As part of the government’s “Wishing You a Good Pregnancy” policy, the Taipei City Government’s Department of Transportation has added priority parking spaces for pregnant women at public parking garages and government agency parking lots, but without any enforceable statutes or a way to limit who uses the spaces — not to mention that the spaces are no bigger than regular parking spaces — it makes getting out of the car very difficult for pregnant women.
The standard size — 2.5m wide — is used when drawing the stripes for parking spaces designated for pregnant women, which is relatively cramped and inconvenient for a woman who is several months pregnant when trying to get in and out of a car. The spaces for pregnant women are encumbering compared to the size of parking spaces for the handicapped — 3.5m wide.
When a reporter recently went on site to look at the city government’s Fuqian Car Park in Taipei, he only saw one spot left out of eight designated spaces for pregnant women, and none of the parked cars had anything to show that the owner of the vehicle was pregnant or carrying a pregnant passenger. When the reporter invited a pregnant woman to try the parking space, she said that it felt quite constricted.
Last year Keelung also started providing priority parking spaces for pregnant women, but this was met by public discontent due to the smallness of the spaces, so the Keelung City Government decided to transform three regular parking spaces into two larger spaces for pregnant women, significantly increasing the width of the spaces to allow pregnant women to comfortably get in and out of their cars. The Taipei City Parking Management and Development Office says that it currently has no plans to widen spaces for pregnant women, but that it will take up the issue again if enough people complain.
The office says that there is currently no way to verify whether an owner of a vehicle is pregnant or carrying a pregnant woman, so it encourages the public to politely yield designated spaces to pregnant women, and be sure to park as proportionally as possible, leaving the appropriate amount of space on both sides of your vehicle so that pregnant women can easily get in and out of parked cars.
There are currently 233 parking spaces among Taipei’s 90 public parking garages with designated parking for pregnant women, and all government agencies and many hospitals now also provide designated parking spaces. Pink stripes have been added to the designated parking spots along with pink paint on the columns surrounding the spots to help set apart the spaces for pregnant car owners or car owners carrying pregnant passengers.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)