Tag Archives: parking problem in Ipoh

New Projects Must Provide Parking Facilities

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It was reported in NST’s Streets Northern (March 28, 2013) that Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim informed that MBI had approved 445 development projects last year and about half of them are in progress.

Ipoh has an acute parking problem in virtually all areas. MBI must stipulate that all new projects must provide parking facilities for their staff as well as customers. MBI must relook into the conditions of the approved projects and include this clause. Withdraw approvals if this condition is not met. If this is not done the parking problem is going to deteriorate further.

Furthermore, MBI must also ensure that all areas of the city are developed equally and there should not be lopsided development. It looks like development is only concentrated in certain areas. MBI must not forget that it collects assessment from all residents; maybe the amount is not the same. This must not be the reason for unequal development.

Appointed councillors can play an important role in seeing that their zones are developed. Development must not be confined to setting up industries and business premises only; healthy recreational facilities for children, adults and senior citizens are needed. All zones must have public transport, clinics, schools, mini post offices and reading rooms/libraries, markets, pondok polis and other essential amenities. Councillors should dialogue with the residents in their zones and get feedback.

A. Jeyaraj

Parking Nightmare in Ipoh

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By A. Jeyaraj

The main thoroughfares of the city’s centre were converted to a one-way system in the late seventies to facilitate a smoother flow of traffic. The implementation of the system also included provisions to build car-parks at strategic locations in the city centre. This, however, was not done and has resulted in this being one of the main reasons for the chaotic parking problems in the city today.

Number of Summonses Issued Daily Shows Insufficient Parking Spaces

The number of summonses (900) issued daily by the city council for parking offences in the city is clear evidence of its parking woes. In terms of monetary gain, the Ipoh City Council benefits while business establishments in the affected areas and motorists, suffer. About RM27,000 in summonses are collected every day.

One of the worst areas is the Greentown Commercial Centre, a stone’s throw from the Ipoh City Council complex, where motorists risk summonses daily by parking abreast and on every available space, including at junctions and pavements.

Motor-cyclists are also contributing to the parking woes by parking their machines on bays meant for vehicles, especially in front of banks around the city; sometimes cluttering up two or three bays, leaving the spaces reserved for them empty.

Councillor Ir Lai Kong Phooi, a member of the city council’s traffic committee, admitted that there are traffic jams especially in Greentown and few other areas, especially during peak hours.

He added that compared with Kuala Lumpur and other cities the situation is not critical. He said that one of the yardsticks to measure whether the jams have reached critical levels is to find out whether shoppers avoid visiting the shops in certain locations.

He feels that the jams in Ipoh have not reached the critical threshhold level yet. However, they must not be complacent and must start planning to ease the situation.

Motorcycles parked at parking bays for cars
...while a few metres away the motorcycle parking lot is almost empty

Remedial Measures

The city council is looking into various measures to overcome the parking problem in the city. A short-term solution is to abolish full-day parking in sensitive areas where staff working in nearby offices monopolise the parking bays early in the morning.

He said parking must be limited to two-hour intervals, whereby motorists must prepare new coupons every two hours.

For a start this must be implemented in Greentown and roads around the banking area in the old town sector while other areas can be identified by city council. According to him the system is in practice in Perth and Melbourne, Australia and working efficiently.

He added that roadside pavements could also be converted to car-parks. For this the width of the pavement must be able to accommodate parking of a vehicle and the structural strength of the pavement must be able to withstand the weight of the vehicles.

Lastly, vehicles getting in and out of the parking bay must not be a safety hazard to vehicles travelling along the adjacent road.

As a long-term plan MBI must build new car-parks to accommodate the increase in the number of cars. The elevated car-park along Jalan Maharajalela was built in the fifties and was the first of its kind in the country. The only other one under MBI is the underground car park in the main market. Developers of high rise commercial and office buildings are required to provide car-parks for staff as well as visitors. This is not strictly enforced and there is a shortage of parking space around high rise buildings.

There are more than a thousand people working in the Federal Building in Greentown, but there are only 141 basement parking bays for the staff and 68 for visitors. Adequate parking facilities are not provided as per requirements.

Acute Shortage Of Parking Bays

There are more than 13,000 parking bays under MBI supervision, out of which about 8,500 are coupon parking bays and the rest are for free parking. These figures do not include parking facilities in buildings, shopping complexes and private car-parks.

The basement car-park in the main market is under utilised. The place is dark and there are no security guards and motorists are afraid to park their cars there. The place is a haven for drug addicts and they damage the lighting when they are replaced.

State JPJ director Jaafar bin Mohamed said that the department does not have statistics on the number of vehicles in Ipoh, only for the whole state. As of July, last year, the total number of motorised vehicles in Perak was more than 1.7 million.

There are about 600,000 cars, more than 4,000 taxis, about 63,000 lorries, more than a million motorcycles and about 26,000 other vehicles.

50,000 New Vehicles Registered In Perak Each Year

Director Jaafar informed that every year about 50,000 new vehicles are registered in the state. Some of the vehicles registered in Perak may be used in other states and vehicles registered in other states would be used in Perak.

The public transport system is so pathetic that people have to drive their own cars. There is no regulation on taxi fares and taxis charge as they like and the rates are too high.

The use of taxi meters must be introduced. If the public transport system was efficient more people would use it and the parking problem and traffic jams can be reduced. This can be done quickly only if the relevant authorities have the will to do it.

In Miri there is a two-tier parking system classified as Zone A and Zone B. Zone A is the area around the city centre where the parking rate is higher and Zone B includes the suburbs where the parking rate is cheaper.

Lai feels that at the moment MBI should not use the tax payers’ money to engage a consultant to study the traffic system. MBI should use its own resources to plan the building of more car-parks and widening of roads. The building of car-parks can be privatised.