An Infographic Blog
Conceptualised and Designed by Kawin Kumaran
Content created by Nashwa Naushad, AV Venugopal
Photographs by TD Achuthan
An Infographic Blog
Conceptualised and Designed by Kawin Kumaran
Content created by Nashwa Naushad, AV Venugopal
Photographs by TD Achuthan
The first two days of September saw two big changes to make India’s streets safer, freer and less congested. The new Motor Vehicles rules came into force on the first of September, attempting the impossible, controlling the behaviour of Indian motorists on the streets. Through heavier penalties, the rules seek to reduce violations. On September 2, the Supreme Court released a judgment on the Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Places Rules 2019, under the umbrella of the MC Mehta case. This judgment can be seen as a landmark not just for improving parking management in our cities, but also for other steps towards reclaiming spaces for pedestrians.
Our cities are known for their chaotic streets. Pedestrians and cyclists competing with other vehicles for space on the streets is a common sight. This is further exacerbated by the ever increasing need for parking space for all these vehicles, mostly on the street or on footpaths, blocking the movement of traffic and pedestrians. The Supreme Court judgment begins with an admonishment of the state for its failure to provide adequate public transport, and mismanaging the consequences of that failure, the increasing number of private vehicles that have taken over our streets.
The judgment has taken some progressive first steps, emphasising some important aspects such as the need for footpaths in all residential areas to be cleared of encroachments to make it usable for pedestrians, and the significance of modern technology in ensuring efficient utilisation of parking spaces. It also raises the possibility of charging people for parking, though leaving that decision to the state.
However, there are some aspects of the judgment that need more scrutiny. The judgment also called on city planners and architects to provide adequate off-street parking at major demand hubs – commercial and institutional areas, transportation hubs, etc – accommodating the potential demand for the next 25 years. The order touches multiple times on creating off street parking spaces to cater to parking demand. This can be effective only post an effective on street demand based priced PM system.
Multilevel car parking (MLCP) complexes are one such solution to provide off-street parking. It is a popular myth that high parking demand can be addressed by building MLCP complexes. However, examples from India and around the world clearly indicate that it is a short-sighted attempt. In India, these MLCPs are built at great public cost and remain underutilised and vacant in many cases. Most often, the high demand is an apparent local demand, centred around one or two streets with higher levels of activity (commercial for example), while the other streets in the neighbourhood are relatively free of vehicular parking. This demand could be eased by zone-based on-street parking management, so that parking supply is distributed evenly across different streets in the neighbourhood. Hence, detailed studies are required before proposing new MLCPs.
Another way to provide off-street parking are requirements that already exist in the Development Control Regulations(DCR) set by local development authorities, but are not adhered to in many cases. That might not be such a bad thing.
These requirements are referred to as parking minimums. They are laws that require property developers to include a fixed number of off-street parking spaces according to the size of a building. The reasoning for this is that without enough off-street parking, efficient traffic flow can be compromised due to vehicles cruising for parking or parking on the street. These parking minimums can be extremely problematic in practice.
The hidden costs of parking
Global experts on parking such as Donald Shoup and Paul Barter point out that providing for parking minimums has a cost. By forcing developers to build huge amounts of parking, these rules increase traffic and harm the environment by encouraging more people to drive. They also lead to inefficient land use. Planners and architects tend to overestimate the demand, providing more off-street parking than necessary, leading to wastage of space. The increased cost of development are then passed on to buyers, even those who may not own vehicles.
At the same time, there is a reluctance to engage with managing on-street parking demand. This leads to a situation where we see the extremes of large, empty parking lots and streets choked with parked vehicles. As a society, we should think about the sense in using up valuable space to prioritise private vehicle parking demand for the next twenty-five years.
Cities around the world have moved away from the concept of parking minimums, realising that they result in a wastage of both public and private land and investments. Mexico City has now converted their parking minimums into a parking maximum. This would change the high levels of mandated parking into the maximum allowed amount of parking, allowing developers to provide lower amounts of parking. Parking maximums are more effective because they ensure that excessive parking is not created based on norms, and developers can choose to provide less parking according to market demand. Any parking above 50 percent of the maximum would be charged and the revenues from this fee would be used to improve public transport and subsidise housing.
Across our cities, free parking is viewed as a right by motorists, leading to a reluctance by city authorities and private developers to charge the full cost of parking onto motorists. It is strange that most people are outraged at having to pay for parking, while showing no surprise on hearing the cost of property in commercial and residential areas. Why should the cost of land for parking not be the same as commercial or residential rental value in a locality? Charging people for parking would discourage personal motor vehicle use, shift to alternative modes and ensure that they pay for the valuable public space they use up for parking.
