Wednesday, December 02, 2009

WANTED: 8,000 ACRES OF LAND IN BANGALORE!

WANTED: 8,000 ACRES OF LAND IN BANGALORE!
That is, if the serious lack of parking space in the city has to be resolved. In any case, public parking lots is an absolute must in a city where vehicle-to-person ratio is the highest in the country
BANGALORE MIRROR BUREAU


Yes, 8,000 acres of land is what is required to provide parking space to all the 31 lakh-plus vehicles that dot the city roads. When that happens, motorists can experience a hasslefree ride as the roads will no longer be used as parking space for vehicles, one of the major reasons for traffic jams in the city.
Bangalore, in fact, is caught in a dilemma: While the vehicular population has exploded alarmingly from 1.68 lakh in 1980 to 31.28 lakh in 2008, no serious thought has been given to creation of public parking lots. Here comes the shocker: All the public parking lots in the city, including the car parking complexes on J C Road and M G Road, can hardly accommodate 5,000 vehicles!
This has a cascading effect on the roads as the carriageway turns into parking lots. The cops explain: When vehicles are parked on the road, it reduces the speed of traffic flow on that stretch. With nearly 650 new vehicles being registered in the city everyday, space on the roads is shrinking rapidly. Parking on roads only adds to a Bangaloreans traffic woes.
SERIOUS ISSUE
The problem is quite serious in the Central Business District (CBD) of the city and the arterial roads. The latest ‘Policy Paper for Parking in the Bangalore Metropolitan Region brought out by the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) explained: Bangalore City is radial and a concentric one with a series of roads. The road network is a star-like structure where all major roads converge on the centre of the city. The absence of traverse roads coupled with lack of adequate public transport has resulted in congestion in the city’s core area.
The vehicle to person ratio in Bangalore is less than 1:3; which is the highest than any other city in the country. Moreover, Bangalore is a city where people buy vehicles without giving any thought to availability of parking space. As a result, the supply of parking space is inadequate when compared with the growing vehicular population. The DULT report warns: “In the long run, the demand for parking space will outstrip supply and will lead to extreme hardship leading to
poor quality of life.” Already,
motorists are ending up spending
anywhere between 10 to 25
minutes searching for a parking slot in the CBD, especially M G Road.
POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
The question is how to address the parking woes? Well, procuring 8,000 acres is definitely not the answer as public land has become scarce in the city. Well, this calls for a different type of intervention: The resolve of civic agencies
and those stalking the corridors of Vidhana Soudha to address the issue.
Though the state government is putting in place the Metro Rail in a bid to provide multiple modes of transportation to the denizens, the construction of automated parking lots in high density areas could also be taken up. The government can also take stern action against those who violate the building by-laws that make parking mandatory. But the unfortunate part is that the government has been talking about these issues for the last one decade, but the traffic situation continues to worsen.

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