Mayor of Bandung, Ridwan Kamil, showed a warning sticker for vehicles that parked carelessly in Bandung, West Java, Friday (11/3). (ANTARA)
By: DR. Aan Efendi, S.H., M.H. *)
Starting from April 1, 2016, Surabayans must prepare themselves for higher parking costs. Starting next month, progressive and zone-based parking system will be applied in Surabaya. Different from the current regulation that made parking costs equal, no matter the place and the duration of the parked cars. Progressive and zone-based parking system will determine the parking costs according to the place and the duration (per hour) of the parked cars.
Responding to people's question, Surabaya Transportation Office said the regulation is not applied only to increase the Regional Net Income (PAD) but also to control the traffic. Progressive and zone-based parking system is implemented to resolve traffic jam issues in Surabaya roads.
As a local of Surabaya, I do want the roads of Surabaya free from the traffic jam. If progressive and zone-based parking system were applied to resolve traffic jam issues in Surabaya, we should support it. However, is it right to apply the progressive and zone-based parking system? This needs to be considered to make people stop thinking negative about the government.
If the issue didn't get serious attention, it would get worse in the future, particularly in big cities like Jakarta, Surabaya and many others. The numbers of vehicles keep increases day by day and this requires more parking areas.
In Surabaya, some vehicles are parked carelessly on the side of the roads as the number of parking areas provided by banks, commercial areas, markets, schools, universities, and other places are not enough to contain the vehicles. As a result, the places that shouldn't be used by vehicles, like sidewalks and side of the roads, are used for parking areas and it disturbs pedestrians. Besides that, the existence of illegal parking man made the state lost some of its Regional Net Income (PAD).
The issue then comes to the minds of policymakers who worked for parking issues. They came up with the decision to apply progressive and zone-based parking system. Their idea should be appreciated but they also have to accept people's critics so they could look for better alternatives.
If we consider what environment law call as the "abatement of source," which means that every problem resolution must start from its source. Parking area won't become an issue if people are not using their personal vehicles for work, shop, study, or other needs. Therefore, regional governments should find a way to stop people using their personal vehicles for their daily activities.
People prefer to use their own personal vehicles as they're cheaper, faster, safer, and more comfortable. It is unquestionable that the existence of public transport lacks passengers time to time. It is not impossible if public transport would not exist in the future.
Stopping people's habit in using their personal vehicles and promote public transport and not applying progressive and zone-based parking system would be better. Cheaper, safer, and more comfortable public transport facilities are required to make this come true.
If the government has prepared the facilities and people insist on using their personal vehicles, the government doesn't have to prohibit them from using their personal vehicles. But, the government should collect an extremely high parking costs from them.
So, the government must prepare the facilities before they apply the policy. Besides that, if the Surabaya Administration want to earn more Regional Net Income (PAD) from parking sector, they should pay attention to illegal parking areas. They should act fastly and firmly.
*)Constitutional Law Lecturer of Jember University and a local of Surabaya