As the judgment rightly observed, a primary cause for our current situation has been the failure of our governments to provide adequate good quality public transport. While enforcing the new Motor Vehicles act and creating efficient parking management systems are much needed steps, they will fail to achieve their goals without the support of an efficient public transportation system and last mile connectivity.
The judgment is a great start to a national level discussion on parking. Delhi has notified the Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Places Rules 2019 which aims to dramatically change parking in Delhi. The policy contains provisions to formulate hundreds of area-specific parking plans which will be developed in an exhaustive exercise over the next four months. Bengaluru and Hyderabad have also attempted to implement parking policies. Cities like Shimla and Gangtok have already created and approved city-wide parking policies. Chennai is also on the way to implementing a parking management system across the city.
Efficient parking management can be an effective way to ensure better streets and cities. Removing parking minimums and charging people for parking are important and necessary steps that can help cities to effectively manage the demand for parking. The judgment is a good starting point and Indian cities have already started taking the first steps towards this future.
Written by Keshav Suryanarayanan
Technical Direction: Vishnu Mohanakumar, AV Venugopal, Aswathy Dilip
The path to urban development is laid with good intentions but the one paved for sustainable development is full of good work.
A take on the age-old proverb, this is exactly the ethos that the ITDP India Programme has persevered for, while mobilising the landscape of India’s transport system. This effort, to infuse the principles of equality and sustainability to the core of urban mobility, was taken up a notch in 2018.
The year marked the India Programme’s two decades of catalysing change in over a third of urban India. In this pursuit, of creating better streets, better cities, and better lives, the ITDP India Programme registered some major wins and here are some of the notable achievements in 2018:
The path to reimagine Indian cities from the perspective of equitability, livability, and sustainability is full of good work and ITDP India Programme is all set for the long haul.
In the 1970s when Joni Mitchell crooned “Big Yellow Taxi”, not many realised the clairvoyance and the forewarning that the song’s lyrics expressed. Though every bit of the lyric has its own essence and social messaging, the starting couplet is resounding. The verse—“They paved paradise, And put up a parking lot”—held a mirror up to society, and here we are four decades later, perplexed and baffled as to how we got here.
Automobiles are the scourge that drive up emission levels and other environmental issues, yet their numbers continue to rise unabashed. As per a report by the Centre for Science and Environment (Delhi), it took India 60 years (1951-2008) to cross the mark of 105 million registered vehicles. The same number of vehicles were added in a mere six years (2009 – 2015) thereafter!
But when you throw ill-conceived parking systems into this mix, it is like taking gasoline to a firefight. The backlash of this self-inflicted problem is found in every nook and corner of our cities, in all sorts of positions (angular, parallel, perpendicular) and scales (on-street, multi-level, automated).
In India, the conversation surrounding parking management is kindled every now and then, only to be impounded with plans of creating more parking spaces. Or even worse, buried six-foot deep with a parking lot as a symbolical headstone. Irony at its best.
So, why is it that dialogues on parking and its management generate public ire, whereas implausible measures—such as unchecked on-street free parking and multi-level parking—venerated. The answer lies in the psyche of vehicle owners and commuters in general, who lay fodder to a whole bunch of myths regarding parking management.
Now, what are these myths and how do the arguments hold; well, not as solid as the ground their vehicles are parked on.
Let’s deduce this argument with the adage, “Your liberty to swing your fist ends just where my nose begins”. A citizen has the liberty to own a vehicle, but it doesn’t entitle them to occupy a public space of their fancy. Furthermore, no text, context, and subtext of a right allows for the infringement of someone else’s right. Whereas, parking poses as an obstruction for someone to use that common public space from walking or cycling.
Clearly, parking is not a right or an entitlement, but a privilege which needs to be charged and heavily at that. A parking fee must be charged proportional to demand, factoring in criteria such as location, time of day, duration of parking, and category of vehicle (defined by size and type).
Take the case of Ranchi, where a pilot parking management project on the arterial MG Road stretch led to a 12-fold increase in parking revenue. Even the state of Jharkhand, spurred by the revenue spike at Ranchi’s pilot parking management project, invested efforts to regulate parking as a statewide policy. According to reports, Greater Chennai Corporation stands to gain Rs 55 crore per year in revenue from the pricing of about 12,000 ECS (equivalent car spaces) of parking in Chennai: a whopping 110 times increase in revenue from what it presently earns.
Cities can innovatively use parking revenue to encourage sustainable modes of transport. For example, Bicing—the public cycle-sharing program in Barcelona—is financed by its parking revenue. London’s Freedom Pass, which allows elderly (60+) and disabled residents to use public transport for free, is funded by the parking fees collected in many boroughs. You can find more about these cases and other best practices in ITDP’s publication, Europe’s Parking U-Turn: From Accommodation to Regulation.
