PINK parking is coming to Shanghai, earmarking spaces to be used only by women drivers. An office building parking lot in the Changning District will be the first in the city to provide such a service.
The four pink-colored spaces among the 167 spaces on the BI level of the Wandu Center on Xingyi Road will be about half a meter wider and 20 centimeters longer than standard spaces. The size was increased to make parking easier for women drivers, and the spaces will be located near elevators.
The spaces will also feature a pavement image of a woman, similar to that used to designate restrooms.
Ladies-only parking is already in use in parts of South Korea and Germany. In fact, Shanghai won’t be the first place in China to test the concept. Hebei Province has installed pink parking space in some shopping malls.
Huibo Parking Management (Shanghai) Co, operator of the car park, said “pink parking” will begin in about a week. The walls behind the spaces will also be painted pink to make them easily recognizable.
Huibo said it won’t be taking action against men who park there — at least not at first. The company is hoping that men will respect the new system on a voluntary basis. “Whether the ladies-only spaces will be properly used still depends on public awareness,” said Li Ming, a staffer at the company.
The question remains: Is this sort of service really necessary and does it suggest that women drivers are worse than men?
“Isn’t it a kind of discrimination against men drivers?” said a netizen on xinmin.cn. “Some men may be less skilled at parking than women.”
Some online comments suggested that there should be wider parking places designated for rookie drivers of both sexes. “We have noticed these online comments, and we want to emphasize that this is not a kind of discrimination against men or women drivers, but rather a way to show kindness and respect to women,” Li said.
Women drivers contacted by Shanghai Daily seemed pleased with the new idea.
“This is interesting and I don’t sense any discrimination,” Xu Jing said. “The added space will make it easier for us, especially for newer drivers who get tense when parking.”