In recent weeks, I came across two carparks that have poorly programmed parking monitoring systems.
First is that carpark that’s bound by the Golden Mile Food Centre, the Kampung Glam Community Club and several blocks of HDB flats.
I’m a regular tho not frequent user of that carpark, as I go to Kampung Glam for my weekly chair yoga sessions. About a monthy ago, the carpark was converted from coupon parking to ERP parking.
My heart sank three Thursdays ago when I saw the long line of cars waiting to go thru the hourly parking gantry. The angry looking “FULL” sign lit up in red prompted me not to waste time waiting, so I headed for a nearby coupon parking carpark in North Bridge Road.
Imagine my surprise when after I parked, I made my way on foot towards the CC and saw that beyond the new gantry there were at least 10 empty lots for hourly parking!
I felt like kicking myself for my impatience. I should have waited since obviously the turnaround time in the new ERP carpark was fast and furious.
Hence the Thursday after that, I wasn’t put off by the long queue that once again was outside the FULL sign. And I wasn’t disappointed as after 5 minutes I was inside the carpark.
What surprised me however was that once again there were far more parking lots available than the number of cars waiting at the gantry. What the XXXX, I thought, especially since our government has become so environmentally conscious as to want to go green all over the place.
Having a badly programmed system that doesn’t tell the truth about the number of vacant lots available and so cause line upon line of cars to idle their engines and emitting carbon monoxide in needless waiting isn’t very green friendly — at least in my books.
Last Thursday when i went for my yoga, it was the same story: long queue of cars waiting to enter and several empty car park lots within the carpark. Clearly no one has complained so I shared my observation with the girl manning the CC counter. She looked blankly at me. I gave up.
Guess it will be the same on my next visit. But if the LTA, URA, HDB, NEA, PA and other users don’t make a fuss, why should I?
Today I encountered a problem at the Clementi Mall carpark that was the right opposite of the Kampung Glam carpark!
It was raining cats and dogs and there was a short queue into the carpark. I waited and within a few minutes i was in. Then to my horror, I discovered that the two vacant lots indicated turned out to be only one lot, as there was already a car under one of the green guide lights which didn’t turn red.
That wasn’t all. There were at least 8 to 10 other cars eyeing the just vacated lot. Which meant that Clementi Mall’s gantry let in more cars than there was vacancy, FCOL!
Worse, there was no way to ensure that those who entered first would get the first vacant lot, as there are two entry points and no one to ensure fair play. Even if there was, it wasn’t possible that the first lot to be vacated would be near the car that had been waiting the longest!
Even my parking lot prayer didn’t seem to work for once. And I would have left the car park immediately if not for the fact that I had dropped off my mother and her maid earlier to get a table at the Thai cafe, Sticky Rice.
Thus I found myself circulating the carpark for no less than 20 minutes without any success and paid $1.40 to exit to look for parking elsewhere with visions of myself being soaked to my skin when I finally turned up at the cafe for lunch.
I needn’t have despaired. The HDB carpark right next door had many vacant lots and what was even better, I found that it was connected with Clementi Mall by lifts that led right to Sticky Rice. And i had no need for an umbrella at all.
Now why in tarnation didn’t the Clementi Mall management display signs inside and outside its tiny carpark to suggest parking next door?
Guess they won’t have the initiative to do anything so complicated if they can’t work out that it isn’t a good idea to let in more cars than there are vacant lots!
I must also report that thanks to the over-full Clementi Mall car park I have discovered a new way to access the mall’s facilities without going into its terrible basement carpark. Even better is the fact that the HDB carpark next door offers far more friendly wheel-chair access. Which is a plus for mum who now needs a wheel-chair to go around malls.
So perhaps the parking lot prayer I was uttering so furiously did work after all!