08 Jun 2016 09:20am
WINDHOEK, 08 JUN (NAMPA) - Motorists will have to continue enduring the bites in the wallet of parking tickets, despite the scarcity in Windhoek's Central Business District (CBD), as there is no actual solution to halt the process of issuing fines while the City addresses the shortage.
Currently, motorists have opted to use alternatives like parking on the sidewalks or in prohibited zones or parking bays reserved for disabled persons, very important persons (VIPs) and at no-stopping-zones.
Some of the prominent areas where the parking shortage evident include the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Windhoek Magistrate's Court, the City of Windhoek (CoW), and the Hilton hotel where construction is currently taking place.
City Police Spokesperson and Assistant Superintendent Cillie Auala informed Nampa recently upon enquiry the City Police is aware of the scarcity of parking facilities in the CBD but they cannot neglect their duties as law enforcers.
We cannot override the rule of law due to a parking shortage. The CoW must just play their part in addressing the shortage of parking in the CBD.
Parking tickets issued by the City Police vary and are as follows:
Parking on a red line, N.dollars 750; yellow line, N.dollars 500; disability parking, N.dollars 1 000; parking on pavement, N.dollar 500; Police reserved parking, N.dollars 750; and an expired parking meter N.dollars 60.
According to Auala, law enforcement remains the core mandate of the City Police, thus, the issuing of parking tickets in areas where there is a scarcity of parking can only be put to a halt, if traffic regulations/laws are amended.
CoW Manager for Corporate Communications and Customer Care Joshua Amukugo told this agency on Tuesday that developing parking within the CBD has shown to be very costly and not financially viable, considering limited resources and other priorities and challenges the CoW is facing.
Amukugo indicated the City has not received direct complaints from the public but rather through the media.
The city also acknowledged the parking shortage in some CBD areas, noting that some motorists have the tendency of wanting to stop in front of their destination, and would rather infringe on traffic rules, instead of parking a walking distance from their destination.
He added that a parking master plan was developed in 1997, which predicted that there will be a parking shortage of approximately 3 000 spaces throughout the CBD.
Such a prediction was greatly dependent on the actual growth rate and development taking in the CBD.
Recommendations were also made to cater for the parking shortfall, whereby, various erven throughout the CBD were reserved.
Unfortunately, all of the vacant erven that were reserved for future parking provisions in the CBD area were sold, with the last remaining two erven currently out on tender.
Some public parking provision is incorporated to form part of such tenders, providing some parking alleviation, Amukugo said.
He added that vacant land in the CBD remains a scarce commodity and is high in demand.
The City has however made its intentions clear that it would rather avail such land for development instead of retaining the areas for parking and eventually not having the necessary resources to develop such parking, which leaves the land lying idle.
Amukugo also highlighted the parking meter system within the CBD, which he described as no longer producing desired results, as they were intended to promote short term parking.
The City is presently busy reviewing the parking meter system within the CBD.
Once motorists refrained from long to permanent parking within the road reserve, this might create additional short term parking opportunities for the public and provide some alleviation to the shortage of parking bays.