Women facilities likely to face parking crisis


Saudi Gazette report

— Experts expect an acute shortage of car parking lots to crop up in front of women facilities when women are allowed to drive June 24.

They said the shortage of parking lots will be especially noted in front of wedding halls, beauty salons, sports clubs and colleges for females.

Abdul Hameed Al-Moajel, director of Saudi Society for Traffic Safety (SSTS), told Makkah daily that there are 31 girls colleges and institutes in the Kingdom being attended by 792,832 students.

"There will be an acute shortage of car parking lots if the necessary arrangements were not taken," he warned.

He said the committee set up to take necessary arrangements for women driving should take this into consideration and should work to ensure women drivers with sufficient parking areas.

According to Moajel, there is more need for a parking lot than the expansion of the streets. "Cars will be moving on the streets from 10 minutes to an hour while they will be parked for many hours," he said.

He said many of the women facilities do not honor the municipal directives asking for a single car parking lot for each 2.5 meters of the size of each building.

Moajel said the present lack of parking lots for women is caused by the fact that a lot of them are driven to their working places or educational institutions by private drivers who do not need to park after dropping them down or picking them up.

"If 20 out of 40 women coming to their work places or schools by bus decide to drive their own cars, we will have a huge parking problem," he said.

Moajel said if half of the present school and university girl students decided to drive their own cars, there will be need for more than 300,000 new parking areas.

To face the problem, he suggested not to allow females below 25 years of age to drive at the first stage until the problem of the parking lots is solved, to build multi-story parking areas and to increase the number of the paid-up parking lots so as to encourage investors to invest in this kind of business.

According to the statistics of the Ministry of Education for 2016, there were 13,593 girl students in the Northern Borders Province, 15,761 in Al-Jouf, 23,402 in Hail, 23,195 in Tabuk, 45,170 in Qasim, 132,832 in the Eastern Province, 45,309 in Madinah, 192,873 in Riyadh, 190,590 in Makkah Province, 10, 485 in Najran, 34,672 in Jazan, 13,391 in Al-Baha and 51,559 in Asir.