Car-lite endeavour

Private residential parking needs resolution

The many recent discussions on using parking as a tool to encourage Singaporeans to go car-lite have not focused on managing parking at the place of a private residence ("Fewer, pricier parking spaces to deter driving?"; last Thursday).

Developers in residential housing spread the cost of providing parking across all units.

This means that regardless of whether a buyer owns and drives a car, he pays for the parking space, and even the maintenance of the parking space within the estate.

Hence, owners who do not own and drive cars subsidise those who do.

The subsidy is both an upfront and one-time payment, in the form of the price of the apartment, as well as a recurring fee, in the form of monthly service charges.

To resolve this, developers should be allowed to sell parking as a strata space or an accessory space.

Buyers of a property who do not own a car should not have to pay towards the cost of building and maintaining parking space.

There is also the issue of enforcement if we are to use parking to regulate car ownership and usage.

Illegal parking in housing estates should be clamped down on rigorously, as this is not only another form of subsidy but also a loss of revenue for the state.

Phang Fook Ghay

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2016, with the headline 'Private residential parking needs resolution'. Print Edition | Subscribe