Take steps to tackle gridlock in multi-storey carparks

Many drivers who have used the Housing Board's multi-storey carparks (MCP) located next to busy wet markets and shopping malls would have come across a gridlock situation.

The design of these MCPs is such that the up and down ramps are located next to each other.

During heavy traffic periods, it is very common for the single-lane driveway in the carpark to be jammed with cars.

When this tailback extends to the ascending ramp at the ends, cars waiting to move up the ramp block the way of cars going down, resulting in a gridlock.

The MCPs at the Pasir Ris Drive 6 market, Bedok Mall and Parkway Parade are just some carparks which commonly experience such gridlocks.

One way to ease the situation is to stop cars from going into the MCP until the traffic lock is cleared.

Another way is to get drivers to move closer to each other so the tail of the car waiting to go up the ramp does not block the way of cars coming down. A two-lane driveway within the MCP will help too.

However, the design of such carparks is a major contributing factor in causing the gridlock.

MCPs at Toa Payoh Central and Changi Airport do not see such gridlocks. At these carparks, the ascending ramp is a spiral driveway at one end of the carpark, and the downward spiral ramp is on another end. However, such a design takes up more space.

If the HDB chooses to stick to the old design, then it should deploy wardens to resolve the gridlock during peak periods.

It is not enough to just put up parking gantries and leave motorists to their own devices.

Louis Peh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2015, with the headline 'Take steps to tackle gridlock in multi-storey carparks'. Print Edition | Subscribe