MOST times, finding an available parking bay at busy commercial areas in Petaling Jaya feels like an impossible mission.
Motorists often have to make several rounds and sometimes, are still not able to find an empty bay.
Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), at a recent full board meeting,
discussed increasing the hourly parking rate from the current 60sen.
Among the reasons cited were, to increase council revenue, encourage the use of public transportation and to prevent hogging of bays by business owners, their staff and office workers.
With fewer parking bays for the public, motorists wanting to run errands currently find it almost impossible to locate a space.
City councillor Terence Tan suggested a price review at the central business district (CBD).
“It does not make sense to collect 60sen an hour at locations such as PJ New Town and Damansara Uptown as these are prime areas.
“Kuala Lumpur City Hall charges much more at its CBD. The rates in MBPJ have not been reviewed for decades.
“I would like to suggest that a maximum period of two hours be imposed to park in these areas to free up space for others,” said Tan.
He added that Australia and Singapore were among countries imposing a much higher rate to park in the CBD.
Another city councillor Derek Fernandez said there was no pressing need for an increase.
He said MBPJ should be able to collect more revenue from parking as the middlemen had been removed.
“Now that the private parking service operators have been terminated, the city council should have more revenue,” said Fernandez.
Councillor Suriase Gengiah also disagreed, saying any increase would burden the public.
Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain said any increase would not be over 20%.
He said the matter was still at the discussion stage.
Pros and cons
Other than Uptown and New Town, other busy commercial areas in Petaling Jaya include SS2, Section 14 and Section 17.
Motorists said many open-air public bays are being hogged by office workers as the rate was much lower than covered parking at 60sen an hour and RM5 per day while a monthly pass costs RM100.
Some businesses rent dedicated parking bays in front of their shops for RM400 per month each.
Section 14 (Jalan 14/1 to 14/15) Residents Association chairman Selva Sugumaran welcomed an increase.
“Most visitors cannot find parking in busy commercial areas as many of the bays are taken up by office workers.”
SS20 Rukun Tetangga chairman Eileen Thong said if parking became too expensive, people might consider other alternatives.
“They can carpool, for example. Increasing the rate when the number of hours exceeds two is a good idea too. This will discourage motorists from parking at the same bay for the whole day,” she said.
Esham Salam from SS7 Lengkuk Golf Residents Association said the city council should consider removing all parking fees as this would eliminate MBPJ’s burden in managing the service.
“Make parking free. The city council may actually save money as there will be no costs involved in managing parking related matters from maintenance to enforcement.”
Section 14A RT chairman Tee Kee Tian urged the city council to put any increase on hold as it might adversely affect businesses operating in these areas.
“Businessmen, especially those operating family businesses are having a hard time.
“The fruit seller was telling me that he found it hard to sell mandarin oranges as the price had gone up.
“If the city council increases the parking rate, it may push patrons to go to malls.
“The public are feeling the pinch. MBPJ should put on hold any increase as the timing is just not right.”
Resident K. Gerald lives in Section 52 and does his grocery shopping in Section 14 and runs errands in New Town.
“Many people live close to these areas. Having cheaper council parking bays makes a difference.
“However, I welcome an increase for those who park for long hours to discourage them from doing so.”