Insufficient parking areas leads to chaos within Jeddah

Selma Roth

Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH – The lack of parking lots meant for shops, hospitals, and businesses are causing major traffic jams throughout the seaside city.

Inhabitants frequently complain about the rise of community buildings and businesses along crowded roads without providing adequate car parking facilities. As a result, roads get clogged with double parked cars or people waiting for a free spot, and motorists block other people’s automobiles, who then have to wait or find the owner inside the shop or restaurant.

Umm Bander experienced this just a few days ago. Coming out of a shopping mall along Jeddah Corniche when it closed for Maghreb prayer, she found her car blocked by another car and had to wait 30 minutes until the owner came out of the mosque.

“He left the mosque much afterwards than everyone else – all shops had already opened again, ” the 44-year-old mother of 3 said.

Remembering the particular incident made her blood boil again. “I asked him if it was his car and he mentioned, ‘No, it’s my wife’s, ” as if that took away his responsibility for the way it was left.

When she faced him with the fact that she had been waiting for half an hour, his only response was that he had to pray.

“He didn’t feel in any way like he had done anything incorrect, ” Umm Bander said, including that his wife, who was next to him, did not say anything at all either.

Saad Khan, a 25-year-old office administrator in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), said all over the place he goes there is no parking obtainable. “And if there is, it is taken up […] in a matter of seconds. Frequently , I end up being cursed if in error I park at a place where someone else was eyeing before me or at the same time as me. ”

As a result, Khan avoids certain roads, such as Falesteen Street and Tahlia “because they are consistently blocked by double, triple car parking. ”

However , if the problem occurs right under the creating you live in, it is impossible to evade it: “Under my creating on Prince Majed Street, [restaurant customers] often park and forget” about their car.

The problem is that the restaurants near his home in Aziziyah Area do not provide enough parking areas.

“So we just have to park far away from our apartment and carry goods, gas cylinders, and stuff like that all the way, ” he sighed.

According to Ko Mies, a civil engineer in the Netherlands working for an international retail company in Jeddah, a number of factors give rise to the parking crisis.

First of all, the laws regulating car parking areas are not implemented consistently.

“The authorities leave it up to the developers to decide on the required region designated to parking lots, but the last mentioned often don’t take this into account within their designs, while investors or store owners are not involved in the issue of parking. ”

He said the company he works meant for studies the market, the size of its twigs, as well as the habits of local customers before building a store and nearby parking spaces, but many businesses lack the experience and benchmark figures required to decide on the required number of parking lots.

As a result, authorities and companies sometimes look at benchmark figures from all other, more or less similar countries, such as Dubai or the United States, but these may be irrelevant to the local situation.

“Are people coming by car to your shop or is there a great public transport connection, how long perform people stay at your shop, and are people coming alone by car or in big groups are all questions that should be taken into account when designing the shopping area, ” Mies mentioned.

Another problem, he continued, is the lack of land-use planning or “zoning, ” a practice of designating specific areas for use or development as a particular area in planning.

In most developed countries, zoning regulates the usage of land, and the surrounding infrastructure is going to be designed to support the need of a particular zone.

As such, an area that has been zoned for retail must be accessible for a large number of vehicles and supply sufficient parking lots.

Within Jeddah, zones easily change from shops to restaurants or other companies, which all have totally different needs when it comes to parking spaces. “In shops, traffic is usually spread out over the times, and people do not stay long; restaurants, on the other hand, have clear peak hours and people tend to stay for considerably longer, ” he said to illustrate the various needs for parking spaces based on the use of land.

Take, for instance, the Rawdah Star Complex located on Rawdah Street. The sq ., with some 15 restaurants, offers for the most part three parking lots per restaurant. How could the authorities grant all those restaurants licenses to open, Mies wondered, and why do businesses actually consider establishing there?

Even when there are regulations, they are really lenient. Saudi Gazette did not succeed in obtaining recent numbers, but in June 2009, Jeddah Municipality announced these rules for parking areas: minimal 150 square meters for a home complex, and 70 square meters for office car parks.

Wholesale and retail business buildings should have 50 to 60 square meter parking areas, and souqs and supermarkets 35 sq . meters, Abid Al-Jadaani, director common of the Building Regulations Department on the municipality, told Arab News in those days.

