last year, will be claiming that their businesses will suffer more. After all, shoppers typically take more than 2 hours to walk up and down Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and it is unlikely people will be bringing the children and the elderly for a day out if they don't drive.
And how much shopping can get done if one has to rely on public transportation? Wait for buses in the hot sun or haggle with cabbies over how much to pay, especially for extra baggage? And in case the authorities don't realise it, LRT stations aren't exactly convenient -- all those stairs to climb up and down. Not to mention they are also very packed.
One silver lining from the new ruling -- as a colleague was lamenting just last week how she hated long lunch meetings -- perhaps lunch and even coffee meetings will be scrapped in favour of more efficient ones.
Pic credit: FMT