Saturday, February 20, 2010

Where the heck is one to park?

Where the heck is one to park?

The problem, a top cop explains to MK Madhusoodan, is that people are unwilling to park vehicles some
distance away and walk a little. And as residential localities turn commercial, there is several-fold increase in the requirement for parking lots, but not enough space. Parking facilities have also shrunk since work on Namma Metro project began

MK Madhusoodan



Driving on city roads can be maddening, with the pace of the vehicle sometimes reduced to a snail's. And then, at journey's end, when you want to park, you face an ordeal again.
DNA spoke with city traffic police personnel to zero in on the areas most unfriendly to drivers looking for parking space. As expected, the most happening areas also face the greatest parking crunch. From the city's transit point at Majestic, the adjoining Gandhinagar and right up to Mico Layout, vehicle owners ought to congratulate themselves if they find vacant spaces in which to park.
"The lack of parking lots in various localities in the city is because many of the areas that were earlier residential spaces have now emerged as commercial hubs," said deputy commissioner of police (traffic-east) BA Muthanna. "What to say of the main commercial hubs like Commercial Street? Parking there is tedious, with the wait extending, sometimes, to hours. The number of vehicles on city streets is increasing in leaps and bounds. We have arranged for parking lots on either side Kamaraj Road, which leads to Commercial Street. Even then, there is a dearth of space," said Muthanna.
Parking facilities have shrunk since the construction of the Metro project began. MG Road had parking space on one side of the road, but this is no longer available since construction activity began for the Metro. "Brigade Road, Church Street and surrounding areas are thick with vehicles over weekends and holidays, and there is just not much more space that can be dedicated to parking," said Muthanna.
Neighbourhoods like Indiranagar, Koramangala and Mico Layout face acute parking problems. The area around the Jayanagar shopping complex is also quite 'complex' for those looking to park vehicles. "Earlier, we could park around the Jayanagar police station and walk to the shopping complex. Now, there is just no go — the place is so overcrowded, vehicles are already parked in almost all the slots available, all the time," Muthanna said.
Noted wildlife photographer Guna Prakash, who lives in Jayanagar III block, has observed one curious habit of vehicle-owners. "Parking at the Jayanagar bus station is open to the public. Why do people stay away from multi-storey parking lots? There is actually provision made for parking in certain areas—at JC Road, at Shivajinagar bus station, at Maharaja complex on BVK Iyengar Road in the Majestic area — but these are seldom utilised to full capacity," he said.
Deputy commissioner of police (west) Panduranga H Rane said, "People want to park as close as possible to their final destination. There is such a rush in areas like Chickpet, Avenue Road, Silver Jubilee Park and surrounding areas, all bustling with commercial activity. And the parking spaces available in these areas are limited to the Maharaja complex, and Tank Bund Road."
Rane said, "People are unwilling to park vehicles some distance away and walk a little. And as residential localities turn commercial, there is several-fold increase in the requirement for parking lots, but not enough space."

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