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February 3, 2012

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International community snarled up in parking chaos

CHAOTIC parking is making life a misery for residents in an international community in downtown Gubei area.

Insufficient parking space has seen surrounding streets almost blocked by parked cars and irate drivers venting their frustrations on pedestrians.

Following numerous complaints, Changning District construction officials have said they are teaming up with traffic police to tackle the problems.

High-end residential complexes have sprung up since 2003 in the neighborhood - the Second Phase of Gubei New Area.

These cover 1.03 million square meters and residents include large numbers of expatriates.

But officials admit worsening traffic safety is blighting the area.

"Soaring numbers of private cars are leading to parking chaos in roads surrounding these complexes," said Shen Qunhui, deputy director with the Changning District Construction Commission.

"Parked cars on both sides of the roads prevent smooth traffic flow," Shen added.

The commission has received numerous complaints from residents, urging improvements to traffic safety.

The neighborhood committee office said while there have been no serious injuries to date, accidents involving pedestrians and cars occur daily.

Scarce public space in the area limits scope for road expansion and additional car parking, said the construction authority.

Officials are working to equip more crossing points with traffic lights to improve safety and urging police to ban parking in certain areas.

The worst affected is around Yaohong Road, Gubei Road, Guyang Road and Hongqiao Road.

Shanghai Daily reporters yesterday found traffic conditions worst on Yinzhu Road and Manao Road, major arteries passing the neighborhood.

Both roads have only two lanes, yet on many stretches cars were parked on both sides, leaving a space barely wide enough for one vehicle to pass through.

In some parts of the complexes, parked cars blocked access points for emergency services vehicles.

Residents complained that impatient drivers added to the traffic problems.

"When I cross the road, drivers are always sounding their horns for me to hurry up," said a resident who gave her name as Yvonne.

The Gubei Property Management Limited Company, the property manager, told Shanghai Daily that some residents had urged them to set up no-parking zones.

But the company officials said they were not authorized to do this.

A survey by traffic and housing authorities showed there are 780,000 parking spaces in downtown Shanghai - a shortfall of at least 367,000 spaces, according to estimates.


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