Gasgoo.com (Shanghai October 24) - How to deal with rising rates of traffic congestion has become a key concern for major cities across China. Implementing policies limiting new car registrations and restricting the number of days vehicles are allowed to be driven are among the measures taken by municipal governments to deal with the issue. The economic hub of Shenzhen is reportedly taking its own route, with the city's transportation research center having announced potential plans to increase parking space fees, cyol.net reported today.
The Shenzhen Transport Planning Design and Research Center has been researching potential policies on behalf of the Transport Commission and other municipal departments. The policy that the center came up with separates the city's parking spaces into three categories: commercial, industrial and residential. Hourly fees for commercial parking spaces will be increased by 15 yuan to 20 yuan ($2.38-$3.18), with the maximum daily cap of 60 yuan ($9.53) being eliminated. Parking fees for industrial areas will increase to 60 to 75 percent of those in commercial areas, while fees for residential parking spaces will remain the same.
If the policy goes through, fees for vehicles stopped in commercial zone parking spaces for a whole day will total 240 yuan ($38.13), four times the current daily cap of 60 yuan and three times Guangzhou's maximum daily fee of 80 yuan ($12.71).
The research center believes that raising parking fees and similar policies are preferable to implementing lottery style systems like those used in Beijing and Guangzhou. The center's studies show that peak levels of congestion occur in the morning and evening, when most residents are leaving for and coming from their jobs. The center hopes that such legislation, while encouraging people to use public transportation, will not harm the city's automobile industry like policies limiting new registrations in other cities have.
However, polls surveying public opinion have found that there isn't a great deal of support for the policy. Lu Guolin, deputy chief engineer for the center, says that concerned citizens are encouraged to send in their opinions and suggestions on the issue.
The current number of total vehicles on Shenzhen's streets is close to 2.5 million units, with a concentration of around 352 vehicles per km of road.