Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin  YouTube
Tuesday , 16 April 2024

Area wise Parking Management for Sustainable Mobility

With an increase in vehicular registration and increasing parking demand, cities are facing the challenge to bridge the gap between the demand and the supply. This article by Prachi Merchant, Sr. Planner associated with the proposed Mumbai Parking Authority at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, looks into the issue of parking, various experiments and options adopted to tackle the complex problems and highlights solutions through parking management plans.

As per Paul Barter, the parking expert, most of the USA suburban towns and Indian cities have experimented with parking minimums and rigid enforcement where there is reluctance to pay. In this supply driven mechanism local Governments try to meet the demand by constructing subsidised public parking facilities, eventually taking up on-street parking due to low supply. But since these are isolated measures, the results do not necessarily meet the goals. The European cities on the other hand, have looked into

(i)   parking as an infrastructure with every site having its parking

(ii)  parking as a real estate based service, serving the facilities to neighbourhoods

(iii) parking management by planning districts and not site by site. This must and is slowly being followed by other cities.

The objective in carrying out a parking management plan is to address parking in decentralised areas, rather than painting the entire city with the same set of rules. The local area economy becomes the focal point where the plan is prepared as per the mode type demand so that its users get comfortable access (cars/ 2-wheelers/buses, pedestrians, cycling…)

In India, Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure Planning & Engineering Centre (UTTIPEC) guidelines have recommended introducing parking management to decrease the use of the private vehicles with a focus on efficient utilisation of designated parking lots and prioritising para-transit or feeder modes. National Urban Transport Policy (2007) recommends allocation of parking spaces, land value based parking fees, use of revenue generated from parking for making public transportation more attractive, multi-level parking and establishing parking for the neighbourhood. Smart cities program focuses on smart parking component through use of technology.

In response to the various policies and guidelines, various cities have taken up different measures to address the parking issue. Coimbatore has taken up two areas for the parking management plan. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike adopted the policy of Directorate of Urban Land Transport and has detailed out plans for 20 sq. km in zones with 85 streets in CBD area under smart parking and a few sites for pilot implementation.

Delhi has come up with bye-laws for the parking management plans and has taken up areas around the Metro station. Surat Municipal Corporation has created a parking cell and appointed officers for enforcement along with pilot implementation in a few areas. Ahmedabad has looked into parking in commercial areas and large event venue parking along with starting smart parking pilot in a few streets.

Bhubaneshwar Smart city is working on the policy and parking management plan for the city. Mumbai included the establishment of Mumbai Parking Authority in the Development Plan which has mandated it to look into parking in a holistic manner for the entire city. According to the Victoria Transportation Policy Institute (VTPI), parking management includes “a variety of strategies that encourage more efficient use of existing parking facilities, improve the quality of service provided to parking facility users and improve parking facility design”.

Parking management includes identifying a large area either of a legal binding or of similar land use or an area around certain transit. A thorough assessment of the entire area including all the streets is done. Map all existing transport and parking provisions, land use, issues and opportunities, hawking, off-street parking, demand is noted and analysed. Based on base analysis, a set of strategies are laid out linking proposed changes to the broader transport and land use system. These form the precursors to the detailed parking design plans for implementation (Auckland Transport Integrated Network Plan document on On-Street Parking Management – An International Toolkit).

The objective in carrying out a parking management plan is to address parking in decentralised areas, rather than painting the entire city with the same set of rules. The local area economy becomes the focal point where the plan is prepared as per the mode type demand so that its users get comfortable access (cars/2-wheelers/buses, pedestrians, cycling, etc.). The land use is enhanced by addressing its users (commercial, residential, recreation) and street utility is optimised in an equitable, fair and transparent manner. The marking of where on-street parking is allowed and prohibited is decided and designing of parking spaces and signs is taken up, limiting access to certain groups, prioritising parking for certain groups, loading and unloading areas, pick-up & drop-off areas, setting time limits, enforcing compliance with all of these arrangements and monitoring success, etc. In some cases it is an opportunity to create pedestrian-only areas as an outcome of No parking or time based regulation and poses an opportunity to regulate parking prices to create a greater turnover of spaces. The revenue through the parking can be utilised to fund people-centric programs. (Horsham Parking Management Plan).

The benefits of parking management plans are manifold; it brings in improved quality of service by providing better information, increasing consumer options, reducing congestion and creating more attractive facilities. Parking management strategies generate revenues that can fund parking facilities, transportation improvements, or other important projects. It reduces land consumption and requirements helping to preserve greenspace and other valuable ecological, historic and cultural resources. It supports mobility management and encourages efficient transportation patterns, which helps reduce problems such as traffic congestion, roadway costs, pollution emissions, energy consumption and traffic accidents. It helps to create more accessible and efficient land use patterns. Organising, managing and regulating parking can improve walkability. (Parking Management Strategies, Evaluation and Planning by Todd Litman, 31 March 2023, Victoria Transport Policy Institute.)

Mumbai took up preparation of a 24 ward parking management plan (WPMP) on the lines of London boroughs parking under the proposed Mumbai Parking Authority (MPA). The decentralised system through the ward was selected since the administrative systems are in place and the management would be more efficient.

The WPMP methodology was prepared based on a detailed study carried out by a professional team based on the context. The team first prepared the GIS base map with the land use and other layers as the base. The existing parking related data was surveyed and drafted on the base map. The mapping of the off-street parking consisted of the existing, proposed municipal parking lot, other organisation parking lots as well as those open to join the pool. The on-street parking considered the existing and the proposed with considerations for pay and park, kerbside parking and no parking zones. Each of this was further categorised as per the land use, vehicle type demand, occupancy, transport, etc.

Guidelines and norms were referred or newly drafted to align with the broader city and transport goals. Parallel process of preparing the policy inclusive of pricing, signage and marking guidelines, communication and behavioural change guidelines, legal setup, IT intervention and enforcement plan was carried out, all reflecting in the proposals. Stakeholder consultation at the Government and private level were carried out to finalise the plans for approval and implementation process. The ward area has been further subdivided into zones based on similar land use and or transport connectivity. Thus, 24 ward maps with sub zones and street proposals with supporting policy guidelines are now ready for implementation.

With construction of new transport linkages, Metro lines and regulated parking, the citizens would get more options for travelling helping in reducing the usage of the private vehicles. This would eventually help in bringing in parking maximums, curbs in vehicle ownership and congestion tax.

Parking is an inevitable subject which the Indian cities have to tackle as early as possible. With lessons drawn from various examples, cities can adopt parking management plans for the specific context and systematically work towards achieving sustainable mobility goals.

Share with: