x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Room for flexibility over parking fines

A reader says Mawaqif should be more flexible in its approach to fines. Other topics: flooding, films and street names.

A reader says Mawaqif should be more flexible when it comes to parking fines. Christopher Pike / The National
A reader says Mawaqif should be more flexible when it comes to parking fines. Christopher Pike / The National

Assigning street addresses not a simple exercise

I would like to raise some words of caution regarding Every home in Abu Dhabi to have its own address (February 17).

I come from Germany, where urban centres have grown over centuries with no planning regulations at all at the onset.

The result is that, with very few exceptions, the street systems in urban areas are usually far removed from any helpful geometric pattern, like a chessboard or a circular system.

The streets often carry names - of persons, cities, counties, events and so on - that bear no relationship to their location.

What you need is either a very good knowledge of the local street names and their relative positions, or a map with an index and grid reference.

Compared to that, I find the major street numbers in Abu Dhabi very useful - finding a street becomes a simple counting exercise.

But there are problems, including that the buildings have no numbers; some streets have several names - for example, 7th Street is also called Zayed the First Street, and is known colloquially as Electra Street - and there is the repetition of some street numbers.

Also, a very limited number of names are currently in use, with many streets named after the same dignitary.

Under the new system, hundreds of unique, distinguishable names will be required.

J Heil, Abu Dhabi

Modelling the Abu Dhabi street system after the New York system is a good idea (New York sets a good example, February 18).

Don't use London's system. It used to be easy when they included the place's location in the city in its postcode - NW4, for example, was in the north-west - but now their codes have become incomprehensible.

Jeff Taylor, Abu Dhabi


Third time around for Indian author

I refer to your interview with Chetan Bhagat ('What I write seems to resonate with the middle class in India', February 19).

Kai Po Che is not the second of Bhagat's novels to be filmed, it is the third.

His first was not 3 Idiots (based on the book Five Point Something) but a film called Hello based on One Night at a Call Centre.

Maybe Bhagat doesn't like it to be included in his biographical data, but it is.

Neelesh Inamdar, India

Space for flexibility over parking fines


When my parking permit expired recently, Mawaqif didn't send me an SMS reminder to say it had expired, nor did it leave me a warning notice on my car.

Instead, it proceeded straight to issuing me a Dh500 fine for parking near where I live. This is steep compared to the cost of the annual permit, which is Dh800.

When I called to complain, the operator simply said: "Sorry, you have to pay."

I encountered one of the Mawaqif inspectors and asked him why I didn't get a warning ticket rather than a fine.

He told me that their hand-held computer system used to tell them if a car had a permit and when that permit expired.

The system has since been modified and they do not now receive this information. Thus, you will get a ticket as soon as your permit expires.

I think Mawaqif should give out at least one warning ticket, with no fine, when a permit expires.

If the driver fails to renew the permit after the warning , then it's OK to fine them. Ziad Q, Abu Dhabi


Over-watering linked to floods

Regarding Overflowing lake sparks flood fears (February 17), an immediate measure to alleviate the situation would be to ease back on the irrigation.

Sprinklers are on in the area every day, in winter and summer.

It stands to reason that this will increase the water table, thus increasing the level of the lake.

Name withheld by request