Ah, legal parking spaces. Those precious amenities have become an elusive luxury, especially in a busy city like Petaling Jaya.
Where I live in Section 52, motorists have no qualms about double-parking let alone squeezing into any available space on the road at the expense of public safety as well as amenities such as pedestrian walkways.
Two years ago, I highlighted the problems faced by those staying in Lorong Utara B where we faced the daily scourge of indiscriminate parking in that small two-way road that houses the Tun Hussein Onn Eye Hospital, The Istara condominium, Gurdwara Sahib Petaling Jaya, Geeta Ashram Malaysia, the German School Kuala Lumpur and Cobra Rugby Club.
There is paid parking in the hospital but limited. There are also city council parking bays on the other end of the road, towards the Astaka Sports Complex.
In these current times, common sense (and the availability of e-hailing services) should dictate how we sensible adults can plan our journey, especially in the city where parking is a hot commodity.
How many times have we read about terrible road rage and bullying in this country? Too many to count.
How many of us encounter or have witnessed members of the public verbally abusing local council enforcement officers for carrying out their jobs, even for a simple thing like clamping the vehicle for indiscriminate parking?
I have personally seen cars parked illegally all day in front of the eye hospital, with three summonses from Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) plastered on the windscreen.
Clearly, nothing has changed and I fear it will remain the same unless the powers that be implement stricter penalties, such as impounding the cars and imposing heftier fines, or impounding the cars for a longer duration.
The thing is, enforcement officers make their rounds in the area about twice a day, so you can imagine how some motorists amass a wad of summonses in a week if they choose to continue their could-not-be-bothered behaviour.
If you go online and read public forums regarding parking summonses in Petaling Jaya, for example, there are many people who admit having thousands of ringgit worth of unpaid summonses.
My question is, how do they manage to renew their road tax when MBPJ is supposedly now linked to the Road Transport Department (JPJ) to enable them to blacklist motorists who do not pay their parking summonses after numerous warnings?
Why are most Malaysians such gluttons for punishment?
Think about this question for a minute.
People must know by now that it will cost them less to pay for an e-hailing ride (to go to places with limited parking) than it is to pay a parking summons even at a discounted rate.
When I was in my hometown in Penang,
I parked outside a kopitiam that had a clear white box for parking with no yellow line, but I forgot I had to display a Penang Island City Council parking coupon.
Then some caring locals (and even a hawker stall owner) nearby warned me that the enforcement officers were
making their rounds, and this happened on two occasions.
I immediately removed my car.
If more people can try harder to be more civic-conscious in Petaling Jaya, the city will be a more peaceful place with less angry people.
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