YCDC takes on parking blockers

On the city’s busy streets, where traffic is ever more frequently stationary, it is no longer feasible for people to block parking spaces with makeshift barriers, said an official from the department of administration at Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC).

“People are no longer allowed to do this. We are carrying out inspections from township to township, and whenever we find a space occupied with barriers such as chairs or rope lines, we will warn the owner of the building,” he told The Myanmar Times on September 29.

“If they are found committing the offence again, we will take legal action.”

A dispute over a parking space on 30th Street on September 28 saw both parties filing charges at Kyauktada township police station, he added.

YCDC has not accepted applications for car parking spaces since 2004. Before this, shop or homeowners could obtain permission to park outside their property by paying a tax to local authorities.

Over the past few years – with the sharp increase in the number of vehicles on the roads, and a lack of public car parks – Yangon has been faced with a severe shortage of car parking space.

The problem can often lead to complaints and even confrontation between building owners and those seeking somewhere to park.

“We would certainly find ourselves in trouble with house or apartment owners if we removed the barriers,” said taxi driver Ko Htay Lwin.

“But even though YCDC doesn’t allow this anymore, there are still barriers in front of houses and business buildings such as banks. Every driver knows it is hard to park, particularly in downtown.”

The streets in downtown Yangon are narrow – numbered streets running from north to south are just 30 feet wide.

Under the YCDC Law enacted in 2013, it is forbidden to pile construction materials or household objects, or to sell or display items, on public roads and pavements without prior approval from the committee.

The law also forbids placing barriers on roads that could hinder driving or parking. Law-breakers could be charged with up to a year in prison, or a fine of between K10,000 and K500,000.

Parking space occupiers say they are left with few options.

“We don’t mean to block the road, but we don’t have anywhere to park our cars,” said a resident of 52nd Street.

“That’s why we have put chairs out on the street. We know we are not supposed to, but we wouldn’t need to do it if officials provided parking space downtown.”

Source: Myanmar Times

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