Double Parking is Cause of Traffic Congestion

I AGREE with the views expressed by Dissatisfied Motorist of Petaling Jaya in his letter, "Wheel-clamping exercise is too harsh a punishment" (The Star, Sept 2). I feel such harsh actions by the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ) enforcement officers are often taken indiscriminately and are not effective in solving parking woes in Petaling Jaya.

Recently, my car was clamped in Section 14 after I parked my vehicle in a space which was not designated as a parking lot. It was my Hobson's choice to park there as I could not find a vacant parking lot in the vicinity after driving round the area twice.

Also, I was only stopping there for a couple of minutes to pick up a purchase I made a day earlier. When I chose to park "illegally" I also made very certain that my car would not cause any obstruction to other motorists and pedestrians. I even displayed an appropriale parking coupon. When I returned to my car after about five minutes, I found that my car was clamped and the enforcement officers responsible for it were still present.

I questioned one of the officers on the necessity of such an action as my car was not obstructing other motorists or pedestrians and did not, in anyway, cause any traffic congestion. I further asked him to take action against those vehicles nearby that double-parked and were causing traffic jams.

He nonchallatly told me that if he were to clamp those cars that double-parked, then the legally parked cars would not be able to get out of their parking lots! However, he sympathised with me and said he was jusl performing his duty.

On another occasion, when I was in SS2, I noticed an enforcement officer was busily checking the parking coupons of cars in the parking lots and issuing summonses to those who did not display appropriate coupons. However, he was oblivious to the traffic congestion in the area caused by many cars that double-parked or indiscriminately parked on road medians.

When I asked him why he did not issue summonses to those that double-parked, he angrily told me off and asked me to telephone the council presidcnt if I was not happy about it.

Based on my two recent brushes with the council traffic enforcement officers and judging from the worsening chaotic traffic condition in all commercial areas of Petaling Jaya, I am led to conclude that the traffic enforcement carried out by these officers was totally ineffective.

They should, instead, take the bull by the horns and use their discretionary powers to take stern action against motorists who double-park or park indiscriminately in unauthorised areas that are causing traffic congestion and inconveniences to pedestrians and olher motorists.

Ignoring or sidestepping this issue of double-parking in commercial areas would only worsen the traffic congestion problems. However, ridding the double-parking rnalaise is only the first step towards improving traffic situation in the commercial areas. Others measures and changes to present parkingpolicies are needed to arrest the worsening traffic situation.

It is generally conceived that creating more car parking spaces by building multi-storey car parks would be effective in solving problems of car parking. This is not always the case.

For example, in the multi-storey car parks in Section 14 and Damansara Utama, not many motorists choose to pairk their cars there. The streets there are still congested with cars and the vehicular traffic remains chaotic.

However, it is not too difficult to fathom this out and to find appropriate solutions to overcome the situation. The obvious reason for motorists reluctance to park their cars in multi-storey car parks is the ineffective traffic enforcement carried out by council officers, particularly action against doubleparking.

Also, to further lessen parking woes along busy streets, all reserved parking lots should be abolished except those for medical practitioners. 2008