Asia Minute: Parking Problems from Honolulu to Singapore

Nov 1, 2016

Credit Wikimedia Commons

If you’ve ever thought that cars are getting bigger in Hawai‘i while many city parking spaces are staying the same size, you are correct. But the situation is even worse in Singapore. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.


Skinny jeans, skinny lattes, even skinny ties…all are part of the landscape in many cities.

But skinny parking spaces can be an urban problem—from Honolulu to Singapore.

The issue is that many cars are getting wider, while many parking spaces are not.

In Honolulu, it used to be that wider spaces were the rule 8.5 feet. Twenty years ago, that was trimmed to 8 and a quarter feet as the standard.

In Singapore, it’s a smaller parking world the standard width starts out with less than eight feet.

And Singapore’s Straits Times reports that as many as a quarter of shopping center parking lots in the city are now causing problems for drivers. Because the spaces and the ramps are just too narrow.

Auto repair workshops report a rise in parking lot nicks, dings, and dents. In some cases nearly double the amount of body work from just two years ago.

And it’s not just that Singaporeans are driving bigger cars.

Today’s Honda Accord is seven percent wider than the 1990 model.

But there is limited sympathy from certain public officials.

The deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Transport said any fellow citizen buying a wide car should consider whether the vehicle would fit in Singapore’s existing facilities.