Priced private parking can only congest Bangalore

Our urban planning framework has totally misunderstood the management of parking. Starting with building bye laws to on-street parking to off-street, pretty much EVERYTHING we do around parking is wrong. And the examples that people point to as ‘successful’ are often very good examples of failures.

The goal of the municipality should be to manage mobility, not parking. And this focus should prioritise mobility of public transport vehicles, and also facilitate good quality infrastructure for pedestrian movement.

Look at the example of every major city in the world. They don’t go around telling builders that for every square foot of building you have to build a proportionate amount of parking. In fact, in many cities there are massive skyscrapers with no parking facility at all, or very little. The result of this is that people CAN’T bring their private vehicles in the first place, and resort to public transport modes much more.

One of the biggest problems in Bangalore is the huge shortage of cabs. As long as hailing a cab on the street is difficult, people will consider buying their own vehicles. But if cabs are plentiful, then more people will rethink the need for their own vehicle. This is plainly visible even in Mumbai, let alone other cities in the world. The way to get more cabs on the road is to get more parts of the city opened up to them preferentially. Priced private parking actually hampers this goal, in many areas.

There also needs to be a cycle of financing between prioritised modes (public transport, cycling, pedestrian movement) and the rest, so that money collected from parking, tolls, etc. is used to develop the public transport focus more. At the moment this is totally lacking.

I appreciate DULT’s efforts to introduce a parking policy for the city. But to do this independent of a new approach to building bye laws and vehicle licensing is risky.

Ashwin Mahesh
About Ashwin Mahesh 85 Articles
Ashwin Mahesh has been involved in public policy for Bengaluru through his work with the Karnataka government. The views expressed here are his own. He is a member of the Lok Satta party. He is also CEO of Mapunity Information Services, and a director at Oorvani Media, publisher of Citizen Matters and India Together. He is also a visiting faculty with the Centre for Public Policy at IIM Bangalore.

1 Comment

  1. Encourage private participation in the project.The Govt or BBMP away from this business.There are lot people to build parking lot and efficiently they manage.

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