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Carpark Not Enough!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Although there are cries of discontent in some quarters and this is amply evident in the last General Election as well as the Presidential Election, it seems that more HDB dwellers are doing better in recent years.

How do we know this? Wait for Jack Neo to make a movie "HDB Parking Lots Not Enough!", maybe.

I read an article in The Straits Times on my iPad today that the "pace of growth of car ownership has overtaken that of HDB's carpark-building programme.

"The number of HDB carpark spaces has risen from 539,800 in 2005 to 557,000 as at June this year - a 3.2 per cent rise.

"But the number of HDB households - the bulk of Singapore households - with a car has grown by 26.3 per cent to 310,400 over the same period. And the number with more than one car has shot up by 76.5 per cent to 45,900."

It seems that we could use the scarcity of HDB carpark spaces as an indicator of economic prosperity in Singapore. Given the cost of car ownership in Singapore, the growth of car ownership amongst HDB households probably shows that many are better off in recent times.

For me, I am glad that I do not have a problem finding a parking lot in the HDB estate where I stay now. Well, not yet, perhaps.


OT83 said...

Hi Ak,

I have no problem finding car parks too!

It is never a problem to me!

Guess why?


AK71 said...

Hi OT,

It boggles my mind as to why you would go looking for a parking lot in the first instance. ;p

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi AK71,

I am having difficulties finding a parking lot too, especially during night times.

My old HDB estate doesn't have a MSCP and that worsens the parking woes. :(

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

The HDB estate I am staying in is more than 20 years old and I guess the multi-storey carpark could have been a later addition.

Even so, if I were to reach home after 9pm, I would have to go up 5 or 6 storeys before I could get a lot. I console myself by saying at least I still have a lot.

It seems that you and your neighbours have to lobby for a multi-storey carpark which will solve the problem but there could be short term pains. ;)

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

My estate residents have been calling for a MSCP for a long time but the design fault of the entire HDB landscape makes it impossible for a MSCP. There is literally no available space for one without demolishing two HDB flats or more.

And my estate is more than 25 years. Sucks to be here.

kappo said...

My house multi-storey carpark had limited lots as the newer estate near my house had lots no prize guessing where they are buying their season parking...anyway... before my hb bought season parking..there are people who actually abuse my address to apply. ( I had recieve letter to inform carplate no xxxx had application for the lot is successful, and we dun own any cars except hb taxi) Think hb bought the season parking thru giro now, so we dun recieve this type of letter anymore.

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

I think the estate I am staying in now is about the same age as yours but being in CCK, there is still quite a bit of free space. Land is cheaper here. ;)

I think your place must be nearer town and the land more expensive which could explain the lack of free space?

AK71 said...

Hi Kappo,

My sis helps me with renewing the season parking for my car. I know she does it online. Hassle free.

I didn't know anyone could just latch onto any HDB address to get season parking in the corresponding estate.

How could it happen? Mind boggling!

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

Well, I am staying in Yishun, one of the cheapest estate in town, and there are availability of space anywhere but just not in the central area. The central area of Yishun is vastly developed with old HDB flats, schools, roads, MRT lines and a shopping mall. No rooms for a MSCP.

Guess in the future, the govt may redevelop the entire central. But by then, I may have already moved out to elsewhere, maybe a condo with nice underground MSCP. Who knows? :D

Anonymous said...

Increased car population does not mean increased car ownership as the resident population on the island since 2005 has increased almost 50% within the last five years.

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

Sounds like your place has en-bloc potential! :)

In my NSF days, I used to visit Yishun10 on nights off. Simple pleasures. I remember once I went to the cineplex and could not find a movie I had not watched already! ;)

financialray said...

Perhaps the reason for the increase in the car population is that the population itself has increased to 5 to 6 million.
So our transport and properties infrastructure was not properly planned when they allowed a large number of foreigners.
LHL had admitted the mistake, apologised and sacked the ministers involved. Perhaps nobody knew Singapore was going to let in so many foreigners till the IRs were ready?
So actually the proportion of cars to population may even have declined.

