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Parking rules kicked to kerb

City Hall is turning its focus to Phnom Penh’s “anarchic parking” situation.

Phnom Penh Governor Pa Socheatvong yesterday said the municipality plans to cancel old contracts awarding private companies the right to charge for parking in certain parts of the city, and introduce new restrictions on roadside parking in a bid to ease traffic for both vehicles and pedestrians.

The new measures, Socheatvong said, will put an end to parking on sidewalks, and curb the amount of space occupied by street vendors.

“For contracted parking and anarchic parking along some roads in the city [where] they charge for parking in front of residents’ houses, the Phnom Penh Municipality has decided to cancel this,” Socheatvong said.

“Residents must not take up the sidewalks to run their businesses – at least 50 per cent of the sidewalk must be left for pedestrians,” he added.

Socheatvong said the city would also formulate a plan to allow parking on certain streets on even-numbered days of the month, while forbidding it on odd-numbered days, but would “cut some space of gardens or parks to [create] public parking”.

Some residents, like Daun Penh district’s Sam Sareth, welcomed the plans yesterday.

“We would be very happy if municipal authorities had a measure to cancel paid parking [on sidewalks], because in the past, authorities seized sidewalks from pedestrians,” he said. “Even the front of my house was contracted to a private company to make a paid parking lot.”

However, the supervisor of a large office building on Monivong Boulevard whose sidewalks were thick with cars and SUVs yesterday, said she worried that a lack of parking might drive away business.

“The plan affects my business a little as well, [because] when our business area is short of parking for the clients,” they might go elsewhere, said the manager, who asked not to be named.

A date for implementing the plan hasn’t been set, but some City Hall officials speaking on condition of anonymity hinted it could come after the coming municipal, provincial and district council elections.

City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche, municipal deputy chief of administration Huot Hay and Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Khuong Sren all declined to comment yesterday.

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