Shop owners and others who reserve public parking spaces with items such as a piece of wood, bricks, an old tire or a chair are violating the law and can be fined QR300, an official in the traffic department has said.
In an interview with the Ministry of Interior’s monthly magazine titled “The Police is With You,” Lt. Colonel Mohammed Radhi Al Hajri, director of the department’s Media and Traffic Awareness division, said:
“Public parking is meant to be for everyone…no one can reserve it for any purpose.”
He added that according to the traffic law, empty parking spaces should not be obstructed, and cars cannot be parked in spaces that hinder the movement of other parked cars.
He urged residents to report violations and document evidence by taking a picture of the incident.
Also in the article, Lt. Colonel Nasser Durman Al Hajri, assistant director of Al Rayyan Security Department, explained that the usual procedure in these cases is for the traffic department to take action when a complaint is filed.
Parking disputes are only referred to the public prosecution for investigation if assault, libel, slander or threats between the disputing parties take place.
If residents drop the complaint and reconcile, they must pledge not to repeat the offense, he said.
Parking in Qatar
As Qatar’s population continues to rise, parking is becoming an increasing headache for residents, especially in popular areas like malls and parks, where spaces are usually limited.
Lt. Colonel Mohammed Radhi Al Hajri said that steps are being taken to ameliorate the situation by building more parking lots and charging people for parking so that they don’t leave their cars for long periods of time.
For example, in July, Souq Waqif announced it was building a new two-story underground car park on the site of an old surface lot at the end of Al Rayyan Road, across from the Falcon Souq. It is expected to be finished by May 2016.
And earlier this year, construction crews completed a new 2,000-space underground parking garage accessible via the Corniche and Abdullah Bin Jassim Street, which runs along the north edge of Souq Waqif.
The new underground car parks are expected to help ease some of the traffic problems in the area, when surface lots are stretched to capacity.
Meanwhile, in November, a new smart parking system was rolled out at Villaggio Mall.
And following the lead of City Center and the Gate malls in Doha’s central business district, Gulf Mall began requiring shoppers to pay QR2 for their first hour of parking, QR3 for the second and third hours and QR5 for each additional hour at kiosks near the mall’s entrances.