Shen­zhen to fight con­ges­tion with park­ing fees

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By LIN JING lin­jingcd@chi­

Shen­zhen res­i­dents may face a hefty park­ing fee of up to 285 yuan ($47) per day in the com­ing year.

The Shen­zhen Trans­port Com­mis­sion is­sued a new plan on Tues­day for tem­po­rary road­side park­ing in the city.

The plan has aroused the ire of res­i­dents, who say the gov­ern­ment is us­ing fines in­stead of bet­ter man­age­ment to deal with the city’s traf­fic con­ges­tion.

Zhang Ming­wei, a man­ager with a lo­cal auto com­pany, said all the park­ing fee will do is raise the cost of liv­ing.

“The gov­ern­ment does not in­vest enough to pro­vide fa­cil­i­ties for car own­ers. Some­times, we can­not find park­ing lots and are forced to park by the road­side,” he said. “And pub­lic trans­porta­tion can­not reach cer­tain ar­eas in Shen­zhen, ei­ther.”

“The prob­lem of traf­fic con­ges­tion has ex­isted in the city for a long time. The new plan will not solve the prob­lem but only in­crease our costs,” Zhang added.

The trans­porta­tion com­mis­sion could not be reached for com­ment.

A state­ment on its web­site said that al­though Shen­zhen is fac­ing a se­ri­ous traf­fic prob­lem, the city has not im­posed any re­stric­tions on car pur­chases.

The new plan aims to guide the proper us­age of cars via fi­nan­cial means, the state­ment said.

Ac­cord­ing to the plan, road­side park­ing in the city will be di­vided into three classes, and the fee will vary by time and area.

The first-class area in­cludes the cen­tral Fu­tian, Nan­shan and Luohu dis­tricts, where the land is fully de­vel­oped, the pub­lic trans­porta­tion is com­par­a­tively bet­ter and the traf­fic is worse. The third class, con­versely, cov­ers re­mote ar­eas that lack pub­lic trans­porta­tion fa­cil­i­ties and are still un­der de­vel­op­ment.

Park­ing on the road­side from 7:30 am to 10 pm will be charged a fee but will be free from 10 pm to 7:30 am, ac­cord­ing to the plan.

Dur­ing the work­ing day, the first­class area will charge 5 yuan for the first 30 min­utes and 10 yuan ev­ery half hour af­ter that. On the week­ends, the fee will be 2 yuan for the first 30 min­utes and 4 yuan for each half- hour af­ter that.

Fees in the sec­ond-class area will be 60 per­cent of first class. Third class will be 40 per­cent of first class.

This means that park­ing in the first-class area for 24 hours — from 7: 30 am to 7: 30 am the fol­low­ing day — will rack up a fee of 285 yuan. There are no up­per lim­its for the park­ing fee.

There will be 45,000 new tem­po­rary park­ing lots by the end of 2015. The pi­lot pro­gram will be­gin in early 2014.

The plan will be dis­cussed at a pub­lic hear­ing on Dec 28.

Sta­tis­tics from the au­thor­ity show that there are more than 3 mil­lion cars in Shen­zhen, with only about 800,000 park­ing spa­ces.

Car own­ers find the park­ing fee quite ex­pen­sive.

“Over 200 yuan per day is too much for me,” said Wang Tong, a lo­cal res­i­dent. “Now, it only costs me 60 yuan per day to park in a park­ing lot around an of­fice build­ing.”

He said car own­ers may fight for cheaper park­ing spa­ces.

Chen Huixue, a trade com­pany em­ployee who takes the metro to work, said she hopes the new fee re­duces ran­dom road­side park­ing.

Hu Zhen­hua, di­rec­tor of the Shen­zhen In­sti­tute of Ur­ban Man­age­ment, said the new plan will in­flu­ence how peo­ple use trans­porta­tion.

He said that when ad­min­is­tra­tive means don’t work, fi­nan­cial means must step in.

“Park­ing spa­ces are scarce re­sources for a city. The high park­ing fee will cause peo­ple to think twice be­fore driv­ing their cars ev­ery morn­ing. Even­tu­ally, they will use pub­lic trans­porta­tion more of­ten, which will save en­ergy and pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment.”

Hu added that it is still too soon to tell whether the park­ing fee is rea­son­able or not but that the gov­ern­ment should make ad­just­ments af­ter the trial pe­riod.

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