As of November 2017, the Land Transportation Office has recorded 350,000 registered vehicles in the entire Davao Region, 150,000 of which are registered in Davao City. There was an increase of an estimated 50,000 vehicles from January to November 2017, most of them motorcycles. This figure may not be accurate now, but this gives us an idea of how many vehicles are filling our streets, not to mention the vehicles that come from other parts of Mindanao.
In residential villages, we see only one half of the road open to traffic as the other side is lined with private vehicles owned by residents. Over the past few years, we have seen houses with two or more vehicles, one is parked inside the premises, the others are parked outside. This may mean an improvement in the socio-economic status of residents but is such an inconvenience, not to mention hazardous to the neighborhood as navigating becomes difficult.
We have new, wide roads but unfortunately, these are used as parking spaces for private vehicles in buildings that do not have ample spaces for parking. In that short road in Palma Gil Street crossing Claveria and Padre Gomez Streets, both sides of the road are lined with cars, constricting the road as it was before the expansion.
Certainly, we lack parking spaces. These have pointed out time and again. As infrastructures are being built, we wonder if there is a ratio on the number of parking available to the expected number of people needing parking spaces. Usually, there is only a small space in front of the building that can accommodate a few vehicles owned by the renter and none at all for patrons or those who transact business in the offices of the building.
Councilor Conrado Baluran has raised this concern in yesterday’s council session. We do have an ordinance on parking spaces but like many others, there has been no proper implementation even if private investors are given a special incentive package to entice them to develop a parking space. How do we solve this problem without resorting to extreme measures?
Again, it takes political will.