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Beijing seeks new remedies for its parking headaches

By Du Juan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-17 07:34

Beijing is taking steps to improve its parking management by encouraging the construction of parking facilities and imposing stricter penalties for illegal parking.

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Transportation released a draft of its new parking regulations on Tuesday. It will be available for public comment until May 10.

"A shortage of parking lots has become a serious problem in Beijing, as the number of cars in the capital continues to grow," said Yan Yuejin, a senior researcher at E-House China R&D Institute. "It requires integrated efforts in planning and management to improve the situation."

Beijing seeks new remedies for its parking headaches

According to the draft regulations, the police will set up parking areas along secondary roads near communities that have a shortage of parking lots to be used by residents at night.

For residential communities and government buildings that can sufficiently meet their own parking demand, the authority encourages them to open their parking facilities to the public and charge fees.

"For existing parking areas, the government should work on raising their efficiency by improving charging systems and making full use of parking spaces in residential communities and commercial areas, as well as office buildings," Yan said.

He added that the city's planning and transportation departments should work together to make use of spare land by building parking facilities, especially multilevel garages, and install smart parking systems.

To encourage social capital investment in building and operating car parks, the municipal government will provide support including subsidies, loans and other financial aid, according to the regulations.

In addition to improving parking services, the proposed regulations say the authorities will blacklist drivers who refuse to pay parking fees. In addition, such drivers will be fined and given penalty points on their driver's licenses.

Zhao Pengjun, director of Peking University's Urban Planning and Transport Studies Center, said that for megacities like Beijing, parking presents problems for transportation management and causes traffic congestion, which is why punishments for illegal parking must be strict.

"Increasing the level of fines for violations will help prevent drivers from leaving their cars in random locations to avoid paying for parking," Zhao said.

In some European countries, fines for illegal parking are high, and in some circumstances authorities will tow away illegally parked vehicles.

The commission said in a statement on Wednesday that China has implemented many new policies on the construction and management of parking facilities that require a basis in law and regulation.

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