A simple calculation provides us with the number of cars that may actually be parked in those areas. Given that parking lots have an average width of 2 . 53 meters and length of 4. 35 meters, the location needed for one parking space is certainly 11 square meters on average (and that is not even for parallel car parking spaces, which require an average of 16. 8 square meters per parking).

That means a 150-square-meter-parking area for a residential complex may hardly accommodate 11 cars, considering that you also need space between the a lot.

Most buildings nowadays contain 16 apartments in addition to a penthouse, meaning at least 17, but most possibly 34 cars.

Exactly the same goes for office car parks. How many offices have only six employees? And how many souqs and grocery stores have only three customers at any given time?

Naturally, Jeddah is just not the only town facing parking complications. In a world dominated by vehicles, parking lots are scarce and often difficult to find. As a result, in many countries authorities attempt to discourage the use of cars and boost parking space turnover rates within crowded areas by introducing car parking fees.

Jeddah’s California king Abdulaziz International Airport implemented this effectively, but other areas have not followed however.

An additional, looming problem is the growth rate of vehicles in the city. With a young population like Saudi Arabia’s, where 50 percent is under 25 years, the number of vehicles is growing exponentially.

Within the absence of feasible alternatives, parking : and traffic in general – will probably become an ever growing problem within the Kingdom.

The regulators must be aware of this, but grant however licenses in areas that are currently very dense, such as Tahlia Street, Mies pointed out. On that road, directly east from Madinah Road, a giant shopping mall is currently being constructed, while the area already suffers heavily from traffic congestion, especially in the nights and on the weekends.

Mies calls the phase the particular Kingdom currently is in a “pioneering phase. ” Coming into existence only eight decades ago, the country can not be compared to much older countries on the planet.

And while it can learn from other young countries such as the Usa Arab Emirates, their solutions can not be copy-pasted blindly, as every country’s situation is different.

© Copyright 2013 The Saudi Gazette. All Rights Reserved. Provided by Syndigate. info, an Albawaba. com company


-+011000110+-

Selma Roth

Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH – The lack of parking lots meant for shops, hospitals, and businesses are causing major traffic jams throughout the seaside city.

Inhabitants frequently complain about the rise of community buildings and businesses along crowded roads without providing adequate car parking facilities. As a result, roads get clogged with double parked cars or people waiting for a free spot, and motorists block other people’s automobiles, who then have to wait or find the owner inside the shop or restaurant.

Umm Bander experienced this just a few days ago. Coming out of a shopping mall along Jeddah Corniche when it closed for Maghreb prayer, she found her car blocked by another car and had to wait 30 minutes until the owner came out of the mosque.

“He left the mosque much afterwards than everyone else – all shops had already opened again, ” the 44-year-old mother of 3 said.

Remembering the particular incident made her blood boil again. “I asked him if it was his car and he mentioned, ‘No, it’s my wife’s, ” as if that took away his responsibility for the way it was left.

When she faced him with the fact that she had been waiting for half an hour, his only response was that he had to pray.

“He didn’t feel in any way like he had done anything incorrect, ” Umm Bander said, including that his wife, who was next to him, did not say anything at all either.

Saad Khan, a 25-year-old office administrator in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), said all over the place he goes there is no parking obtainable. “And if there is, it is taken up […] in a matter of seconds. Frequently , I end up being cursed if in error I park at a place where someone else was eyeing before me or at the same time as me. ”

As a result, Khan avoids certain roads, such as Falesteen Street and Tahlia “because they are consistently blocked by double, triple car parking. ”

However , if the problem occurs right under the creating you live in, it is impossible to evade it: “Under my creating on Prince Majed Street, [restaurant customers] often park and forget” about their car.

The problem is that the restaurants near his home in Aziziyah Area do not provide enough parking areas.

“So we just have to park far away from our apartment and carry goods, gas cylinders, and stuff like that all the way, ” he sighed.

According to Ko Mies, a civil engineer in the Netherlands working for an international retail company in Jeddah, a number of factors give rise to the parking crisis.

