Long accustomed to parking their cars along sidewalks and roads at their own convenience, Phnom Penh drivers may soon face hefty fines for their carelessness
Photo by: TRACEY SHELTON
Street 284 near the Olympic market will be targeted for a crackdown on bad parking.
PHNOM Penh's long tradition of parking on the sidewalk and clogging main roads may be coming to an end, with a new municipal crackdown on out-of-control parking.
"All cars that park on the sidewalk for no reason will be fined," Kep Chuktema, governor of Phnom Penh, told the Post.
"Starting next week, we will escalate road management on streets that always experience traffic jams," he said Tuesday.
According to Pa Bunna, head of the Olympic market committee, the crackdown will begin on one of the most driver-unfriendly roads: Street 284 near the Olympic market.
"We will have a meeting next week with the Olympic commune chief to try to resolve the problems with traffic jams," he said.
Pa Bunna said managing the flow of traffic in the area was particularly problematic because of overlapping mandates.
"Just because traffic jams have happened around the Olympic market from cars parking on the sidewalk, it is not our duty to sort it out, it falls under the authority of the Olympic commune," Pa Bunna said.
According to commune chief Seng Vannary, one of the major contributors to road blockages in the area are parking touts who collect money to park cars and then park them on the road.
"The Olympic market committee rents the roads to people who do business selling parking spaces along the road. They have done this since 1995," she told the Post.
She said she hoped the meeting would facilitate cooperation from the municipality.
"I have been trying to get intervention from Phnom Penh Municipality for two mandates already, but they have until now remained silent on the issue."
Ouk Phal Chen, a local government official, said the city's traffic issues were a blemish on its progressing urban development.
"Everything is developing well in our city at the present except the management of the roads," he said.
"The traffic jams are very bad, especially when authorities allow cars to park on the sidewalk."
But Tin Prasoer, chief of Phnom Penh's traffic police said changing people's parking habits would be a difficult task.
"We have had a ban on parking before. We need to re-educate drivers and ask them to pay the extra money it costs to police the area and bring their cars to the police station."