Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has somewhat shockingly announced that new buildings erected within the city centre will not have a provision for parking lots once the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Klang Valley mass rapid transit (MRT) Line 2 is completed and operational.
While this should not really come as a surprise as KL has long-stated its ambition to reduce traffic congestion within city limits and promote the use of public transportation, it will nonetheless be a shock to system for many the city’s automobile-centric denizens.
According to a Bernama report, KL mayor Datuk Seri Mhd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz said the move was necessary to hasten the city’s ambition to reduce congestion and encourage the use of public transportation facilities that are rapidly coming on line around the city.
He said that once the MRT project is completed, parking bays will become unnecessary because of the expected increase in the number of people utilising public transportation, including the existing infrastructure of light rail transit (LRT) and public buses.
When asked if the move would now result in insufficient parking spaces within LRT stations and bus terminals, many of which serve as an entry points for those looking to commute to the city, Mhd Amin Nordin said that this was “up to Prasarana (Prasarana Malaysia Bhd) or the Land Public Transport Commission to decide”.
“When the MRT project is completed and operational, it will not be necessary to have many parking bays because an increasing number of people will be using public transportation, including the light rail transit (LRT) and public buses,” he told reporters after attending DBKL Labour Day celebration here yesterday.
Earlier, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor commented that the policy of not have parking spaces in buildings has already become an accepted trend in several global cities and KL should emulate to be equally relevant.
He added that rapid urbanisation is changing the pattern and intensity of land use in the city. As such, property developers too must adapt to commercial property development style in making full use of available space.
However, a quick pulse check with Klang Valley citizens by P360 reveals some early concerns about such a move – especially among those who live in surrounding suburbs and satellite townships.
They point out that, even with the upcoming MRT service, public transportation services in KL are nowhere near as extensive and convenient as networks that exist in other global cities that are employing the same ideology.
With a dearth of feeder buses to serve neighbourhoods, they worry that they will be exchanging inner-city traffic jams for congestion surrounding stations, because many have little choice but to drive to these areas to use public transportation.
Acceptance of this new reality will also depend on commutation costs. Will we be trading the current petrol and parking costs for insufficiently cost-effective parking and LRT/MRT commuter costs without the convenience?
Reducing parking spaces in an ever-growing populated city takes away the choice to decide for themselves, they say.