My Kingdom for a Parking Spot

Friday, June 30, 2006

No Parking

The detour around 4th Circle has been rerouted to pass behind the Prime Ministry. As I was passing through today, I noticed a nice double-decker parking garage reserved specifically for Prime Ministry staff. So despite the fact that Amman suffers from practically no parking infrastructure, the government can justify their own private lot.

This is not an isolated issue; government officials around the world—civil servants who are employed to act in the best interests of the people—always appear to serve their own interests before serving the interests of their constituents. It’s rare to see a civil servant who suffers with the people. But the reason it bothers me is this: Amman is beginning to face a parking conundrum of epic proportions.

Why does the government allow businesses, commercial centers and apartment buildings to build structures without adequate parking? It seems like the majority of the new buildings are being built practically on top of the street. New(er) stores such as Safeway or Cozmo don’t have enough parking spaces to supply the need. Mecca Mall has had to undergo a new parking garage addition to accommodate vehicle traffic. And the majority of mosques, which can expect a large influx at least once a week, don’t bother with parking areas of any kind.

The problem is exacerbated when traveling downtown where all but the most inaccessible places are designated as “no parking” zones and where ticket-happy police are more than eager to fine helpless violators. Other traffic-heavy areas, such as Shmesani, don’t have enough available parking on the streets to handle the daily infusion of business people, shoppers and diners.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: someone needs to fire the Amman city planner for incompetence and outright stupidity. Something must be done to handle the growing traffic needs in the city! The infrastructure needs some serious revamping. Future solutions must be carefully planned out and implemented and alternative means of transportation should be pursued. I still believe a subway would be a viable solution, but considering the length of time it has taken to complete the new Abdoun bridge and 4th Circle, I’ve all but given up hope.

By the way, where does one pay for accrued parking tickets in this city?


Blogger Moey said...

i heard that they're going to close the roads in the downtown area and make parkings so people park their cars kinda far and walk all the way to get to their shops. but still it's stupid. why walking all that way

6/30/2006 11:54 PM  
Blogger Jad said...

This is only one part of the problem the other part is that the Greater(?) Amman Municipality charge new office registrations for parking even if there is no park and even if they gave out the pavement for rental for some Cars stores, if you know Wadi Saga/ al-hadayeq you'll know what I mean.

7/01/2006 9:28 PM  
Blogger Tamara said...

I second every thing you have said. I seem to take taxis more than drive any where, because I know in advance I will not find any place to park especial in Shmeisani and Swefyeh...

As for paying the tickets you can pay it to any traffic police patrol ( or so I have been told), personally I pay them all at once when I renew the registration of my car.

7/02/2006 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Jano said...

well, i've always thought that the only solution is to destroy everything and build it again in a tidy way.. i always look at the biolding and houses, everything in a miss!! is so mixed and i hate it!!
i believe this is the only way to solve the problem.. something else, i think it would've been a better idea if all offices and commercial building were in the center or out of the city because its all annpying ,, i feel like my wishes will come true loool dreaming! anyway, you can pay the tickets to the police himself or to the registration department i guess, or wait till the registration is due, but i think u'll pay more then..
have a nice stay, AS IF! :p

7/03/2006 4:18 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

I think there are enough abandoned buildings scattered throughout the city that could be used for the greater good. I would recommend knocking down these unused structures for more efficient use. Some could be used to create parking levels. Others could be used to create areas that perform a public service, or perhaps turn them into small parks and natural areas in order beautify the city and space things out.

The only problem is that developers are money hungry. If there is a 5 meter square bit of land, they will sell it and develop it (a billboard, perhaps).

I would love to see some proper zoning in Amman. I hate trying to find businesses, post offices and government ministries that have been tucked back in some "residential" area. Let's see some proper residential, commercial and industrial zoning, and then plan accordingly for the traffic needs.

7/03/2006 5:41 PM  
Anonymous onzlo said...

Urban planning in Amman is non-existent, what little measures are taken are always reactive and never proactive and at best they can be described as taming the chaos!

Part of the problem is many that underground parking garages have been closed for security reasons since the bombings, but I think underground parking is the only real solution to the parking problem in Amman since it is space efficient, and is not an eyesore like over ground parking which look terrible and 'break up' the continuity of a district/road.

7/04/2006 6:58 PM  
Anonymous Hasan said...

Build a damn tram system I'd say.
Every time I ask this, I get bombarded with "Amman is too hilly for that."

Then I look at San Francisco and marval the Alien technology that keeps their trams running.

8/16/2006 3:34 AM  
Anonymous yahan said...

Please Bomb Amman & then rebuild it this is the one & only solution

8/23/2007 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Emad said...

We need to promote for Transportation alternatives in Amman and not accommodating cars in the city.
I wrote about Amman here:

9/30/2007 8:24 PM  

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