Havoc on the pavements

Haphazard Parking

Havoc on the pavements

Bangaloreans have always been notorious for parking two-wheelers on the pavements but now, they seem to have graduated to the next level — some drivers have begun parking their four-wheelers on the pavements as well, making it impossible for pedestrians to use them.

The number of cases registered for illegal parking has increased at an alarming rate with 7,49,959 cases this year.

Metrolife interacted with the traffic police, BBMP officials and Bangaloreans to understand why parking on pavements continues.

According to the statistics available with the traffic police, 2012 had a total of 14,91,071 cases of illegal parking and 2011 had 6,96,699 cases.

The figures don’t seem to dip at all. The police say that they have been contemplating stringent punishment, including increasing the fine amount from Rs 100 to Rs 500 and treating footpath offenders as criminals by filing cases against them under Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code for rash and negligent driving. Additional commissioner of police (traffic) B Dayananda concedes that the measures that are in place are not enough to curb the menace. “The proposal to increase the fine amount from Rs 100 to Rs 500 is still pending. It will have to be passed as a law. It is only when the fine amount is increased that people will refrain from parking wherever they want, especially on the pavements,” he says.

   Dayananda further states that he is also collaborating with the BBMP to reconsider the multistoried car park project that has been proposed in several places in the City. “Commercial complexes must have basement parking. This will prevent people from parking on the main roads and on pavements. We are contemplating replicating the paid-parking system that’s on Brigade Road in several areas across the City,” he adds. But the BBMP officials seem clueless when asked about such a parking lot. A senior officer with the BBMP confirms, “We were only thinking about having multistoried car parks in several areas but nothing has been sanctioned or planned so far.”

People say that the lack of adequate parking space and endless traffic jams provoke motorists to ride and park on the footpath. Akash, an engineering student, says that he has seen an elderly woman being knocked down by a two-wheeler rider on the pavement. “People park and even ride on pavements but cops don’t react. Nothing much is being done to stop this,” says Akash.

Sourish Mukherjee, another youngster, feels that a fine amount of Rs 100 will not deter people from committing the offence again. “The police must clamp down on the offenders and instil a sense of fear in them. Lack of adequate parking facilities in the City is the main problem,” he avers.

People from other parts of the country, who come to work here, think that the traffic in the City is getting worse and people lack good driving sense.

Udit, an employee with TCS, points out, “People don’t seem to have the patience to wait for the signal lights to turn green. Instead, they try to get ahead of others by driving on and dislodging the pavements.”  
 
Murali, another professional, thinks that people won’t stop parking on the pavement unless the traffic police come down heavily on offenders. “I think some kind of railing must be put to separate the pavement from the road, so that no motorist can drive on to the pavement,” he sums up.

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