As per Dalia Research, the average global commute time per workday is 1 hour 9 minutes, India’s commute estimate hovers around 1 hour 31 minutes. That figure helps us to the third spot in the global list, behind only Israel and the UAE. So does the solution of offering more parking space offer a concession on congestion, the answer is and has always been in the negative.
An analogy often used while talking about urban commute is “Travel time was so much lesser when there were lesser vehicle!”. Hence, parking is to private vehicles, what flame is to moths. More parking only begets more private vehicles to hit the road.
An excessive supply of parking will only encourage people to use personal motor vehicles—even when good public transport is available. Cities, therefore, need to limit total parking supply, including off-street and on-street parking. Based on the capacity of the road network, cities must set caps on the total quantum of parking available in each zone.
Most cities invest in developing multi-level car parks to resolve parking woes. But examples, from across the world and India, clearly indicate that it is a myopic attempt. Over time such infrastructures only turn into ‘big white elephants’.
Take the example of Bengaluru’s 11 multi-storeyed parking complexes—Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Company (BMTC) owns nine and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) owns two. According to a Bangalore Mirror report, these “ghost storey” parking lots barely have 20-30% occupancy, reason being parking on roads or pavements is easier, since it is free and the safer.
“Multi-level car parking doesn’t solve parking woes, better on-street management does. Multi-level parking structures remain empty while people continue to park on the streets as long as it remains free and unenforced,” said Shreya Gadepalli, ITDP India Programme Lead. Thus, cities must manage and enforce on-street parking effectively before building any off-street parking facilities, public, or private.
In 2009, Janette Sadik-Khan, the then transportation commissioner of New York City, envisioned Times Square to be a car-free zone. That is, the hub would be less of a conduit for vehicles and an urban space where people could freely walk, sightsee, dine, and take in the magnanimity that is New York. Though there were initial reservations, the results were quite remarkable and by 2010 the changes were made permanent. Citylab reported that “business for merchants in the area was booming, and travel times for cars actually went down”.
There are plenty of such examples be it Hong Kong—where demand for commercial establishments rose post pedestrianisation, Copenhagen—a pilot pedestrian project from 1962 has since reclaimed 100,000 sq.m of motorised transit. Here in India, the Mall Road in Shimla, Temple Street in Madurai, and Heritage Street in Amritsar are examples of how reinventing urban design to focus on pedestrianisation does not affect commercial establishment as feared.
People over parking: regulations allows better streets, better cities, better lives
In conclusion, the need of the hour is to regulate parking, not to take it off the table. Policies which focus on parking management not only help in easing congestion, emissions, and travel time, but also are a feasible revenue generation model for a city. A robust management system clearly defines parking zones, pegs user fee to demand, and uses an IT-based mechanism for information, payment, and enforcement—discussed at length in ITDP’s Parking Basics.
The conversation revolving around parking management has been catching up, with ITDP India Programme offering plausible solutions to cities. Leading the conversation is Pune, which is on the verge of implementing a parking management policy—a demand-based parking system that smoothens traffic movement.
Multiple studies allude that personal cars and two-wheelers occupy most of our street space, yet serve less than a fourth of all trips. They also sit idle for 95 per cent of the time—consuming over a third of street space that could be used more effectively as footpaths, cycle tracks, and bus rapid transit (BRT). The discourse over urban mobility shouldn’t revolve around parking, rather the onus must be on transit-oriented development. Wherein, last-mile connectivity and rapid system of transit ensure movement of people and not just vehicles. As cities evolve, there is an urgent need to step away from an oblivious “man proposes and parking disposes” mentality.
More resources from ITDP on parking management and reforms:
If life is a theatre, then commuting on Indian urban roads is a Greek tragedy that unfolds daily. Jostling for space, dashing to beat a signal or tip-toeing around oncoming traffic, all these are daily reminders of how desperately the Indian transport system needs an overhaul. According to a Boston Consulting Group survey, a commuter in Mumbai spends 135% more time in road travel than any other Asian city.
Yet, our current vehicle-centric transportation planning only adds more vehicles on roads. And beating congestion by adding more roads is a battle that no city has won. It isn’t just the rapid increase in congestion, traffic snarls or travel time, but also the subsequent rise of pollution and road accidents that hamper quality of life in our cities.
“Every rupee spent by a city on public transport boosts its economy by four rupees!” said Mr Khatua, Director of Mumbai Technical Support Unit, at a workshop on the Maharashtra State Urban Transport Policy. Succinctly put, the senior officer magnifies the need of the hour: sustainable public transport systems.