First of all, the laws regulating car parking areas are not implemented consistently.

“The authorities leave it up to the developers to decide on the required region designated to parking lots, but the last mentioned often don’t take this into account within their designs, while investors or store owners are not involved in the issue of parking. ”

He said the company he works meant for studies the market, the size of its twigs, as well as the habits of local customers before building a store and nearby parking spaces, but many businesses lack the experience and benchmark figures required to decide on the required number of parking lots.

As a result, authorities and companies sometimes look at benchmark figures from all other, more or less similar countries, such as Dubai or the United States, but these may be irrelevant to the local situation.

“Are people coming by car to your shop or is there a great public transport connection, how long perform people stay at your shop, and are people coming alone by car or in big groups are all questions that should be taken into account when designing the shopping area, ” Mies mentioned.

Another problem, he continued, is the lack of land-use planning or “zoning, ” a practice of designating specific areas for use or development as a particular area in planning.

In most developed countries, zoning regulates the usage of land, and the surrounding infrastructure is going to be designed to support the need of a particular zone.

As such, an area that has been zoned for retail must be accessible for a large number of vehicles and supply sufficient parking lots.

Within Jeddah, zones easily change from shops to restaurants or other companies, which all have totally different needs when it comes to parking spaces. “In shops, traffic is usually spread out over the times, and people do not stay long; restaurants, on the other hand, have clear peak hours and people tend to stay for considerably longer, ” he said to illustrate the various needs for parking spaces based on the use of land.

Take, for instance, the Rawdah Star Complex located on Rawdah Street. The sq ., with some 15 restaurants, offers for the most part three parking lots per restaurant. How could the authorities grant all those restaurants licenses to open, Mies wondered, and why do businesses actually consider establishing there?

Even when there are regulations, they are really lenient. Saudi Gazette did not succeed in obtaining recent numbers, but in June 2009, Jeddah Municipality announced these rules for parking areas: minimal 150 square meters for a home complex, and 70 square meters for office car parks.

Wholesale and retail business buildings should have 50 to 60 square meter parking areas, and souqs and supermarkets 35 sq . meters, Abid Al-Jadaani, director common of the Building Regulations Department on the municipality, told Arab News in those days.

A simple calculation provides us with the number of cars that may actually be parked in those areas. Given that parking lots have an average width of 2 . 53 meters and length of 4. 35 meters, the location needed for one parking space is certainly 11 square meters on average (and that is not even for parallel car parking spaces, which require an average of 16. 8 square meters per parking).

That means a 150-square-meter-parking area for a residential complex may hardly accommodate 11 cars, considering that you also need space between the a lot.

Most buildings nowadays contain 16 apartments in addition to a penthouse, meaning at least 17, but most possibly 34 cars.

Exactly the same goes for office car parks. How many offices have only six employees? And how many souqs and grocery stores have only three customers at any given time?

Naturally, Jeddah is just not the only town facing parking complications. In a world dominated by vehicles, parking lots are scarce and often difficult to find. As a result, in many countries authorities attempt to discourage the use of cars and boost parking space turnover rates within crowded areas by introducing car parking fees.

Jeddah’s California king Abdulaziz International Airport implemented this effectively, but other areas have not followed however.

An additional, looming problem is the growth rate of vehicles in the city. With a young population like Saudi Arabia’s, where 50 percent is under 25 years, the number of vehicles is growing exponentially.

Within the absence of feasible alternatives, parking : and traffic in general – will probably become an ever growing problem within the Kingdom.

The regulators must be aware of this, but grant however licenses in areas that are currently very dense, such as Tahlia Street, Mies pointed out. On that road, directly east from Madinah Road, a giant shopping mall is currently being constructed, while the area already suffers heavily from traffic congestion, especially in the nights and on the weekends.

Mies calls the phase the particular Kingdom currently is in a “pioneering phase. ” Coming into existence only eight decades ago, the country can not be compared to much older countries on the planet.

And while it can learn from other young countries such as the Usa Arab Emirates, their solutions can not be copy-pasted blindly, as every country’s situation is different.

© Copyright 2013 The Saudi Gazette. All Rights Reserved. Provided by Syndigate. info, an Albawaba. com company

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