AK71 said...

Hi Anonymous,

Increased car population does not mean increased car ownership? Something doesn't sound right.

Anyway, I did a quick check and found that Singapore had 3.642m people in 2005 and now we have 5m people. That is a 37% increase in almost six years, not almost 50% in the last five years.

The 37% increase is probably all from immigration and these people are less likely to have bought HDB flats.

Even if some of the immigrants were to rent rooms in HDB flats or entire flats, they are likely to be the lower paid foreign workers and less likely to own cars.

Therefore, it is reasonable to attribute the increased car population in HDB estates to better economic conditions for HDB flat dwellers who are mostly Singaporeans and PRs.

Could you include your name or initials in future comments?

AK71 said...

Hi financialray,

Your comment is similar to Anonymous' although much more detailed. :)

The article I have mentioned talks specifically about the situation with HDB carparks, not the situation with all carparks nationwide.

This precludes to a large extent the pressures imposed by large number of immigrants in the last few years.

Please read this as an add on to my reply to Anonymous' comment earlier. :)

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

Well, our public transport should be revamped to convince Singaporeans to abandon private transport.

MSCPs should be as high as 10 - 12 storeys to accommodate increased no. of cars. Underground MSCPs should also be built under new flats in addition to ground-level MSCPs.

This parking and travel woes can be solved but just that the city developers are too conservative and uncreative in their plannings.

OT83 said...

Hi AK,

You are so smart. Haha your post inspired me to write my lastest post on car.

Thanks again!

I learn from Master AK again :)

mark said...

Well.. I dont have a parking problem too. Unless there is a wake. I stay in central.. so i better not jinx myself.

Musicwhiz said...

Doesn't bother me. I have yet to own a car since I graduated. LOL!

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

You know once we are used to the convenience of having a car, it is hard to give it up as no matter how good public transport gets, it can never be as convenient.

I kept saying that once the Circle Line station is up outside my office, I could take the train to work. Well, it is up now and I have tried it. I still can't give up my car. ;)

MSCP that is 10 storeys high? Oh my, I don't think I will like that. Imagine going up that high to get a lot! I guess we might not have much of a choice in time. :(

As for underground MSCP, I think that is the way to go and I see it in the new HDB flats in Tanjong Pagar. The Pinncle, I think it is called.

Underground MSCP will be pricier to construct and the cost will be passed on to consumers though.

AK71 said...

Hi OT,

I wonder what did I do. I will go visit your blog to find out. ;)

Hi Mark,

Crossing fingers! haha.. ;)

Hi MW,

I am sure you are doing a smart thing by avoiding car ownership! It is expensive to own one and could even be financially crippling for some. ;)

Anonymous said...

i won't be surprised that one day, we have to buy the parking lot as part of the HDB flat/Condo purchase plus exorbitant prices for parking spaces. Just like in Hong Kong.

But then, I have never find the need for a car in Hong Kong either as the taxi are plentiful if I need more space/privacy or traveling in larger group.

Also, there are a matrix of mini buses running round the clock, which is better than those night buses. Most of the time, the public transport can be faster than driving as there is n While it cost more per km than in SGP, but then it is definitely cheaper than owning a car.

Oh, i forgot to brag. I do get 15% discount for calling a cab. No surcharge or whatever extra hor (except perhaps the toll). Sometimes I get even fixed price with toll included, but thats for longer trips like going to airport or something. Only condition is there is a minimum charge of HK$50 per trip.

Have fun lah.


AK71 said...

Hi SnOOpy168,

The taxi fares in HK are exorbitant! However, the train system is so efficient and well connected that there is no need to take taxis unless I happen to have lots of luggage. Just choose hotels with MTR stations nearby. :)

As for buying parking lots in future, my parents were made to do that for their condo in KL years ago but we have always suspected that the developer was crooked!

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