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September 20, 2012

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New rules set to favor more curb-side parking

TO help ease Shanghai's parking shortage, local governments and community management bodies can set up temporary, street-side parking lots after approval by city traffic authorities.

The move mainly targets parking problems at night, officials said yesterday, citing a newly revised regulation going into effect next year.

"It's more than a traffic problem now," said Zhou Huai, deputy director with city transport and port administration. "Parking has also become a community management issue."

Shanghai has nearly 390,000 public parking spaces, leaving a shortage of more than 300,000, said Zhou. The administration has established temporary parking lots on 620 roads. But many are off-limits to vehicles at night.

"It's better to prolong the parking period, like after 6pm each day," said Hou Gang, a member with Shanghai People's Congress, who is also a driver.

At night, more than 270,000 cars have no designated place to park.

Police said they are reluctant to open more curb-side lots as it could lead to theft and other problems. Some drivers fail to move their cars when they should and block traffic, police said.

Under the new rules, district governments and communities can propose parking plans to police and traffic administrators, who will grant permission for temporary lots.

"Punishment will be handed out to violators who occupy the roads all the time," not moving their cars when they should, said Gu Changhao, deputy director with city government's legislative affairs office.


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