“It’s not fair to pay to park outside our own homes”, seems to be the opinion of most of the residents who parks on the streets outside their landed homes.
The issue over whether landed home owners should pay for parking their cars on public streets outside their houses has come up again after it was announced last month that public car park rates were set to rise from December.
In Singapore, this seems to happen in low-rise residential areas where on-street parking is not priced and where spaces are not formally marked out, cars parked along the roads, making it difficult for traffic to pass in certain areas at each place.
Plant pots and other things are placed outside homes to ensure no one else could park there.
Residents said they parked along the road because it was more convenient. Most were against the idea of paying for the space.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said a balance needed to be struck between meeting parking needs and ensuring smooth traffic flow in private estates.
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution. The LTA adopts a consultative approach by working with the Neighbourhood Committee, grassroots leaders and resident groups,” said a spokesman, adding that this included whether or not to provide for paid parking at estates.
When asked by media, LTA did not provide an example where paid parking was implemented after a consensus was obtained from private estate residents.
A transport researcher from National University of Singapore, Lee Der Horng said: “They park on the road and the road is a public space. If we consider parking as a commodity, then it must come with a price.”
SIM University senior lecturer, Park Byung Joon said: “Japan does this by making on-street parking mostly illegal, drivers also have to prove that they have a parking space at their homes when they register a car. “It will mean that there will be no overnight parking on these small streets,” he added.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said it provides paid parking at private estates, only when these are near commercial businesses such as food outlets or sports facilities. It added that its policies were not static and it was open to reviewing them in areas where parking demand needs to be managed.
Both Housing & Development Board (HDB) and URA said the increase to public car park rates was to recover costs of running car parks – which have increased 40 per cent since 2002, the last time fees were raised.
Experts believe the hike also signals Singapore’s push towards a car-lite society, and to send a consistent message, private property residents should have to pay for parking too.