Closely looking at Maharashtra’s urban population, it is expected to increase by a whopping 30% in the next decade and by another 50% in the years to follow. Going by the present-day scenario of urban commute in the state, the future seems too hazy. To counter these issues, the Urban Development Department of the state has drafted and published the Maharashtra Urban Mobility Policy.
With sustainability at its core, the policy looks to develop transport systems in accordance. So efforts will be concentrated on urban transit systems which reduces burden on resources and most importantly, offers an equal space to every commuter. Hence, facilitating walking, cycling and usage of public transport.
In 2006, the National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) was laid out as a guidance for transportation planning in Indian cities. It prioritized the movement of people and not vehicles in cities, emphasizing on adequate road space for sustainable transport modes, such as walking, cycling and public transport. However, the NUTP mostly existed as a term of reference on papers.
You may ask, so why bring it up now? Well, Maharashtra is taking strides to plug this gap, making it the first state to define its own transportation policy. This further ensures that its urban transportation projects are consistent with NUTP. In June 2017, the Urban Development Department released a draft of the policy. To ensure transparency and insight on feasibility the process was participatory, taking into consideration comments and suggestions of citizens and officials from various cities.
Consultation with Pune Municipal Corporation
Consultation with Nashik Municipal Corporation
In all of this the ITDP India Programme provided technical guidance to the Urban Development Department, and the department is now in the last stages of finalizing the draft.
Applicable to all urban areas of the state, the policy envisions transport modes which are safe, reliable, sustainable and accessible for citizen from all walks of life. Additionally, focusing on women’s safety.
The key objectives that the policy will enforce upon cities are:
· Safety and convenience offered to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.
· Reducing usage of personal vehicles
· Our transportation infrastructure must be is universally accessible
· Road fatalities should be drastically reduced
· Ambient air quality should meet or exceed Central Pollution Control Board norms
All this is easier said than done, of course. Hence, the policy offers tangible metrics for infrastructure implementation, followed up with support and training provided by the state government.
The policy also helps to detangle the bureaucratic red-tape and ensures a coherent approach is in store. Cities with a population of 10 lakh or more are expected to establish a Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority and an Urban Transport Fund to manage financial resources for all transportation projects. This will ensure that each agency works in coordination and follows an identical vision.
In conclusion, the policy offers a glimmer of hope; and we say glimmer because there are still many a miles to go and stretches to be reclaimed for equal distribution. But this clearly is a step in the right direction which will impact and influence other states to follow suit. In essence, Maharashtra has shown its wherewithal to get with the times and be the trailblazer that leads by example.
It was back in 1998 that ITDP began its engagements in India, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s words, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” What started as one woman’s journey to change the dystopian path our cities were drifting towards has transformed into a formidable force of young, passionate visionaries who strive to bring back life in a place we call home. Today, ITDP celebrates two decades of action on the ground, catalysing tangible transformation at scale in over a third of urban India.
Transportation is the focus of many pressing issues facing the world today—decisions about whether to build highways or bus corridors have a great impact on our health and our planet. For this reason, ITDP has worked with over 18 Indian cities to reduce the human impact of transport choices: ensuring cities put people before cars, all citizens can walk and cycle safety, and jobs and services are a bus ride away. Through the dedicated efforts of our team and a strategic approach towards sustainable transport, ITDP India programme has impacted the lives of millions for the past 20 years.
The journey in India began in Agra. The vision to develop a modern cycle rickshaw to counter the growing threats of motor vehicular pollution, gave way to the India Cycle Rickshaw Improvement Project. What started off as five prototypes has become sustainably embedded as the standard design in cities across North India. Today, around half a million of these modern cycle rickshaws serve 4-5 million zero-carbon trips daily and offer dignified livelihood to over a million people, transforming the lives of their families as well.
ITDP realised the need to transform the quality and availability of public transport in Indian cities. Since 2003, the India Programme evangelised the idea of the Bus Rapid Transit (popularly known as BRT) to transform mediocre bus services into high-quality mass transit.
Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s largest city, welcomed ITDP to reimagine bus transit in 2005. Our partnership with Environment Planning Collaborative, and thereafter with CEPT University and the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation resulted in the launch of Janmarg (in 2009)—India’s first high quality BRT system that expands to a network of 87 km. Janmarg has inspired many cities in India, and with guidance from ITDP, five cities have created 200 km of high-quality BRT to date.
In 2009, the India Programme revolutionised the way people perceived streets in India. Safe, child-friendly streets are not just a mirage of the past, but can be a beautiful reality even today. Ahmedabad was the first city in India to host Car-Free Sundays in collaboration with ITDP, Riverside School and other partners. The initiative allowed citizens to experience the freedom of walking and cycling on safer car-free streets. The success enabled expansion to Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra to raise awareness and transform their streets into places we all dream of everyday.
