Parking to be banned on certain stretches during rush hours

Last month, the District Collector found it difficult to drive into his camp office at Kowdiar. The traffic police had to send its tow truck to lug away a car that had been parked haphazardly in front of his quarters.

These days, the traffic police daily receive scores of calls from residents complaining that they are not able to drive out or into their homes because of “insensitively parked” vehicles of “strangers” in their neighbourhoods. Most of the complaints are from residential areas near upmarket shopping localities, auditoriums, textile shops, restaurants and cinema halls.

Assistant Commissioner, Traffic, R. Mahesh said that parking had spilled over from main roads to by-lanes and residential areas. The near-exponential increase in vehicles with no matching improvement of traffic infrastructure is the cause.

The traffic volume on city roads exceeds its existing road space by more than 200 per cent. Unsystematic parking of vehicles on either side of the arterial roads is another problem. The rain has forced more residents to use their cars for urban travel, further compounding the traffic congestion.

Active space sharing

City Police Commissioner P. Vijayan said that perhaps the modern concept of active space sharing might help the law enforcement address the city’s parking woes. This entailed enforcing no-parking zones in certain stretches during morning and evening rush hours and lifting the ban during hours when traffic congestion eases.

In order to facilitate after office-hour life in the city, the police would identify spaces, including those in government facilities, for public parking. The city police would encourage owners of vacant plots to rent it out to those running pay-and-park operations. The police would list and monitor these parking spaces, he said.

Motorists often spend more than 20 minutes circling the city to find a convenient space to park their car. If the active space sharing concept becomes a reality, the police will be able to guide motorists to available parking spots near their destinations.

The police hope that more urbanites will use public transport when the city’s monorail project becomes a reality. It has proposed to the Road Safety Authority and the City Corporation to address the shortage of off-road parking by building multi-level parking lots.