While parking issues are common in urban areas, some places have it worse than others. One area facing such woes is Kim Teng Park, a residential area in Johor Bahru. Due to its close proximity to the Sultan Iskandar Building customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) complex, Jalan Storey in the residential area has become a favourite spot for motorists to park – for free – before they head off to Singapore for work.
This has raised the ire of local residents, including traders in the area, as The Star reports. Residents and businesses said there were cases of cars were being left for days, making it difficult for businesses because customers could not find parking.
According to a trader who only wanted to be known as Ahmad, the situation has become so dire that he has had to block off the parking lot in front of his shop to prevent outsiders from hogging the space. “If I do not block the space, then how will the bread and ice suppliers and other vehicles load and unload goods for my store?” he said.
He added that there were people who tried to remove the barrier, and he is often asked the question, “is this your grandfather’s road?” He lambasted the parking bay hoggers. “They want to work in a developed country but leave us to deal with their third-world mentality,” he said.
Such action to put up barriers has not gone unnoticed, with the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) reportedly fining shop owners who place traffic cones, chairs, rubbish bins and other items in front of their shops to stop people from parking there.
However, Kim Teng Park residents association president Danial Lokman Hakim said the city council should focus on the root cause and find a solution for the issue before going after shopowners. “I don’t think these shopowners would put up obstructions if people were not misusing the parking space,” he told the news publication.
Meanwhile, local residents were more understanding of having obstacles placed in parking lots, because many also faced the same issue, with vehicles being indiscriminately parked on the road outside houses, making it dangerous for other drivers in the residential area.
Danial said that the city council should enforce the law and penalise those who misuse parking bays, either by towing the cars away or imposing a hefty fine on non-residents misusing the parking space as a long-term carpark. “MBJB has every right to tow away these cars. Why aren’t they enforcing the law? Do they lack manpower, towing vehicles or storage space?”
He added that the MBJB should be well aware of the issue, as its council building is not even a kilometre away from the location. “The situation is worsening day by day, especially after the pandemic. There’s even an MPV parked here that is used to ferry those working in Singapore. It charges a fee to carry passengers, but is parked here for free,” he said.
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