Phnom Penh Municipality has hired a Malaysian-headquartered firm to begin making paid parking spaces and pedestrian-only walking areas along two boulevards next month, officials said yesterday.
The company Edisijuta Parking is scheduled to begin work on the section of Monivong Boulevard from Charles de Gaulle Boulevard to Street 120, followed by all of Kampuchea Krom Boulevard, according to Moeung Sophan, deputy director of the public works department.
“The parking spaces will be built soon next month,” he said, adding that the changes were aimed at reducing congestion on the streets. “There will be spaces for vehicle parking and spaces for pedestrians to walk and it will not impact people’s homes.”
Mr Sophan declined to elaborate on the plans, saying an advertisement would air on television next week giving more details. But he said the parking scheme differed somewhat from what was instituted in May on Charles de Gaulle Boulevard, where car parking is limited to two hours.
Parking will cost 1,000 riel, or about $0.25, for the first hour, and 500 riel per additional hour with monthly rates also available, he said. Revenue will be shared between the government and Edisijuta, which was given a five-year contract, he added, declining to provide more details.
Deputy Phnom Penh governor Pa Socheatvong said the city also planned to add parking spaces to more city streets, like Mao Tse Toung Boulevard.
“We plan to make it easy and not only provide the car owners but also motorcycle and bike owners with parking services and pedestrians with walking areas,” Mr Socheat Vong said.
Sann Socheata, road safety regional liaison officer for Handicap International Belgium, said she had received information on the plans from the city but had not seen the design.
“We really welcome the idea as long as they consider the pedestrian facilities,” she said of the plan. “Once the pedestrians can walk on the sidewalk, they no longer walk on the road, and this of course reduces crashes with pedestrians.”
Ms Socheata pointed to the Cambodia Road Crash and Victim Information System report for 2009, which found that 13 percent of fatalities were suffered by pedestrians.