Malls urged to put up apps locating vacant parking spaces


By Rose de la Cruz



Crowd-drawing malls, schools and churches have been urged to have downloadable mobile apps for locating vacant parking spaces on their premises, to reduce time wasted looking for parking slots, ease traffic congestion near such facilities and to notify parking security of suspicious situations and medical emergencies.


The suggestion was raised by Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, as member of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development and chair of the House committee on public information, as she also asked the Philippine National Police and the mall operators to maximize the malls’ transport terminals


She asked the owners of shopping malls, hospitals, sprawling campuses to address the specific issue of parking within the larger contexts of safety and traffic management.


“I filed House Bill 2263, the proposed Car Park Security Act, which provides measures for access control, CCTV monitoring and compliance,” she said.


Although it would not cost the malls tens of millions of pesos to build parking structures, “those facilities are auxiliary to the mall areas and contribute to bringing revenue to the whole shopping complex, while securing the safety of customers. So while it may be impossible to provide free parking, fees for use of the facilities should be affordable and reasonable,” she stressed.


Shopping complexes ought to have downloadable mobile apps for locating vacant parking spaces on their premises. Such apps can significantly lessen time wasted looking for parking slots, ease traffic congestion at and around parking facilities, and notify parking security of suspicious situations and medical emergencies.


Hundreds of commuters waiting, not on sidewalks but on highways for their rides home, is inexcusable. It takes only one drunk, distracted, or speeding driver at the steering wheel of a motor vehicle to suddenly kill, maim, or seriously injure commuters standing on highways and sidewalks. This high risk is frequently present along the highways linking eastern Metro Manila and Rizal, northern Quezon City and Caloocan to Bulacan, and Paranaque and Manila to Cavite, she said.


Local PNP, mall security, city/municipal traffic enforcers, and barangay tanods must come to an agreement on how to keep those commuters from waiting on the highways and herd them to the transport terminals within the mall complexes.


Some property developers have integrated transport terminals into the design of their shopping malls, but some have not. Cities and towns with malls within their jurisdictions or soon-to-be-built therein would be wise to encourage or require the mall developers to incorporate multi-modal transport terminals so that tricycles, jeepneys, buses, and private vehicles do not cause traffic congestion on roads leading to and from the malls.


Hospitals and campuses are also traffic congestion zones. Surely, there are better ways for these facilities to not unreasonably inconvenience motorists and commuters. The main roads near the schools and hospitals are not their private parking spaces. Effective coordination with the barangays should be enough to address this. 



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Wednesday, 21 March 2018
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