Proposed mechanised parking in HDBs. Dumb!

Bad bad idea!!! Instead of controlling the car population (isn’t that the aim of COE?), the Government is resorting to the expensive and inconvenient option to solve the symptoms rather than the root cause. Even the reporter in this following report can see the problems much better than the highly paid executives and politicians who think they know best.

Heavy traffic could bring mechanised parking systems to a grinding halt

source: Todayonline 16 Oct 2013

SINGAPORE — Mechanised parking systems in public housing areas is the way to go, say private car park operators about the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) plans for a pilot trial next year — but there are pitfalls to beware of.

Operators TODAY spoke to warned that heavier traffic and non-savvy users could lead to routine technical glitches, breakdowns and parking delays.

MHE-Demag Division Manager Jeffrey Tan, for one, noted that compared to private mechanised car parks at commercial buildings, traffic at public car parks in HDB areas could be heavier.

This could wear down the machinery faster, resulting in more breakdowns and more routine maintenance being needed, said Mr Tan.

And since busy Singaporeans are not known to be especially patient, frustration could build up when the system does fail.

Parking queues could also build up on weekends, and operator response to breakdowns will need to be “quick and fast”, he added — the current acceptable time is an hour.

Earlier this month, the HDB announced that a pilot mechanised parking project would be carried out at Bukit Panjang, Yishun and Changi to address a shortage of parking lots. A “Tower Parking System” will be used at Bangkit Road and Yishun Avenue 4, and a “Cart System” at Changi Village Road, near the popular market and jetty.

Such mechanised parking systems take between 90 seconds and two minutes to park or retrieve a car, according to estimates by the HDB and operators.

The cart system, for instance, involves lifts that transport the vehicles vertically and then carts them laterally into an empty pallet. It has been used at the 140-lot M-Park@Club Street car park since 2008, and cost S$6 million to build.

DRIVERS MUST BE TAUGHT

Motorists need to be educated on how to use the mechanised parking system — and this can be more challenging at public car parks than at private ones, said two operators.

Ms Ariel Tan, General Manager of Current, pointed out that public car parks are not frequented by a fixed pool of users who the operator can guide.

To park a car, motorists must drive their cars into a lift which opens at the side of the building. The driver then leaves the car and starts the machine-assisted parking via a nearby computer.

Users not familiar with the system could press the wrong buttons repeatedly, causing the computer to hang, said Mr Paul Sung, Director of Oxley Otto. Cars entering the lift carelessly could also hit the walls, which may dislocate the elevator and make it unusable, he added.

The time needed for repair would depend on the extent of the damage, Mr Sung said, although the presence of a parking attendant on site could help to resolve the problem in less than an hour.

Motorists TODAY spoke to welcomed mechanised parking in HDB estates as a land-saving measure, but expressed concerns about potential technical problems.

Mr B K Tan, for instance, had encountered two lift breakdowns at M-Park@Club Street in the past month.

The operators of public mechanised car parks, he said, will “have to ensure the infrastructure is good enough to make sure all the vehicles can be collected in timely fashion”.

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