With the dramatic rise in the number of vehicles on Bahrain’s roads in the last decade or so, it is not surprising that like smooth driving, smooth parking has also become a major issue. But if the parking spaces are getting more and more difficult to find whether at hospitals, in the markets, at office complexes or outside schools or shopping malls that does not mean one has to give up trying to park properly and go haywire.
This is one aspect of parking. The other is that sometimes one might be spoilt for parking choice at certain times and places in and around Manama. There might be many slots available at a given time. In such a situation people sometimes tend to park waywardly, parking in such a fashion that their vehicle might come to occupy two slots.
Like in everything else in life and social behaviour, there are do’s and don’ts in the realm of parking too and their careful observance might make life easy for all of us. Here are some tips:
- No matter how many slots are lying vacant, do not choose the lazy way of parking and occupy two slots. Make sure your vehicle is parked within the confines of the lines marked on the ground. One car, one slot. You cannot ask for more.
- Do not choose the easy way of double parking even if you are in a hurry, especially if you are in a public place. Leaving your number is of little help. When the person whose car you are blocking also wants to leave in a hurry imagine his or her plight if either your phone is busy or you are quite a distance from the parking lot.
- Do not leave your car parked outside a supermarket or a laundry with the engine running while you go in to pick up a can of soft drink or your ironed clothes. This is for your own welfare. Car-lifters are known to have left such drivers high a dry.
- Do not try to ‘reserve’ your parking space near your residence or place of work by placing a cement block or a plastic can to signify your occupancy right. A lot of shopkeepers and restaurants also do this. This is a practice unfair to other people looking for parking. Parking belongs to the one who spots the slot.
- Do not park on a footpath, a quite common sight in Bahrain and a bad tendency among 4WD owners. Remember footpaths are meant for pedestrians and are not parking areas.
- Do not park in the lay-bys meant for buses. These may often be lying seemingly vacant but when the bus arrives it needs a clear space otherwise it will have to park in the middle of the road impeding the flow of traffic.
- Do not park in the lay-bys meant for short-term or emergency halts.
- lf you are fit and fine do not park in the slots meant for the handicapped. These slots are meant to make their life easy and to allow them to walk short distances. Do not covet these slots.
- Do not park anywhere where you are not permitted to park or where your act of parking might impede the flow of traffic by merely switching the hazard lights. Hazards lights cannot be an excuse for wrong parking.