Experts tackle Abu Dhabi car parking shortage

A new multi-storey car park has been planned for the Tourist Club area, regional forum of traffic experts is told.

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ABU DHABI // Traffic experts in the capital are using a study identifying key parking shortfalls to formulate a strategy they hope will ensure enough space for commuters and residents, a regional forum heard yesterday.

The study, conducted across the emirate, concluded the morning commuter rush period was the worst time to try to find a place topark, but bigger problems have emerged as the city has developed, experts told the second International Road Federation Middle East Regional Congress.

A lack of alternative spaces for parking and an increasing number of high-rise buildings without underground parking facilities had exacerbated the issue, Asma al Jassmi, the section head of traffic studies at the Department of Transport, said yesterday.

A contributing factor, Ms al Jassmi said, was that underground parking required space, and buildings were being developed on plots that were too small to build such facilities.

Most of the shortage of parking falls within the Tourist Club area. Demand decreased by the evening hours, when most offices had closed,the forum heard.

Mahmoud Dibas, a transportation specialist with the Department of Transport, presented short, medium and long-term solutions to the forum.

A temporary parking structure is planned for Khalidya, while a multi-storey car park will be built in the Tourist Club area and an underground structure is also planned.

Mr Dibas said action was also planned, per Executive Council order, to: limit plot sizes to not less than 900 square metres; stop the practices of illegal renting and land-use conversion (where commercial space is used as residential, and vice-versa); and allow the Department of Transport to build multi-storey car parks above ground.

To tackle the parking issue for residents, only residents with parking permits would be able to park in certain areas between 9pm and 8am. "This has been decided keeping in mind the number of residents in each area," Mr Dibas said.