To ensure free flow of vehicular traffic and to pass on the benefits of road development to the road users, parking restrictions are to be introduced and hawkers will be banned in the 42 km road that is being developed under the City Road Improvement Project (CRIP).
Initially, the parking restrictions will be introduced in the CRIP stretches where the road development works had been completed. Motorists will be allowed to park their vehicles only for a maximum of one hour at a stretch in the designated parking lots. Parking will not also be allowed near the bus bays and 50 metres away from the crossings on both sides of the road where medians have been provided as part of the project.
The decision to restrict parking comes after the authorities have noticed that illegal parking of vehicles and entry of hawkers in stretches like Kowdiar-Vellayambalam was spoiling the very purpose of widening of the roads. Already footpaths and bus bays are being misused by hawkers and motorcyclists.
In the Vellayambalam-Sasthamangalam stretch, the six-lane road that had been developed as part of the CRIP had been reduced to just two lane with illegal parking of vehicles. Those coming for shopping in the stretch and visitors to the apartments are parking their vehicles on the roadside often causing traffic snarls. In the arterial road, the shopkeepers park their vehicles in front of the shops right from the morning.
With the concept of off-street parking yet to take off in the capital despite the announcements of the city corporation, it is to be seen how the authorities will enforce the parking restrictions. Parking meters, as in many countries, is one option for the authorities. Traffic experts say the denial of entry to private vehicles to the premises of building complexes has aggravated the parking problems in many roads.
A CRIP official said a recent meeting had decided to limit the parking in the designated lots and to launch a crackdown on the motorists who violated the traffic rules, including parking and signals. “We will be making use of the safety and patrol vehicles for videograph and informing the traffic police to book the erring motorist,” he said.
The meeting had also decided to take action against the billboards that had been installed on the roadside violating the rules.
As per the Highway Protection Act, the Project Engineer of the Kerala Road Fund Board had been designated as the Authority. But, the Board would be intimating the police of the violations, including traffic.
Traffic experts say the LMS-Attakulangara stretch is the worst affected as there are only a few designated parking lots in the six-km stretch. The only solace is the pay-and-park facility at Gandhi Park, the parking lot of the Railways at Thampanoor and on Power House Road, City Corporation's at Thampanoor and the one set up by TRIDA at Palayam.
Private parties have set up pay and park facility on Tutors Lane and Press Road and leading textile firms have come up with valet parking.