Parking is a major issue in our cities and over time would become one of the principal challenges that the civic government would need to address. The time is ripe for an appropriate parking policy that can address various objectives and dovetail with the transport network of the city. A well-designed policy can ensure smooth road mobility and maintain the flow of traffic at an optimum level.
In order to face the challenge of Parking,it is advisable that every city develops a Comprehensive Mobility Plan or Transport Master Plan that includes an outline of strategy for parking controls within the city and that conforms to the national policy. In addition,some of the suggestions on how parking measures should conform to the adopted strategy of the city include:
Utilise parking controls to regulate car usage.
Minimise the impact of on-street parking and encourage off-street parking (particularly for long-term parkers,such as commuters).
Optimise existing parking capacity,before creating new parking facilities.
Prioritise parking in the following order: physically disadvantaged,residents,short-term visitors or commercial activities,long-term parkers such as work commuters.
Improve safety for pedestrians by reducing illegal parking and opening additional public space for pedestrians and cyclists.
Introduce paid parking as a method to dissuade car use and/or raise revenue.
Utilise fees and fines from parking to invest in the building of car parks and to improve public transport.
Develop public-private partnerships (PPP) for the operation of either on-street or (more often) off-street parking facilities.
The author is Director,REPL,an urban planning consultancy firm