Hong Kong’s Transport and Housing Bureau (THB) wants to encourage the construction of more parking to “solve the illegal parking problem,” but, according to James Ockenden writing in Transit Jam, transport planner Paul Barter argues this solution is “wasteful, unfair and slow.” The government claims that while the number of parking spots has stagnated, “the number of private cars had grown by about 38%” between 2010 and 2020, necessitating a boost to parking facilities. But increasing the supply of parking “without having first improved the on-street parking management,” says Barter, is a much less effective method than “bringing Hong Kong on-street parking management up to the best international practice.”
According to Barter, improving on-street parking management through “self-enforcing design such as bollards and delivery priorities” and market pricing would be a “much more immediate, fast-working and effective solution” than the “extremely low (and costly)” plan to build more physical parking spaces.
As a city where “travel options are rich,” technology can help manage available parking and reduce the “perceived” shortage quickly and cheaply. Despite evidence that “such strategies have been proven to increase congestion” around the world, “THB Secretary Frank Chan Fan told LegCo the government’s strategy to solve traffic congestion was to build more roads, widen existing roads and build more car parking.” The government maintains that “it is imperative that the Government continues to provide more car parking spaces in order to avoid illegal parking.”