RETURNING from hiking usually leaves one feeling accomplished and excited over their workout but this has not been the case for hikers in Bukit Gasing.
In recent months, many of the hikers were greeted by parking summonses issued by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) when they returned to their vehicles.
This has sparked their anger as they claimed they had to park illegally because there was insufficient parking bays.
MBPJ had built a parking lot near the hill where no fees are charged and public toilets are available.
However, it only has 31 parking bays and regular visitor G. Krishnan said it was not sufficient as the hill attracted up to hundreds of visitors, especially on weekends.
“If the council cannot provide enough parking bays, then don’t issue us summonses.
“This is a public hill and people should not be deprived of coming here because of insufficient parking bays,” he said.
However, Friends of Bukit Gasing president Datuk Dr Lim Thuang Seng said the visitors should be considerate towards the people living in the Bukit Gasing residential area.
“The visitors sometimes obstruct the entry and exit routes for some of the houses in Section 5.
“Residents complain they can’t even reverse their vehicles out of their compound because of the bad parking habits of some of the hill visitors,” he said.
Dr Lim said there were a few suggestions to solve the problem such as to cover some of the drains near the hill and convert it to parking bays.
Section 5 Residents Association chairman Mohamed Rafiq Fazal Din said the residents have compromised.
He said after numerous talks with MBPJ, it was decided that visitors could park along the white lines on the road shoulder.
However, cars parked along the yellow lines would still be issued summonses.
“The roads in the neighbourhood are narrow. Despite this, many hill visitors insist on parking on both sides of the road causing obstruction for us to get in and out of our houses?” he said.
Rafiq said the problem was worse on weekends and on public holidays and urged the council to think of ways to create new routes to access the hill.
“Why not think of alternative routes?
“I think MBPJ could redirect people coming to the hill to the Shree Maha Mariamman temple route,” he said, adding that there would be more space for parking from this direction.
Councillor Cynthia Gabriel said the parking woes at Bukit Gasing had even resulted in arguments and fights.
She said the council decided that despite it being illegal to issue summonses to those who park on the yellow lines.
“People call and scold me all the time because of the parking problems here.
“We have had many meetings with the council over this,” she said.
MCA veteran and former Kampung Tunku assemblyman Datuk Dr Wong Sai Hou urged the council to put more directional signs to the new designated parking area.
“Issuing summonses to the hill visitors is not right – how will non-locals know where the council parking area is?” he said.
Dr Wong also urged Friends of Bukit Gasing to help promote the council’s parking space.
Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran said the RM400,000 parking lot built by the council close to the hill was not popular.
“I was told that visitors would park along the road shoulders first before looking for the designated parking bays,” he said.
Rajiv suggested for the public to car pool or cycle to the hill.
He advised visitors to park along the white lines and free the opposite side of the road.
“People often ask why some get parking summonses while others don’t.
“If you park on the yellow lines, MBPJ’s enforcement officers will issue parking summonses.
“Both residents and visitors must compromise to find a solution to the issue,” he said.