Indian metropolises face tremendous pressure on parking spaces and are currently staring at a mobility crisis due to rapid economic and population growth. To compare, in the New York midtown area, the road area per person is 33.3 square meters while the corresponding number for Mumbai’s Null Bazaar (shop area in south Mumbai) is 1.7 square meters .
To cope with this increasingly problematic trend, the city of Ahmedabad is now eying a new parking policy aligned with the National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) to gradually discourage parking on all major roads including short-stay parking facilities. According to a senior AMC (Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation) official, they will start by letting the people get acquainted with new traffic fines and make sure they adapt to current traffic rules. When achieved, AMC intends to declare this comprehensive parking policy.
To mention some of the expected measures; people will have to prove there’s parking space before registering their cars with road transport authorities. There is currently a practice to link parking standards with land use, which will be discouraged by the policy. Parking fees will become incrementally higher, and pricing will be based on vehicle size and parking duration to dissuade both larger vehicles and long parking times. Roads less than 12 meters wide shall not be used for parking at all.
This, in turn, is focussed on making public transport more attractive. AMC may implement a city-wide bike-sharing program, and the policy will grant free parking only for bicycles at any parking lot within 300 meters of a bus stand, to further facilitate last-mile connectivity.
One can argue that making other transport alternatives more economic and customer-friendly is a better alternative than putting restrictions on what people can and can’t do. However, the situation in India is critical due to a lack of initial regulatory measures which for example makes on-street parking much cheaper than off-street parking . Therefore, the upcoming changes might come as a shock for the Amdavadis, but indeed something has to be done. Hopefully, this transition is parallel with increased efforts in scaling public transport to a more viable and attractive option.
Written by Hampus Alfredsson, RISE Viktoria.
1. 2019-09-26. Ahmedabad: Want a car? Show parking space first.
2. 2019-02-14. Issues with Parking in Indian Metropolises.