A Malaysian company has begun administering fees to motorists parking along a stretch of Monivong Boulevard, marking the first step of an initiative that is set to be expanded citywide in a bid to combat congestion and reclaim pavement for pedestrians.
Moeung Sophan, deputy director of the municipal Department of Public Works and Transport, said the paid parking scheme had begun on Monday and was in effect from Street 217, or Charles de Gaulle Boulevard, to Street 120, near Central Market.
“It is in order to create good public order and to avoid traffic congestion,” he said.
He said the scheme called for motorbike drivers to pay 500 riels, wheres car drivers would be charged 1,000 riels (US$0.25) for one hour and 500 riels for every additional hour.
An announcement issued by City Hall on October 25 said the administration of parking fees would be handled by the Cambodia office of Edisijuta Pte Ltd, a Malaysian firm.
Moeung Sophan said the company had five years to implement the scheme, during which time it would be expanded along Kampuchea Krom and Sihanouk boulevards.
The Post was unable to contact Edisijuta yesterday.
The October 25 announcement also said that municipal officials were “spiritually hopeful that with understanding and good cooperation from local people and authorities we can contribute to making the capital have better security and order”.
Some business owners affected by the first phase of the initiative yesterday expressed concern that it would deter customers.
Lu Meng, the owner of a Café Sentiment branch on Monivong, said he had been informed of the parking fees about one month ago, and that workers had since been busy demarcating parking spaces and pavements.
“In front of my shop it is the public sidewalk, so it is for the city officials to do what they want, but my guests will have to pay the city officials for parking,” he said. “There will be an effect.”