From Chinese Press

Parking fees must be flexible

(China Daily)
Updated: 2011-04-19 08:57
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The increase in parking fees in Beijing has intensified conflicts between drivers and parking lot staff members. This is not a simple issue, and authorities have to take measures to resolve it. Moreover, since the goal of raising parking fees is to limit the use of cars in the city, the policy could be made more flexible, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

Conflicts between drivers and parking lot staff members have increased after parking fees were increased in Beijing. But irrespective of the causes of these conflicts, the drivers had no right to turn violent.

Many Beijing residents have complained about the issue. And because the increased fees are a new burden on drivers, they should have a say on such matters.

As long as local authorities increase parking fees without holding open public discussions on how and to what extent the fees can be raised, they have to share a major part of the blame for the conflicts.

Although it is important to increase parking fees to ease traffic jams by making the use of cars difficult, it is still essential that people accept the move.

Besides, the authorities also have to publicize how and on what the extra money collected at the parking lots will be spent, because the people have the right to know that.

And since the ultimate aim of increasing parking fees is to limit the use of cars, the policy could be made more variable.

For example, parking fees could be higher during certain periods of the day to dissuade people from using their cars during rush hours. We think more transparent and flexible policies, adopted after public discussions, will reduce traffic jams and conflicts.