By Samir Salama gulfnews.com
Starting April 24, Abu Dhabi residents will have to pay to park their cars in more than 1,650 parking spaces in Al Khalidiya area, where parking is currently free of charge, a senior official said on Monday.
Najeeb Al Zarouni, general manager of parking at the Department of Transport, said the move aimed to encourage car pooling. He said a parking area complete with payment machines has been created between Zayed the First Street to the north and Al Falah Street to the south, and between Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street (Airport Road) to the east and King Khalid Bin Abdul Aziz Street (26th Street) to the west.
Paid parking has already been implemented in other areas of Al Khalidiya. Paid parking hours in these areas are also to be extended until 10pm, from 9pm at present. The new timings — from 8am to 10pm — will also gradually take effect in other areas.
The additional spaces are part of a long-term parking strategy to better serve the residents of Abu Dhabi. Increasing the number of parking bays from 3,475 to 5,125 will help reduce illegal parking, facilitating smoother flow of traffic and ensuring the safety of residents and visitors.
There are plans to introduce a pay-to-park system in 71,000 spaces across Abu Dhabi by the end of this year.
Mawaqif, described as an innovative and integrated parking solution for the city, was able to provide these additional 1,650 parking slots after reaching an agreement with Sorouh Properties to use a piece of land in Al Khalidiya area that allowed it to provide 1,200 parking bays.
The additional 450 parking spaces have been made available as a result of changes made by Mawaqif to reroute traffic in some inner streets of Al Khalidiya.
In line with other paid parking services, spaces will be free of charge during official holidays. Fines, however, will be applied to cars that are parked illegally at any time.
Mawaqif was launched by the Department of Transport in 2009 to ease the chronic shortage of parking spaces in some of Abu Dhabi’s most congested areas by offering parking spots to residents and commuters with the aim of ensuring a greener, more accessible and less congested city while supporting the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision of making the city one of the leading capitals in the world.
Boost for transport
The Department of Transport (DoT) in Abu Dhabi has launched its master plan to develop the transportation and roads sectors in the emirate.
It has also finalised agreements for projects with some major international construction companies specialised in developing multi-modal cargo transportation facilities.
It will adopt a set of policies and master plans to develop transport and roads infrastructure in the emirate, keeping pace with the current economic development and the ambitious Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.