Car-lite parking concept innovative but impractical

The idea of having one parking space for every two residential units is an innovative but impractical idea (Three new housing precincts aim to be car-lite, more green; Oct 17).

The current norm of one parking space per residential unit is already problematic in some housing developments because many dual-or multiple-income households own more than one car.

Having one parking space for two residential units may result in a scramble for the available parking spaces. There may even be a risk of the "choping" practice - prevalent in hawker centres - rearing its ugly head in carparks.

Ms Yap Lay Bee, the Urban Redevelopment Authority's senior director for urban design, said that for some developments near the city fringe, the car parking occupancy "is not that high, and people (there) own fewer cars compared with other precincts".

But the low car occupancy may be due to other factors, for example, that the developments are not fully occupied, or that city fringe developments tend to attract foreign tenants who find car ownership in Singapore unduly expensive.

In our effort to promote a car-lite Singapore, we need to be careful not to render car ownership painful, onerous and punitive. People must be given a choice.

Ultimately, if the public transport system is comprehensive, affordable, reliable and efficient, common sense and pragmatism will prevail.

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2017, with the headline 'Car-lite parking concept innovative but impractical'. Print Edition | Subscribe