Davao eyeing tow trucks to solve parking problem

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 27 Aug) – The city is eyeing to acquire its own tow trucks to be able to deal with the increasing number of vehicles parked in the wrong areas.

“Parking is a big problem in the city,” City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) chief Rhodelio Poliquit said during the iSpeak forum Thursday at city hall. He is referring to two things: the lack of parking spaces throughout the city, and the increasing number of bogged down cars that are littering streets downtown.

He said that the CTTMO currently has no tow trucks, but the department was still able to mobilize operations during the last Kadayawan Festival. Through a partnership with private towing service Road Watch, the CTTMO was able to tow 30 vehicles in two days during the Kadayawan weekend.

But Poliquit said this cannot continue on a regular basis because there is no formal agreement between the city and the private service.

Part of the long term plan to deal with the city’s worsening traffic, he said, is to tow vehicles parked in the wrong areas. These vehicles will then be sent to the 10-hectare impounding area of the city in Malagos, Calinan.

Poliquit said that his team is eyeing to acquire four low maintenance towing vehicles. The proposed budget for this is still underway but he is expecting to spend at least a million pesos for each vehicle. He hopes to be able to acquire these in the next few months.

By acquiring these tow trucks, he said that their department will be able to actually apprehend vehicles that are causing obstruction in the road, worsening the city’s traffic, especially in congested areas like Marfori and Dumanlas. There are even vehicles parked in prohibited areas in the poblacion district and in national highways, he said.

Poliquit said that there is a growing need to tow wrongly parked vehicles instead of just alarming drivers by giving them fines. The latter does not discourage them to park in prohibited areas, he stressed.

“The most effective measure is to tow,” Poliquit said. He added that his department will be able to trace the owner of the towed cars by coordinating with barangays.

He also encourages building makers to provide sufficient parking spaces when erecting structures.

Human Resource Management Office (HRMO) head Erwin Alparaque, who also spoke at iSpeak, said that these parking spaces should correspond to the number of people that a building can cater.

When these sufficient parking spaces are established, Alparaque said that they will be able to discourage drivers from parking on the side streets.

Poliquit also said that the CTTMO is looking into hiring more personnel to add manpower when deploying traffic aides.

He reminded vehicle owners the provisions mentioned in Republic Act 4136 about parking: vehicles are prohibited to park within an intersection, on a crosswalk, within six meters of the intersection of curb lines, within four meters of the driveway entrance to a fire station, within four meters of a fire hydrant, in front of a private driveway, on the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the curb or edge of the highway, and at any place where official signs have been erected prohibiting parking.