ITDP India Programme initiated collaboration with Chennai City Connect in 2009 to improve cycling and walking conditions across the city. Change isn’t easy in cities where the car is a symbol for status. But within five years of ITDP’s engagement with the city, Chennai took the bold move of adopting the Non Motorised Transport (NMT) Policy—first in India.
The policy mandates that a minimum of 60 percent of of transport funding to create and maintain walking and cycling infrastructure in the city. Having retrofitted over 50 km of walkable streets over the years, Chennai has initiated the next phase of redesigning an additional 50 km of street network. Chennai’s policy has inspired many national and international cities—from Chandigarh to Nairobi—to adopt similar policies. The comprehensive approach undertaken by Chennai, was awarded the Sustainia Award in 2015.
Since 2013, the India Programme has worked with the smaller cities of Tamil Nadu – Coimbatore, Trichy, Tirupur, Salem, and Madurai. In Coimbatore, the Namma Kovai Namakke (Our Coimbatore Ourselves) campaign, initiated by ITDP, sparked citizen demand for better pedestrian facilities. Coimbatore was the first city in Tamil Nadu to host Car-Free Sundays, that inspired Chennai and Madurai to do the same. The city also adopted The Coimbatore Street Design and Management Policy that aims to increase walking, cycling and public transport use. In light of Coimbatore’s vision to improve people-mobility, the city has planned a 30 km-network of walking and cycling paths to connect the city’s major lakes, in line with the guiding Policy.
The India programme began its engagements in Maharashtra in 2009, first with the Municipal Corporations of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, and thereafter in Nashik and Aurangabad. Today, Pune is the epitome of a smart Indian city. Pune launched 40 kms of the Rainbow BRT in 2015, with an additional 45 km in the pipeline. The city adopted the Urban Street Design Guidelines and plans to redesign 100 km of streets based on the world-class standards set by the transformation of JM Road and DP Road pilot project.
While Pune has taken the first steps towards developing a people-centric city, the next challenge is to address the encroachment onto footpaths by parked vehicles. As a result, Pune adopted the Public Parking Policy to regulate parking, in 2018. The Policy aims to manage on-street parking through an efficient paid parking system but exempts bicycle parking from any charges. Pune realises that encouraging cycling reduces CO2, improves commuters’ health and increases retail visibility. As a result, the city plans to implement a dockless Public Bicycle Sharing system of 13,100 cycle, under the city’s Bicycle Plan. Yes, the city has worked wonders. Pune, Chennai, and Coimbatore – all cities ITDP assisted, were selected in the first round of the national government’s Smart City Mission.
In 2013, the India programme also expanded to Ranchi, the capital of the state of Jharkhand. Local conditions were unfavourable to support sustainable transport; thus, ITDP initiated collaboration with local civil society groups, educational institutions and trade associations that formed the Ranchi Mobility Partnership. Ranchi’s Mobility for All action plan prepared by ITDP, with input from the partners, provided a detailed roadmap of transport solutions for local conditions.
The action plan inspired the city to take responsibility of overseeing operations of 100 new buses, and an additional 300 buses in the due course—an applaudable move for a city that had fewer than 30 buses. The plan also identified a cycle network to improve access to public transport; as a result, the city is in the midst of constructing the state’s first Bicycle Sharing system comprising of 1200 cycles.
Onward and upward, Ranchi’s Parking Policy has inspired other cities in the state, like Jamshedpur, to manage on-street parking. The State too realised the chaos caused by unregulated parking and thereafter adopted the Jharkhand Parking Regulations—first in India. Jharkhand is also the first state to endorse the Transit Oriented Development Policy that was prepared in consultation with ITDP India.
On account of leveraging the sustainable transport agenda at the national level, the India expanded to the country’s capital, Delhi, in 2016. This gave rise to the policy brief on Women and Transport in collaboration with Safetipin and UN Women. Women represent the largest share of public transport users, yet they face many barriers that limit their mobility such as safety, comfort, convenience and affordability. Empowering women in transport enables them to participate in workforce, thereby creating a societal shift to transform the entire world economy.
The India Programme’s capacity development work, through training workshops and study tours, has been imperative to the success of its projects and policy. The India Programme has trained over 1000 government officials and other stakeholders. Over the years, our knowledge products have not only been used for best practise references, but also endorsed by the government – for example, the National Guidelines for Public Bicycle-sharing for the Ministry of Urban Development, and Street Design and BRT Guidelines for the Indian Roads Congress (IRC).
