The Malaysia-based company contracted to create paid parking in Phnom Penh said yesterday that it had already marked 950 parking spaces on Monivong Boulevard, although collecting payment from motorists has proved troublesome.
Fee collection on Monivong began in November, and the company is now beginning to mark spaces on Kampuchea Krom Boulevard, said Michael Ong, manager of Edisijuta (Cambodia) Pte Ltd, which was awarded a five-year contract starting in July 2010 to institute the paid parking scheme.
The company will eventually create approximately 5,000 paid parking spaces within the next two-and-a-half years and expand to at least seven other thoroughfares: Sihanouk, Mao Tse Toung, Monireth and Charles de Gaulle boulevards, and streets 215, 130, and 182.
However, only about 20 percent of drivers currently pay fees when they park on the stretches of Monivong Boulevard patrolled by about 30 company staff, he said. “Some drivers accept [the charges], but some try to take advantage of the situation,” he said, adding that at the moment no penalties or fines are being used to enforce the parking rules.
Drivers “have to get used to the system…. The trend is moving positively, but to see further improvements we really need enforcement.”
On Monivong Boulevard between 7 am and 7 pm, people wishing to park cars must pay 1,000 riel, or about $0.25, for the first hour and 500 riel for each subsequent hour. There is a flat rate of 500 riel a motorcycle, and a current promotion offers cars all-day parking for 4,000 riel.
Phnom Penh governor Kep Chuktema noted yesterday that although the paid parking “improves public order and gives an orderly appearance,” it had not prevented traffic jams from building up along the boulevard.
Chan Ravy, 37, a driver standing by his parked car on Monivong Boulevard yesterday, said he felt the fees were reasonably low unless drivers wanted to park their cars for long periods of time.
“Sometimes drivers only park for a few minutes so it is no problem, but sometime drivers park for many hours and it causes difficulties.”