In search of the elusive parking space

In search of the elusive parking space

Snaking through Bengaluru’s high-traffic roads, businessman Jayashankar Anand drives far away from his workplace on Commercial Street in search of a parking space every day.

In a similar quest, Abrar Ahmed Khan, who works for a private firm in Indiranagar, makes it a point to reach office early, hoping to find an empty parking spot in the basement.

Software professional Vikranth Moily makes sure there is parking space before he drives for lunch or dinner at the weekend. “I use public transport to reach my workplace and drive my car only at the weekend. I can afford to drive my car only if I can get space to park it,” he said.

Likewise, there are hundreds of motorists who find parking their vehicles in the little available space more challenging than driving through the congested roads. With more of one-ways, circling in and out of the Central Business District (CBD) in the desperate search for lawful parking space is not something new to most Bengalureans.

Bhavya Bhat from Koramangala points to another aspect: most commercial establishment in Bengaluru do not provide for parking space for customers. “Why can’t the civic body ensure commercial establishments have parking space before it issues them occupancy certificate,” she asked.

‘In proposal stage’

With a vehicle population of almost 60 lakhs, Bengaluru’s roads are increasingly narrowing in the absence of proper parking space. But instead of solving the perennial problem, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) seems content with sitting on projects. Many of the projects are in the “proposal stage”.

A top traffic police officer said that they had identified 13 places as potential parking lots considering the demand and availability of BBMP land. But the Palike is yet to respond, he said.

BBMP Chief Engineer (Projects) S Somashekhar told Deccan Herald the Palike had started constructing a multi-level car parking (MLCP) at the Freedom Park for 500 cars and an equal number of two-wheelers at Rs 74 crore, which would ease traffic in Gandhinagar.

Similar MLCPs have been built on JC Road, KG Road and Garuda Mall. “We have sought the approval of the State government to construct another MLCP in Gandhi Bazaar. This will take a few years,” he said.

Basavaraj Kabade, Executive Engineer of Traffic Engineering Cell (BBMP), said that the Palike had chosen 56 roads to systemise on-street parking through the pay and park facility. “It will take a month to get approval from the BBMP council and the State government,” he said.

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