Cap on private parking provisions

Motorists will have all the more reason to leave their cars at home, with a proposed change to parking provisions in private buildings that will also free up land for other uses.

If the proposal is accepted, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will be able to more finely calibrate the amount of parking provided through a cap, freeing up space for other uses, it said yesterday.

Private developments in future "car-lite precincts", for instance, may have less available parking, but more connectivity to public transport and alternative travel options such as walking and cycling.

"This will also allow developers to trial new concepts of space and land planning and new parking concepts such as hub carparks," said the LTA. A hub carpark is one shared by a few buildings.

Currently, the LTA's requirement is for a minimum number of parking spaces, based on a development's gross floor area. Private residential developments, for instance, generally must have at least one parking space per unit.

The proposed amendment to the Parking Places Act, put forth in Parliament yesterday, will give LTA the flexibility of specifying a range of parking provisions - the maximum number of spaces as well as minimum.

Parking policy expert Paul Barter said hub carparks are a good idea as pooled parking is much more efficient. "Different buildings often have different times of peak parking demand," said the adjunct associate professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. However, he said it was "a pity to not be bold and just abolish" the minimum number of parking spaces required for buildings, like what is done in London and Berlin. Removing the minimum would let developers provide little or no parking in areas where there is good public transport connectivity.

The Bill will be read for the second time and debated in Parliament later this month.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2018, with the headline 'Cap on private parking provisions'. Print Edition | Subscribe