December 13, 2008

Regulate parking to curb car count on roads?

Parking your car for a day in downtown London will cost you Rs 3,037, going by the current rupee strength and Rs 2,025 in New York.
But, in Ahmedabad you pay peanuts to reserve a parking space. While experts say it’s time for prohibitive parking rates, to make people avoid using cars, traffic authorities believe there should be more parking spaces.

With cheaper cars knocking on Ahmedabad’s doors to add to the 21 lakh vehicles swamping city roads growing at an annual rate of 14 per cent, it is time to put the brakes.

Shreya Gadepalli, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), senior programme director, says, “On a global level, parking charges in Indian cities, including Ahmedabad are lowest. But across the world, parking policy is seen as an important strategy for limiting traffic flow on city roads. Authorities should ensure that space for parking is restricted and strictly regulated.”
“Parking is not about creating more space for vehicles, but limiting it, so that it induces people to shift to other forms of transportation like mass rapid transit system. Increase in parking fees should be integral part of it. Now, US cities have a plan to introduce congestion taxes too,” she says.

Gadepalli says, “The need is to restrict number of cars on road and provide incentives like a world-class transit system for commuters.”

A senior AMC official says, “Vehicle owners should be charged full social cost for parking on busy streets at city centres to ensure that less people buy vehicles and even fewer take them to work, leading to a reduction in pollution and congestion.”

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Regulate parking to curb car count on roads?

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