x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Sharjah to increase parking by building multi-storeys

The emirate pledges to solve its parking problems by building multi-storey car parks in residential and commercial areas.

SHARJAH // Sharjah has pledged to solve its parking problems by building multi-storey car parks in residential and commercial areas. Abdrahman Ahmed al Mahmoud, the director of the municipality's Transport and Communication Department, said Dh125 million ($US34.05m) had been set aside for an initial five-storey car park and there were plans to eventually build as many as 25. The first five would be built in the most congested residential areas and would be finished by the end of next year. Three of the car parks would be built in Abu Shagara and each would have space for 1,500 vehicles. Another in Al Qassimia would house up to 1,300 vehicles, while 880 could fit into the fifth in Al Majaz.

A shortage of parking spaces affects Abu Shagara and Al Majaz the most. Used car dealerships in Abu Shagara have exacerbated the problems in the area by using public spots to park cars for sale. "Look at all these buildings on Abu Shagara and Al Aahda roads, none of them has parking but how many people do they have," said Emaddudin, a resident. He said residents previously parked their vehicles on empty land behind their buildings, but the space was now being developed.

Residents of Al Majaz said they had resorted to parking their cars in neighbouring areas and were taking more taxis. "Without parking, the car is also useless because we have to use taxis like people without one to get home. Look at all these big buildings - none has a parking yet they have thousands of people," said Salim, another resident. "People often double park, blocking fire hydrants and parking on spaces reserved for persons with special needs," he said.

But Mr Mahmoud said the parking woes were not only the result of planning problems. Many residents sharing one accommodation also made the situation worse, he said. @Email:ykakande@thenational.com