It was interesting to find that as of April 1, Beijing started imposing higher parking fees, doubling them in the downtown core in a bid to ease traffic congestion.
Some 13 zones have increased fees to 10RMB ($1.50) an hour, and give parking attendants the power to charge 15RMB per hour to those cars parked for extended periods.
The 13 zones will affect some 70,000 car owners who park their vehicles in underground parking lots of office buildings and shopping malls.
While it's refreshing to see the municipal government take action in making car owners think twice about driving, the reality is, if they can afford a car, they can probably pay for parking too.
And that's what Jia Yuanhua, a professor of traffic and transportation at Beijing Jiaotong University says. He explains the new government initiatives are like building dams downstream, which would eventually overflow and break down. He insisted that the government should have a clear set of traffic control policities, isntead of "telling citizens to buy cars on the one hand, then raising parking feels on the other, which makes people not know what to do."
However, some drivers have already come up with some creative solutions, including hiring someone to sit in his car to avoid parking fees.
"Doing so is much cheaper than paying the parking fee, and it keeps my car safe. If I have to waste money, I'll waste it wisely!"
Cheaper to hire someone than to park the car? Something is wrong here...