Since 1998, ITDPs’ agenda of improving the quality of life of citizens through equitable and sustainable transport has only magnified in momentum over time. Times have evolved, but our dream remains the same. Take a moment and imagine a 2050: will we design a future where we continue to get trapped in endless traffic while pollution destroys the city, and infrastructure fails to deliver? Or, will we live in ‘smart cities’ where people can zip around town, connected with walking and cycling boulevards and world-class rapid transit. The choice is yours; we chose the latter.
P.S. Dear Mahatma Gandhiji, we are being the change we wish to see in the world today. And, we have been doing it successfully for the past 20 years in India!
“Congratulations to Pune on taking this important step! If the going gets tough, always remember WHY the streets need parking management. The fees, the enforcement and the well-designed parking spaces are needed to make sure that parking happens in an orderly way, only in the right places and that it is almost never too full (so newcomers can find a space to park).” Dr. Paul Barter, Urban transport researcher, policy advisor and trainer.
The renowned parking policy expert’s words ring true: making streets inclusive and people-friendly is one of the biggest challenges cities face today, and a key part of the puzzle lies in a system we mistakenly take for granted: parking. In a laudable move, Pune Metropolitan Corporation (also known as PMC) has approved a public parking policy that aims to manage on-street parking through an efficient paid parking system. Ultimately, it will shift people from private vehicles toward sustainable modes such as walking, cycling and using public transport.
PMC heralds a new era of travel demand management by regulating on-street parking. ITDP provided technical expertise to draft the Policy. The Policy introduces an efficient paid parking system, an intelligent transportation system that facilitates payment, and the creation of a management cell that oversees implementation. The outcome – a demand-based parking system that smoothens traffic movement – is avant-garde in India.
DP Road, Aundh is an example of street design that includes clear parking spots
It’s widely known that private vehicles are voracious consumers of space because they require a parking spot at each leg of a journey- at home, at the market, and at the office. Streets are crowded with parked vehicles that block traffic and turn walkways into obstacle courses for pedestrians. A parking policy is needed to ensure that the frustration and hassle of parking is addressed sustainably and efficiently.
The policy proposes to regulate on-street parking by clearly demarcating legal and restricted parking spaces, in accordance to Pune’s Urban Street Design Guidelines. The street design guide, which was adopted by the city in 2016, sets standards for designing street elements and provides a collection of street design templates catering to the needs of all road users.
The policy proposes clearly demarcating legal and restricted parking spaces
According to the policy, parking rates will be determined across the city for both on-street and off-street parking, depending on location, time and type of vehicles. Pune’s parking policy has determined parking fees based on vehicle dimensions, parking demand at particular locations, time (peak or off-peak hours), and occupancy to enable a fair fee structure. Revenue from parking fees can help fund further improvement in public transport and parking management.
The Policy aims to be proactive in ensuring that parking information is available to commuters through various means (such as real time digital displays, smartphone apps etc.) to reduce redundant trips for hunting parking spaces. In a move to promote cycling as an affordable and sustainable mode of transport, the policy exempts bicycle parking from any charge. Exemptions are also extended to daytime ambulances, special-aid vehicles and paratransit parked in designated lots.
Once implemented, the policy promises efficiency to travel demand management in the city. As a significant step towards holistic and sustainable urban transport planning, parking management can help Pune become a ‘world-class’ city!
“I used to take my two-wheeler to travel the 3 kilometers between my house and the railway station. I’m now able to walk the stretch, thanks to the continuous footpath. Best part – I’ve lost 5 kilos and my diabetes!” Mr. Manimaran, a resident of Egmore in Chennai, is thrilled at the tremendous change that a safer and better footpath has brought about in his life.
The year 2017 witnessed many such impactful changes in the field of sustainable transportation all around the country, including cities which ITDP India Programme has been closely working with. Thanking all our supporters, we take a look at the year that passed by.
Pune broke ground on its ambitious Complete Streets networks – a 100km-network with its own financial resources and 45km through support from the National Smart Cities Mission. The first phase of these street design projects on JM Road and DP Road has already been lauded by the country, owing to the vibrancy of these redesigned streets. Pune’s Bicycle Plan, recently approved by the General Body, paves way for the creation of a 300km bicycle-track network in the city.
Having accomplished over 40km of Complete Streets, Chennai initiated the next phase of street design by inviting tenders in late October to redesign 22km of streets. The city tested out the design of 5 key intersections through a tactical urbanism approach – quick, temporary, on-ground interventions. Chennai also conducted another trial run of the proposed pedestrian plaza in Pondy Bazaar, the success of which fetched the project a sanction of of Rs 55 crores (~US $9 million) under the Smart Cities Mission.
