The development our country has gone through has resulted in a number of problems that citizens face on a daily basis, not least parking. Anyone owning some type of vehicle is aware of how difficult it has become to find a parking slot in certain parts of the country. This problem has been in the making for years. Is there sustainable solution?
We spoke with Professor Maria Attard, a director at the Institute for Climate Change and Sustainable Development. Professor Attard stated that we are partly to blame for the parking problem, as we have created an absolute dependency on our vehicles, whilst continuing to assume that a parking space right outside our front door is guaranteed and free of charge. The truth, however, is that this space is not ours by right. Asked by the presenter for a sustainable solution to address this problem, Attard explained that planning for both the locality in question and for new buildings should consider parking as an important factor. The speaker added that the possibility should be considered for parking to be against payment.
If parking is allowed against payment, various egoistic practices on Maltese and Gozitan roads will be addressed. These include those persons who place a pail or broom to reserve parking space for when they return from work, and others who leave a vehicle in the same parking space for weeks on end. There are even persons who place a hook in a hole in front of their house door in order to park their motorcycle, and then chain it. If parking is made against payment, these practices will be eliminated.
Professor Attard explained that progress has resulted in an excessive increase in registered vehicles, which in turn is creating an imbalance, as the present infrastructure cannot handle such a high volume. For this reason, a sustainable solution has to be found which takes into account the need for progress whilst addressing the environmental impact.