The ‘no parking’ signs placed in different areas are present to remind us that a driver cannot leave a vehicle parked there unattended, even temporarily. In such specified areas, a driver is only allowed to drop off or pick up passengers and goods.
There is a no parking zone at the entrance of a residential building on King Abdul Aziz Road in Sharjah. However, there are cars parked there during most hours of the day (as seen in photograph).
People use the ATM located at the banks in this building and conveniently leave their cars parked there for a few minutes, depending on the queue at the banks. Sometimes, there are more than two cars parked in the spot, which completely block the u-turn and prevent vehicles on the main road from taking a right turn. The traffic varies depending on the size and location of the vehicles parked in the no parking area.
Although it is easy to blame drivers for their actions, it is not entirely their fault. Unfortunately, there is no space to park one’s car around the building, especially during peak office hours.
Over the past few years, there has been a construction boom in Sharjah, which means most empty spaces are now occupied. In addition, many of the remaining spaces have been converted into private paid parking zones, which are more expensive than the Municipality parking rates. In areas with a large number of banks, it is often difficult to find parking in both private and regular paid parking zones.
Occasionally, a driver might be fined for breaking parking rules. However, that does not provide a long term solution to the problem, as drivers continue to park in the no parking zone due to the lack of an alternative. It would be advisable for banks in such locations to have at least five reserved spots for ATM users or even consider installing drive-through ATMs for quick transactions.
— The reader is a pupil based in Sharjah.
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