x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Mawaqif parking spaces to double by end of year

The number of spaces set to increase to 71,000

ABU DHABI // The number of spaces in the Mawaqif paid-parking scheme will more than double by the end of the year.

There are also plans for 10 new multistorey car parks in the capital: six conventional ones, two robotic and two temporary.

The number of spaces will increase from nearly 30,000 at present to 71,000, Department of Transport officials said yesterday.

There will also be parking spaces designated for villa residents only. The first phase, to be completed by the end of June, will provide 583 spaces in the area bordered by East Road, Najda Street, Al Falah Street and Zayed the Second Street.

The sites for the new multistorey car parks will be decided after studies have identified which areas have the highest demand.

Analysts will take into account the number of flats in each sector, and whether drivers who need to park are residents, visitors or people in the area for shopping or business. They will also consider factors such as illegal sharing of residences, and buildings that already have underground parking.

Residents in Khalidya and near Najda Street have complained of severe parking shortages. An increase in the number of Mawaqif parking spaces and the new multistorey car parks aim to alleviate the problem, transport officials say. More permits will be provided to both residents and businesses.

Standard Mawaqif parking currently costs Dh2 an hour, with a maximum duration of 24 hours. The premium rate is Dh3 an hour, with a maximum duration of four hours. There are dedicated resident parking zones where residents have priority between 9pm and 8am.

Transport officials recently announced the introduction of "virtual" residents' parking permits, with inspectors equipped with hand-held devices connected to a central system able to identify vehicles by licence plate to enforce the rules.

Since the implementation of the paid-parking scheme in the capital, each space has been used by an average of 3.3 cars a day.

Services planned for the future include rechargeable pre-paid cards, mobile services, e-services via the Mawaqif website and curbs on illegally parked vehicles.

mismail@thenational.ae