Where to park? — the Urban Dilemma
Posted By Tedra | 20 May, 2020

What’s the optimum solution for parking cars? If you live in a city and drive a car you will have asked this question often. Some would say getting rid of the cars is the optimum solution to car parking challenges. But, cars or other types of personal vehicles are an urban reality with us now and will be so in future, for a long time to come. They all need to be parked!

Every motorised trip ends in a parking situation. Truly, when one arrives at a destination by any motor vehicle one of the first experiences is of parking. This gives rise to parking problems and solutions. Problems exist and we better find solutions. We need optimum car parking solutions and before we begin, we should recognize that optimum has different meanings to car parking users like parking operators, city planners, developers and investors. Two kinds of parking clearly co-exist one is Public parking (usually on-street) & the other is Private parking (in private areas) like buildings, private land, private spaces like Hotels, Hospitals, Cinema houses etc. The individual characteristics of an optimum solution, therefore, should be beneficial for all stakeholders.

How to Tackle and Optimize Parking:

Increase parking supply

This is the first thing that comes to mind when pondering parking problems and solutions. Essentially, it gets property managers/developers, businesses and central/local governments to build more parking facilities.

Increasing on-street parking & Technology to Access

Town planners can design more on-street parking while local governments can have fewer parking restrictions and encourage parallel parking. Access and displays can be given to people on mobile phones and screens boards to identify open parking spaces at a location. This is easy and cost-effective.

Establish minimum parking requirements

By raising the requirements for parking spaces the demand for parking can be reduced. The use of zoning is usual in this context. This method is easy to implement.

Use of Mechanisation & Automation

At 32 mts. /car that are required ideally to park a vehicle this is probably the most pinching and expensive use of a real estate in urban India. Compounded by a lack of policy and space in our cities it surely has made urban living and commuting chaotic and nightmarish. This is becoming true of our all major cities be it Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune or Kolkata.

Car Lift and automobile elevator can do wonders for increasing parking spaces as well as flexible. Creating space from lesser footage using Height, Width and Depth can help us park more vehicles in limited spaces.

Mechanical and automated parking systems are an answer to parking woes in Metro & Urban areas. Of late we find a lot of projects both residential and commercial that offer multi-Level parking systems to their clients. Cities from around the world such as New York, Boston, London, Stockholm, Istanbul, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo have sought to reform urban parking policies to improve the public realm and manage the demand for vehicle travel.

Indian cities have been slow to recognise key impacts of rapid motorisation, and to utilise parking management to moderate the demand for private motorised travel. Public Parking happens in narrow lanes, roadside, street spots, corners, footpaths, by lanes and anywhere. Majority of this happens free of cost or at very low costs thus in a way subsidizing use of private vehicles and chaos. In cities that have introduced parking fees (Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Chennai, etc.) the parking fees are far lower than the value of the land on which the parking is situated.

Enforcement is weak, resulting in low compliance with parking rules and lost revenue. There is a dire need to have a proper policy framework for management of our cities especially developing of a Parking Policy and management. We must curb the free for all, anywhere and everywhere approach and reduce the area given for parking.

Designated parking areas, parking duration policy, pricing of parking to generate revenues for better facilities and discourage long hours, ownership of This is merely scratching the surface of parking problems and solutions and people involved in this field can choose from these and other methods.

Government also needs to take a major initiative in adapting technology for Public Parking.

Policy makers and private professional parking operators can come together and play a great role in easing this problem with successful business models encouraging organized parking and commute. With modern-day technologies stacking up and using vertical heights to park and retrieve vehicles is convenient and possible.

Health of a city, livability, how a city feels, looks, how its residents move, how the traffic flows, how much time do they spend commuting, how much pollution is generated is solely decided by how a state manages its traffic and therefore parking. Parking & ease of commuting should be the prime agenda of our planners in Metro cities and Smart City Projects. This aspect of modern-day city living should be used as a benchmark for livability index of a city, considering the chaos we are in and the likely increase of traffic in future with rural population migrating towards cities if we fail on policies and planning, we will have disastrous consequences, Delhi our capital city is an example. This aspect needs as much attention as healthcare and Swachh Bharat programmers.