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Worst Shopping Mall Carpark


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Carparks that make you want to scream




Some carparks at Singapore shopping malls are enough to drive one crazy.


From corkscrew ramps and maze-like lanes to bottleneck entrances, motorists face some paint-scraping obstacles in their effort to park their precious wheels.


That is going by comments from miffed motorists and a check by LifeStyle reporters to find the best and worst carparks.


One driver, financial analyst Leow Chee Khiang, 28, says of Shaw House's carpark, notorious for its narrow lots:


"Unless you have a convertible or your car comes with a sunroof you can climb out of, don't bother parking there."

Ms Tracy Chua, 33, a sales supervisor, recalls:


"The worst carpark is at Plaza Singapura.It always has a long queue on weekend evenings. Waiting time is close to 20 or 30 minutes." [thumbsdown]


So why do glitzy malls make it so difficult to actually park there in order to do your shopping?


Architects LifeStyle spoke to point out that carpark design is low on the list of priorities compared to making the most of a mall's retail area.


That translates to having a functional carpark that can accommodate enough vehicles to maximise space. Ease, comfort and driving satisfaction may take a backseat.


The former president of the Singapore Institute of Architects, Mr John Ting, says:


"Carparks may be more of a necessity than a luxury to developers. But what's best for the developer may not be best for the driver."


Still, some carparks have gone out of their way to cater to shoppers who drive.


For example, Paragon Shopping Centre has installed a Parking Guiding System which has electronic red and green lights that indicate whether lots are vacant.


It has also put in wheel stoppers -cement blocks on the floor at the back of the carpark lot to prevent cars from reversing into the wall - for better parking. The cost for the lights and stoppers was $500,000.


Although some drivers say the sensors do not always work, a spokesman says the mall has received "no complaints to date".


As for the problem with narrow lots at Shaw House, a spokesman for the mall promises users that "there will be renovations",but details have not been confirmed.


Still, as long as there are shoppers wanting to drive to the malls, there will be gripes about parking, it seems.


Take Ngee Ann City, popular for parking because of its central location along Orchard Road.


It says it has not encountered any issues with its carpark, but shopper Ryal Wun, 43, a corporate consultant, says: "Getting to the carpark can take some time. There are long queues along the road leading in, complete with angsty cabbies who have had a bad day."


Civil servant Belle Lin, 26, adds: "There is just too much winding down and up. It is dangerous and can make people feel sick."


Architect Ting acknowledges that winding ramps, while space-maximising, might be disorienting for the driver: "It can get monotonous. Sometimes you are only up to the sixth floor but you feel like you are on the 16th floor."


Far East Organization, developer of Central mall in Eu Tong Sen Street - which has a winding ramp that winds up drivers -tempers too- says it has incorporated features such as wide space and good lighting, plus colours for 'visual relief'.


Huge carparks may be a boon to drivers, but some say it is too easy to get lost. Mr Tan Kok Hiang of Forum Architects notes that VivoCity and Suntec City -have few underground landmarks to orientate and colour (zoning) in itself is seldom useful.


Mr Ting agrees, saying: "There are also too many rows of lots in Vivo. It's like a banana plantation."


He says carpark design should follow the 'Three S's safety, security and simplicity.


The first is safe traffic flow and parking,the second is about providing good lighting conditions and ease of finding vehicles, and the third is about overall convenience for the driver.


Forum Architects' Mr Tan predicts: 'With more discerning shoppers to woo, I suspect more attention will be paid to carpark design in future.' [nod][nod]


And architect Mink Tan says: 'Since the carpark is the first and last place a mall user will experience, it makes sense to leave not just a good first, but also a good last impression.'


Still, shoppers could take the advice of Ms Jeanette Wee, 24, self-employed, who says: "People should just take a cab. It's cheaper and you don't have to pay for parking."

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"Carparks may be more of a necessity than a luxury to developers. But what's best for the developer may not be best for the driver."


This statement is self-contradictory. Or is it a misprint? [sly]

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I vote for Hougnag Mall and Central.


I also vote for Clifford Centre and The Exchange for office building.


Those were the carpark that I wish I am on public transportation.

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haha..coincidentally i always park at shaw house whenever i go to Orchard Road cos of their relatively cheaper parking rates. So far i've not encountered such a situation when i had to squeeze outta my car. Worse come to worse, i'll park closer to the wall on the passenger side & ask my passenger to alight before i park & vice versa after i drive out of the lot. [nod]

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Shaw Leisure Gallery - Sharp 90 degree bend around a angular wall immediately after the slope up

HarbourFront - Round and round and round and round

Hougang Mall - Super narrow

Ikea Alexandra - Narrow road and bend leading down into the carpark

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Sometimes it's not the carpark... some idiots like to park very near even though the lot is big enough... just got it last weekend at a hdb carpark at pasir ris...he park besides pillar and like max 13 to 14" from my car...wonder how he get out without denting my car... [mad]

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