Monday, January 30, 2006

Round the block, again

Round the block, again
Looking for parking space on MG Road? The odds are against you, finds BT
The Times of India

HOW often have you missed appointments or kept your date waiting on MG Road because you had to make several rounds looking for parking for your car? How many times have you told yourself you’ll never take your car to MG Road again? You’re quite justified in your disgust. BT gives you the facts. And the figures.

We asked financial expert Srikanth Bhagavat to do the number-crunching and here are the results. Your chances of securing a parking slot for your car are 66 per cent during peak hours — that’s for every 10 times that you go to MG Road, you are likely to get parking only over six times. The odds at non-peak hours are, naturally, better — almost a 100 per cent chance of getting lucky.

For every car that finds parking on some of Bangalore’s busy roads, there are scores in queue. Stretches known for being nightmarish in this regard are MG Road, Church Street, Brigade Road (in spite of
having a pay-and-park system), Richmond Road, Residency Road, Commercial Street, St Mark’s Road and Shivaji Nagar. According to MN Sreehari, chairman, TEST, who revealed the figures (see box) to BT, the lifting of the pay-and-park system last year is partly to blame for worsening the situation. “Now that parking is free people don’t bother to take their vehicle out. As a result, the demand for parking, particularly in the business areas, is extremely high. Even within this system, the authorities can ensure that cars don’t block space for the entire day,” he says. He suggests the authorities fix three hours as the maximum time for a car to be parked at the same place. Traders and office-goers are often blamed for blocking space the entire day. But traders also have a problem. Says Prakash Gangaram of Gangaram Book Bureau, “We are losing business because of the parking crunch. Nowadays I get many calls through the day from people who want to know if a particular book is available. Only after ensuring that the book is there do they bother to make a trip to MG Road,” he says.

Here are the vital stats on the basis of which Bhagavat worked out the probability ratio of finding parking on MG Road
The stretch from Kumble Circle to Kids Kemp is 1.6 km Parking is allowed only on one side of the road Space earmarked for one car is 4.5 m to 2.5 m Some 30 per cent of the stretch is barred for parking because of entry and exit points About 75 per cent of the vehicles parked are four-wheelers During peak hours (9am-12noon and 5-9pm), for every 10 cars that are parked, there are six vehicles waiting for space; the number drops to four during non-peak hours Of the 10 vehicles parked, six don’t move out the entire day; the four that come and go occupy space anywhere between 20 minutes and two-anda-half hours. Calculations showed that during peak hours, these four that move out leave 74 slots open for parking, and there are 112 cars vying for them!


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