Sint-Niklaas organizes ‘underground parking’ driving lessons

The city of Sint-Niklaas launches an original initiative: local authorities and an officially recognized driving school will organize free driving lessons for drivers who are afraid of entering underground parking lots. Hesitating motorists will get practical tips and tricks to overcome their underground parking anxiety.

Parking facilities in Sint-Niklaas are not fully taken advantage of. The underground parking lot of the market square (Grote Markt) has an occupation rate of ‘only’ 40%, and also, on the rooftop car park in the Stationsstraat, only one place out of five is taken. Why this revulsion for public parking lots?

‘Too difficult’

Apparently, many drivers consider those parking ‘too difficult’ to use. They fear the sharp turns, narrow lanes, or steeply inclined entrance. So they rather drive around to find a ‘normal’ parking space on the street. Even when those places are scarce and usually more expensive.

That is why local authorities plan to organize ‘training sessions’ for those with cold feet. Professional driving instructors will show them how to enter the parking lot safely and easily park their car. Ten free parking tickets – that is for the public parking lots – should win people over to take the driving course. People can register for the lessons at the city’s website.

Cheaper and safer

According to the initiators, once they’ve overcome their fear, they’ll become regular visitors. Parking win an underground parking lot will become a piece of cake. Anyway, it will be better – cheaper and safer – for drivers and for the traffic flow in the city.

However, there’s some good news for the thick-headed who will definitely opt for a parking place on the ground level. On Wednesday, August 31th, the Waasland shopping mall in Sint-Niklaas inaugurated a new 4 300-m2 large car port, fully covered with solar panels.

Drivers can find a sheltered parking place on ground level, and while they go shopping, they can charge their vehicles with green electricity. They even get a discount for it. So, everybody happy.

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