Smaller cities have also made remarkable progress this year in their Complete Streets programmes – Nashik appointed nationally-acclaimed urban designers to redesign its proposed street network of 50 kilometers, with 10 kilometers tendered out; and Coimbatore commenced construction of its Model Roads and hosted an interactive exhibition to inform the people of the design of the roads while collecting feedback. Coimbatore also started developing detailed implementation plans for its Greenways and Lake Restoration Project, which includes a 30km network of greenways (exclusive walking and cycling infrastructure) that crisscross the city and connect 8 water bodies.
Becoming one of the pioneering cities in parking management in the country, Ranchi implemented a progressive on-street parking management system on its busiest thoroughfare, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, with a twelve-fold increase in revenue. Inspired by the success of the pilot, the city has proposed to refine and expand the system to cover all key locations. The state of Jharkhand has also proposed to adopt a state-level parking policy.
Chennai recently invited tenders to select an operator for its proposed on-street parking management system covering 12000 equivalent car spaces on Bus Route Roads across the city. Since Pune is also working towards parking management, ITDP, in collaboration with GIZ-SUTP, facilitated and managed a two-day workshop on the topic, with international parking expert, Dr Paul Barter in the city. Participants included municipal officials, traffic police, public officials from other agencies as well as various local stakeholders.
An increase in demand for better public transport has provided the fillip to cities across the country to increase and improve their transit services. Chennai made considerable advancement in its BRT planning, with the interim report for Phase I approved by the state and a series of public consultation programmes organised to explain the significance of BRT to people and get their feedback on the various corridors.
In Pune, around 130 crore rupees was sanctioned to construct 13 new bus terminals to facilitate better integration of bus services with the proposed Metro Rail network. The city also commenced work on expanding the existing 38km Rainbow BRT by an additional 15km. Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) initiated the process of adding 200 feeder buses to its fleet, to improve connectivity between the city and the surrounding towns.
Public bicycle sharing (PBS) is emerging as a popular mode of public transit across the country. Pune piloted a dockless PBS system with 275 bicycles and signed an MoU with 4 vendors dealing with dockless systems. Two other cities are preparing for the installation of a PBS system – Ranchi and Chennai invited operators to submit proposals for setting up 1264 bicycles in 122 stations (Phase 1) and 5000 bicycles in 378 designated parking areas, respectively.
Successful and sustained on-ground changes invariably require the backing of well-framed guidelines, policies and financial plans – 2017 was marked by many of these. Two sets of guidelines – the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) planning and design guidelines, and the Guidelines on Control and Regulation of Mixed Traffic in Urban Areas – prepared by ITDP, were approved by the apex committee of the Indian Roads Congress. These guidelines will apply for all cities across India and guide them towards low-carbon mobility.
The Government of Jharkhand adopted an inclusive TOD policy that focuses on equitable development of cities in the state, so that a majority of the population lives and works in areas with safe and accessible walking and cycling facilities integrated with reliable and high-quality public transport.
The Government of Maharashtra published a draft of the State Urban Transport Policy, which promotes low-carbon & equitable mobility and urban development by prioritising public transport (PT) and non-motorised transport (NMT). Furthermore, over half of Pune’s total transportation budget of 1100 crore rupees was allocated towards sustainable transport development for the financial year 2017-18. In the South, Coimbatore adopted a Street Design and Management Policy that focuses on creating equitable and sustainable mobility options and expanding their use.
The realisation that sustainable urban development will remain elusive without integrating women’s safety and comfort in urban transport, has generated momentum to include gender as a key factor in transport planning. Bringing this subject to the fore and as a first of its kind, a paper on Women and Transport in Indian Cities was created by ITDP and Safetipin, and released at a national workshop on gender and transit conducted by the two organisations. This paper identifies indicators, service level benchmarks and processes for integrating a gender perspective in urban transport projects, policies and programs along with good practice case studies.
2017 was a year of radical planning indeed, with many grand plans conceived, developed and initiated for sustainable transportation. With all these plans set to materialize in the coming months, 2018 will be a year of implementation and tangible transformation. Looking forward to a great year ahead: Happy New Year!
“Let us seize the chance for parking success without excess!”, world-renowned parking management expert Dr.Paul Barter concluded. The occasion was Park It Right – a 2-day parking management workshop conducted by the Pune Municipal Corporation, with ITDP as knowledge partner; in association with GIZ, SUTP and TUMI*. The event was a part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI), supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building & Nuclear Safety (BMUB). Participants included PMC engineers, officials from RTO & Traffic Police and representatives from various NGOs.
With the adoption of Pune’s parking policy in the offing and the city’s plans to implement better parking management, the workshop aimed at drawing lessons and inspiration from global best practices. Local government’s responsibilities regarding on-street parking management, regulation of parking supply under real-estate/urban planning powers, choices over city-owned off-street parking, and the relationship between the city government and private sector parking businesses were also discussed.
