Poorly designed carparks make experienced drivers feel like newbies, laments our senior writer.
LEARNING to park is one of the trickiest lessons for a new driver to go through. Reverse parking can be a challenge, while parallel parking is a real pain. But without these abilities, a motorist’s driving skills are incomplete.
But when you enter a “carpark from hell”, such as the one in Clifford Centre or Liang Court, all the parking skills you’ve mastered won’t seem to matter.
You could be as talented as Russ Swift or Ken Block, but in a carpark with a horrible layout, it might as well be your first time behind the wheel.
Poorly designed carparks have similar characteristics. These include “colourful” walls that have been kissed by hundreds of bumpers, pillars that are too wide, and spaces that are too small – even for a classic Mini.
In fact, some spaces are so narrow that they leave you wondering if you’ll be able to squeeze yourself out of your car once you’ve parked it.
I think that all carparks are afterthoughts. A shopping mall is designed to maximise retail space, which in turn helps maximise revenue.
There are no monetary incentives for developers to create driver-friendly carparks.
Many carpark ramps are narrow and rectangular, instead of wide and spiral. Most kerbs are also unnecessarily high – if you’re a newbie driver, you’re likely to dent your wheels if you’re not careful.
I also think that most carparks in Singapore weren’t designed by drivers. If they were, their designers must be those inconsiderate types who speed up to prevent you from filtering into their lane – even if you’ve indicated.
Traffic jams will eventually clear. Rude and reckless drivers will eventually move along. But until they’re torn down or extensively renovated, poorly designed carparks are permanent.
DESPITE THE DIFFICULTIES THEY CAUSE, JEREMY SAYS THAT POORLY DESIGNED CARPARKS ARE NO EXCUSE FOR POOR PARKING.