When mention about the perils of basement parking, most of us would be thinking about Canny Ong who was abducted from a basement parking, raped and subsequently murdered.
Ever since the tragic incident, most of the operators of basement parking have improved the level of security (I said most). There are now frequent patrols by the security guard, CCTV that actually works and some sort of checking at the entrance. However, I still get request from some of lady colleagues to (ahem) “escort” them to the car because you will never know what is lurking behind some beat up Kancil (ya, my Iswara does not like Kancil either).
The other perils of basement parking that I am going to talk about has nothing to do with situation like Canny Ong. Nah, it is something that most of us don’t think much about it whenever we venture into the place called basement parking.
The good way to drive in a basement parking is to switch on the headlight, drive slow and stop at various junctions to ensure the traffic is clear. The idiotic way of driving is of course doing the reverse.
In basement parking where is the lights are dim and sight often obstructed by other parked cars & concrete beams, driving without a headlight makes it very difficult to distinguish between a stationary vehicle and a moving one. Further with 90% of the time, the drivers are too busy looking for an empty parking spot; it is unlikely that they will be watching out for the traffic (unless there are reserve parking lots waiting for them)
I have lost count of the times where near-miss happened when the other drivers cannot see a moving car (driven fast without the headlights switched on). On 1 – 2 occasions, I myself was almost run over by cars without their headlights on (I don’t think they were aiming for me but then again I won’t know)
Quality of Air
That right – the quality of air in basement parking. I am not sure about other buildings but at the place where I work at, the quality of air is just bad (despite the fact that building is still new). Dust, sand, exhaust fumes and get this – frequent dogs “waste” (ya, there are a group of dogs, from my last count – about 7, who often roam around in the basement parking in the late afternoons) had badly degraded the quality of air that we breathe from the moment we get down from out cars.
As the traffic in the parking lots is “heavy” in the morning and afternoon, I find the dust constantly being stirred up, forming an almost “misty looking” atmosphere. If I have parked near the exit, then all I have to do to hold my breath until I reach the exit. However, if I have parked far away, imagine the quality of air that I had to breathe while walking towards the exit. It is almost a Fear-Factor akin of desperation.
In my previous workplace, the building management actually cleans the parking lots with high pressure water every 6 months. In the current building, we hardly see any cleaners – after some complaints, the cleaners were back but they just do “touch-up” cleaning but the layer of sand is still there. Anyone who has parked their car for more than a day will find a good layer of dust on their car.