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Parking fees spark complaints

Parking fees spark complaints

RESIDENTS and business owners living on a section of Charles de Gaulle Boulevard where parking fees were recently collected as part of a one-week experiment are preparing to submit a complaint to Prime Minister Hun Sen, representatives said Monday.

Under the experiment, which ended last Wednesday, customers visiting shops on a 120-metre stretch between Streets 107 and 109 in Prampi Makara district were allowed to park cars and motorbikes for free for up to one hour, but were charged between 500 riels to 20,000 riels (US$4.80) if they stayed for longer.

Huot Chhon, the owner of a shop selling spare motorbike parts, said he did not know when the complaint would be submitted, but that he was trying to collect as many thumbprints as possible. “I’m worried that in the future the city would start this officially along the road. It will affect our business,” he said.

Prampi Makara district governor Som Sovann said Monday that decisions about whether to undertake additional experiments or to impose permanent fees would be made by City Hall, and that there had not yet been any meetings about the experiment that ended last week.
City Hall officials could not be reached for comment on Monday.

A notice dated May 25 said the point of the exercise was to reduce the number of vehicles along Charles de Gaulle and discourage “anarchic parking”.

Masato Koto, an urban planning consultant who came up with the scheme, said last month that the long-term plan is to make Phnom Penh more pedestrian-friendly.

“In other countries, sidewalks are only for pedestrians,” he said. “But Cambodia is different. Here sidewalks are for parking cars, so we have to change this characteristic.”

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