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Opinion >  Letters

Take it from Malta

Having just returned from a visit to Malta in Europe, I found it most ironic to read the June 25 Spokesman-Review front page article about “Parking rules pared back” for developers.

Following the past 30 years’ building boom, the Maltese government learnt a bitter lesson about apartment builders not providing parking spots for their tenants. They too dreamed of wooing people away from the automobile to improved and subsidized public transportation, bicycles and pedestrianization. Instead, economic growth quadrupled traffic, congestion and commuting frustration. Higher-density dwellings drastically multiplied vehicle and commuting demands and ended up, literally, choking every unrestricted street with bumper to bumper parked vehicles. Finding a parking spot - especially where apartments were built – is like winning the lotto!

About 10 years ago, it became mandatory for developers to provide two parking spots for every apartment. Since land is so scarce, the only (and expensive) option is to jackhammer limestone rock and provide parking under the building.

Personally, I wish I could do without wheels to get from A to B. Can’t see it ever happening except for what’s in the ‘gas tank’.

Phil Zammit



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