‘It should be costlier than off-street parking to encourage use of parking lots'
The Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) has, in its draft parking policy for Bangalore, recommended that Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) make the fee for on-street parking expensive to discourage private transport.
Speaking at a public consultation, “Combating Traffic Congestion in Bangalore, An Alternative Vision”, DULT Commissioner V. Manjula said that on-street parking should be costlier than off-street parking to encourage people to use parking lots. Another recommendation to curb the proliferation of cars was to insist on proof of parking space to get a new car registered in Bangalore, Ms. Manjula said.
The consultation was organised by CIVIC (Citizens Voluntary Initiative for the City), Bangalore.
The Commissioner said that DULT has also recommended higher on-street parking fee in areas with good public transport network and lesser where the service is skeletal. People should be sensitised about parking space scarcity and hence, the need to discourage on-street parking.
When CIVIC Executive Trustee Kathyayini Chamaraj raised the issue of road widening, Ms. Manjula said that every road need not be widened. Before such a step, alternatives should be explored first.
And when a road is being widened, priority should be given to pedestrian walkways, followed by bicycle path and bus priority lane.
A Bangalore Development Authority engineer said that the signal-free corridor between Silk Board and Hebbal via Old Madras Road will be completed by June this year. Already, 10 signal-free junctions are functional and another 10 will be ready in six months. After this, BDA will concentrate on the other arm of outer ring road to make the stretch between Silk Board and Hebbal via Mysore Road signal-free.
Deputy Mayor S. Harish said that the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike will raze structures and deviations that have come up after 2009 after the Akrama Sakrama Bill gets the Governor's nod. Work on 13 multi-level car parking lots will commence in six months, he said.
Ms. Chamaraj, in her introductory address, questioned the rationale and the legal sanction behind the road widening exercise. The provisions of Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, etc., are not adhered to in these exercises, she said.
Instead of road widening, the authorities should encourage public transport and complete the circular railway network and operate passenger trains.
BMTC Chief Traffic Manager (Operations) M.P. Prabhudas was present.