Narrow roads will shrink more with parking permits

Narrow roads will shrink more with parking permits

Cars parked at Gandhinagar in Bengaluru. Credit: DH Photo/Janardhan B K

Parking vehicles is a tough challenge in a crowded city like Bengaluru with highly congested roads. Most Bengalureans have no parking areas within their residential premises, and they opt to park their vehicles in front of their houses. Now, the new parking policy proposes to regulate this practice by issuing annual permits.

Roadside parking is all set to get costly with the permits. But is this new policy workable, and will it help decongest the city as the annual fee is considered too low, by experts and activists? Besides, when the roads and footpaths are in bad shape across the city, how will this pan out? DH takes a deep dive, interacting with a cross-section of Bengalureans.

Parvathy Gokul, a senior accountant residing in HSR Layout, has this to say: “The new policy will not solve the parking problem. Collecting a particular amount annually for parking will definitely increase the government's revenue, but the public will not benefit.”

She elaborates, “Roads are congested, and most of the residents have no parking slots. The parking permit system will affect commuters and pedestrians as the width of the road will shrink. We can also see vehicles parked on the streets taking over the footpaths. This will further aggravate the problems of pedestrians.”

Roads in residential areas might not have the necessary width. So, allowing space for authorised parking is bound to increase the already tough problems associated with traffic managment.

Gaijinlung Phaomei, a resident of S G Palaya notes, “This parking policy should not be implemented in places where there are narrow and pocket roads. The chances are high for traffic blocks in areas with less space to move.”

Yelahanka resident NiminMartin feels the lack of parking space is not a new issue in Bengaluru. He wonders why the government is not thinking of other ways to create parking spaces instead of promoting only street parking.

He suggests, “Instead of encouraging parking on streets, the government can allot open spaces near residential areas from where people can walk to their houses within five minutes. This could be implemented lane-wise.”

Besides, there is the question of safety in parking vehicles on open streets. “There are many incidents where the vehicles have vanished from the streets. Since fuel prices are at record high, petrol and diesel theft from parked vehicles can also get worse.”

Seth Shaji Baby, a student of St Joseph's College points out, “The condition of footpaths in the city is pathetic and most people are forced to walk on the road. Since authorised parking would leave little space to walk on the roadsides, pedestrians would be severely affected. Most of the road rules are implemented keeping only the motorists in mind, not the pedestrians.”

Seth says he has seen pedestrians struggle to walk, particularly when big trucks carrying construction material or water tankers enter a road. With parking officially allowed with permits, this would only get worse.

 
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