On-street parking, viable only if driven by technology

Last Updated : 30 August 2013, 14:42 IST

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 Your mobile beeps, an App alerting you about a parking slot round the corner that has just been vacated. One touch, and you have paid and reserved that space to be occupied within the next 10 minutes.

Networked to a central server, feeding real-time data accessed by mobile devices, thousands of car and two-wheeler parking slots could just turn ultra tech-savvy. But only if the parking policy - currently on the drawing boards -- adopts the technology, a version of which is to be launched soon in the City by a leading parking management system.

Faced with inadequate off-street, multi-level parking lots, the policy on the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) agenda would have to rely heavily on finite on-street parking spaces. But this can work only with a technology-driven, dynamic system far advanced than the rudimentary ones now in operation on Brigade Road and Commercial Street.

“The mode of parking fee payment should be flexible, through card or cash; the machines should be networked to a central command system to make the collection systems transparent and monitor usage patterns,” explained N Sathyanarayanan from the Central Parking Services (CPS).

Parking network

CPS currently manages parking slots for 10,000 cars and 8,000 two-wheelers at the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA), Baiyyappanahalli and SV Road Metro Stations besides several malls, IT firms and corporate hospitals. The BIA parking lot handles 2,800 cars, the capacity of which is expected to increase by 10 per cent after the ongoing Terminal-1 expansion. On completion of Namma Metro phase-1, 12 more stations will have parking lots.

The Palike could look at the CPS network and its soon-to-be-launched Mobile App as a pilot, for city-wide applications. “The App will have GPS connectivity and will link to parking lots from different zones.

We already have a connection with the City traffic police B-Trac server, where they send a query to our server and pull out information from the database. The information then flashes on the B-Trac website. Right now, this link has only limited functionality without an App,” said Sathyanarayanan. The CPS App will be part of a comprehensive upgrade of its server, to be ready in 15 days.

Monitoring usage patterns

By adopting a networked parking system with a central command, BBMP could remotely monitor usage patterns. Tracking parking slot use based on zones, roads and days of the week, the Palike could fix differential rates. The technology allows this, although a move to fix such a differential system for peak hours and weekends in the parking policy was turned down by the State government.

Recently, the government had approved a parking policy for Bangalore along with other city corporations in the State. The Palike had earlier given its nod for the policy with a few modifications, after the Directorate of Urban Land Transport submitted a draft. The Transport Training Institute and Consultancy is now expected to come out with a parking action plan by this year-end.

Published 23 August 2013, 22:44 IST

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