Home Legislators Balancing Public Parking Demand

Balancing Public Parking Demand

Lei Leong Wong, Aliança de Povo de Instituição de Macau

The DSAT has announced an increase in parking fees at seven car parks in order to improve the mobility of parking spaces in public car parks, to encourage drivers to divert to public car parks with lower parking rates and to reduce queues at car park entrances so as not to impede road traffic. After the announcement of the measures, many residents questioned the decision as they were worried that the increase in public car park charges would drive up the rentals of private car parks. Although the various measures to benefit the public will be maintained in the coming year, the overall economic situation has not yet returned to the pre-epidemic level. They are worried that the Government’s move will once again add to the transport costs and financial pressure of the majority of residents, and they consider that it is not an appropriate approach to increase car parking fees at this stage.

Among these seven car parks, the parking rates of four car parks, namely Pak Wai, Vasco da Gama, Edificio Cheng Chong and Pak Vai, range from 89% to 97% (for light vehicles), while the parking rates of Alameda Dr. Carlos d’Assumpção, Qingmao and Nam Van car parks range from 44% to 65% only. The same effect can be achieved by reducing the parking fees of neighbouring car parks with even lower parking rates through incentives and inducements. The Administration is urged to suspend the relevant measures and propose a downward adjustment of the charges of public car parks with lower parking rates.

In the past, many public car parks introduced monthly ticket parking spaces. Although the Government has implemented the policy of “refunding but not compensating” for the use of monthly ticket car parks in recent years, the effectiveness of the policy is still open to question. We agree with the suggestion of planning the daytime and night-time sessions of car parks separately, and adjusting the usage hours of monthly tickets from a policy perspective, so as to reserve the daytime usage right for the public and the night-time usage right for monthly ticket drivers. In particular, improvements should be made in public car parks with a relatively high percentage of monthly ticket users, so as to increase the mobility of the car parks and to balance the public’s demand for car parking spaces.

In addition, there are currently more than 128,000 motorcycles in Macau, but there are only about 50,000 motorcycle parking spaces in public car parks and on public roads, and even with the addition of about 25,000 motorcycle parking spaces in residential and industrial/commercial buildings, the demand for motorcycle parking spaces is still very high. However, under such circumstances, the parking rates in many public car parks are extremely low, and the parking rates for motorcycles, in particular, are only 2% to 3% in some cases.

In the past, it has been repeatedly proposed that the SAR Government should encourage motorists to make better use of public car parks through guiding measures, such as reducing or waiving parking fees at car parks with low motorcycle parking rates. Public policies should serve to promote social progress and improve community governance. The Government should start from the actual situation, otherwise it will only continue to create a “lose-lose” situation, such as wasting public parking resources, reducing public revenue, increasing the pressure on public roads, failing to improve the situation of illegal parking by motorists, and causing dissatisfaction among residents.

Aliança de Povo de Instituição de Macau

 

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