A little while back, the folks at BGC invited me for a coffee to talk about road safety and discipline and how to better get the message across to those who frequent the place.
I said I was very happy to help, but I needed a few things in return. Firstly, the parking situation. I totally understand that you’re not allowed to park on the street anywhere in BGC––this is pretty common in places like Sydney, New York, Tokyo and any other major city––but if they want that to be taken seriously, it has to be one rule for all. Basically, it is impossible to enforce that rule when you allow supercars to park on Burgos Circle every Sunday.
Second, they need to do away with towing unless the vehicle is obstructing a driveway or blocking a fire hydrant or something like that. Clamping is the more humane way of handling violators.
And thirdly, marshals need to be trained a little bit better and should wear body cameras and carry a little pocket guideline sheet that they can hand to the driver informing them of their rights, as well as the proper procedure that needs to be followed when issuing a ticket, just so everyone is on the same page. Ex: Enforcer must give their name, state the violation, not enter the vehicle etc. plus contain a number or email address that the driver can contact in case these procedures are not followed. In other words, transparency.
Good news is they have now addressed the supercar parking in Burgos circle. They will still allow it on a Sunday morning, but it will no longer be subjective or arbitrary. Clubs that wish to meet there, must apply for a permit first and the money collected from that will be donated to their foundation that supports the surrounding areas in Taguig. Also, they will only allow a certain amount of cars and it will be open to all clubs––not just the super expensive ones.
Second, they totally agree about the clamping but are still working with the city because it requires an ordinance to implement that––but I’ve asked that they clamp down on their unprofessional towing contractors in the meantime.
And lastly, the guards. They have yet to implement the suggestion of the pocket guideline card and body cameras, but they have beefed up their training and would like to remind motorists that they are fully deputised by the city to issue tickets.
So yeah. There’s still a bit to go, but at least there’s a dialogue. And a step forward with the parking permits for club events. What’s important is that it’s a start. But now it’s our turn to give back. We can start by fully respecting the no stopping/waiting/dropping off rule, especially on the main roads that divide High street and Bonifacio Central, Serendra and high street, and of course respecting pedestrian crossings. If we just do these two things alone, I’m pretty sure we can win them over to address the towing and the professionalizing of the marshals. You know, give and take.
Good news here is, in the end, we all want the same thing: a world class city that we can all be proud of. And the best part is, it is totally achievable. But only if we all cooperate.
I’ve heard many complain that there’s not enough parking in BGC, but it was always designed to be a walkable city. You really cannot have both. Something has got to give. If you insist on bringing your car, you have a number of multi level car park buildings that have just opened up. There’s now 4,000 public parking spaces made available and a very handy app that allows you to see where the vacancies are.
I understand the frustrations of motorists, but I also understand the frustrations of BGC trying to create a world class environment, yet having to waste their resources doing nothing but telling drivers to move their cars from what is clearly marked as no stopping/waiting/dropping off zones. So let’s rise above that, shall we?
BGC may be far from perfect, but with a little cooperation, it can get pretty darn close to it.