Car-lite solutions need to consider all factors

Mr Phang Fook Ghay suggests that buyers of private residential property who do not own cars should not have to pay towards the cost of building and maintaining parking space ("Car-lite endeavour: Private residential parking needs resolution"; Wednesday).

This line of thinking will lead to its own set of problems.

For instance, what happens when such a resident invites his family or friends over? Will he have to ensure that his guests do not drive there, as he is not entitled to a share of parking spaces?

And if he needs some form of transport assistance in future, does he expect neighbours who drive to be kind and give him a helping hand?

It will be tough for this resident, too, when he wants to sell his apartment and there are no more parking spaces available in his condominium. He will then have to sell his unit at depressed prices.

Such thinking will also lead other residents to question why they have to pay for condo facilities, such as swimming pools, gyms, barbecue pits and playgrounds, as well as their maintenance, if they do not use them.

Those who buy units on the ground floor may then ask to be exempted from paying lift maintenance fees.

In trying to find ways to encourage people to go car-lite, we should not seek to penalise those who own cars, as many do so for family or work needs.

People with aged family members or young children will understand the necessity of having a car, especially when the weather can change drastically from hot and humid to wet and thundery.

Often, we forget that our own situation and needs may change, and the penalty intended for others becomes our own.

Grace Chua Siew Hwee (Madam)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2016, with the headline 'Car-lite solutions need to consider all factors'. Print Edition | Subscribe