The workshop kicked off with Mr. Kunal Kumar, the Commissioner of Pune Municipal Corporation, speaking of the city’s firm course towards sustainable transportation, with great joy and pride. Various initiatives to encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport has ensured that Pune has stayed on track. Speaking of dissuading the use of personal motor vehicles, the Commissioner said, “managing parking is an integral and essential part of our sustainable transport planning.”
The tone of the discussion thus set, Dr. Paul Barter took over to explain the basics of parking management. While most cities perceive a supposed lack of parking availability on the streets, there is generally excess supply off-street. The solution is thus not supplying more parking; it is, rather, better parking management.
To understand this concept better, the audience was asked to participate in a hands-on exercise to simulate parking in a commercial area between 8 am to 12.30 pm. Two scenarios were considered: one with minimal parking fee and management, and another with higher parking charges determined by supply and demand.
At the end of Scenario 1, the participants observed that with poor parking management, high-demand spots in the commercial area were occupied by shopkeepers and office-goers for better proximity, leaving the shoppers and other customers without a convenient spot. With an appropriate increase in parking fee as per demand, long-duration parking moved to the outer fringes where the fee was lower. This freed up many easily accessible parking slots within the commercial area for shoppers and restaurant-goers.
Another key takeaway was that the city does not have to wait for visible improvements in walking, cycling and public transport infrastructure changes to implement parking management. Basic parking reforms can help significantly reduce the parking chaos on the street. For instance, in Saudi Arabia, where on-street parking pricing was introduced not as a means towards sustainability but to tackle congestion in many stretches, the parking situation has improved considerably.
The simulation exercise thus helped the participants understand that parking management starting with simple steps should be the approach to the “parking crisis”, instead of increasing supply. Presenting examples from Taipei in Taiwan and Seoul in South Korea, Dr. Barter reinforced this fact and helped the audience decide good parking management goals.
Best global practices highlight that the location and quantity of parking supply play a crucial role in the success of parking management. Dr. Barter stressed that parking, both on-street and off-street, must always be provided in tightly controlled amounts, and charged based on demand.
Applying these lessons to well-known localities in Pune, it came to light that the existing parking spaces could be managed easily without increasing the capacity. “Our cities should aim to eventually shift towards sustainable transport solutions. But even for a car-centric city, parking management is an essential step in solving congestion on the street and for better use of road space. Let us start now Pune!”, said Shreya Gadepalli, Director – South Asia, ITDP.
With the parking policy expected to come into effect soon, and the city taking measures to start on-street parking management, along with various NMT-PT friendly initiatives, Pune is indeed firm on its sustrans course!
*GIZ – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (English: German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH); SUTP – Sustainable Urban Transport Project; TUMI – Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative
“I bought an AC, now the government has to give me a free house to install it in!” If this is an absurd demand, so is free parking – “I bought a car, now the government has to give me a free place to park it!” Cities across the world including India, are gradually beginning to realise that parking is not a right; it is a commodity and should come at a price. In keeping with this revelation, Indian cities such as Ranchi have started implementing on-street parking management, with a parking fee.
Pune and Chennai are the latest cities striving to join the bandwagon. Pune will soon adopt a parking policy to guide parking management in the city. Pune and Chennai both aim to put a smart parking management system in place. There is now an urgent need to learn more about global best practices, especially challenges faced during implementation and solutions. In order to initiate this learning process, Pune and Chennai will host discussions and workshops internally and for the public in the following weeks, led by internationally acclaimed parking expert Dr.Paul Barter.
Today, unorganised on-street parking and invasion of pedestrian footpaths by parked cars is common of most Indian cities. On-street parking is mostly free, and even when charged, the rates are too low and fee collection is carried out by private operators with little monitoring or oversight by the government.
In Pune, open spaces have been converted into parking lots – including a mechanised structure – to meet the ‘demand’. However, prior to providing off-street solutions, on-street parking has to be addressed as it comes free of cost and is more easily accessible, hence is more sought after.
Realising this, Pune has tried to employ certain strategies to ensure that rampant parking doesn’t hinder movement of vehicles as well as people. The age-old “P1/P2” scheme has been incorporated in several streets where parking is allowed only on one side of the road depending on odd/even dates. Traffic cops have tried to ban parking on mobility corridors during peak hours.
Pune has also implemented a manually-operated “Pay and Park” system on some streets with parking charges of the order Rs 5-10 for four-wheelers for 2-4 hours. While this is the on-street scenario, many private establishments like hospitals and cinema halls charge upto Rs 50 for 4 hours of car-parking. All these measures have had mixed successes.
In Chennai on the other hand, parking rules and fees are administered on an ad-hoc basis, leading to a lack of clarity for users, inconsistent enforcement, and significant revenue leakage. The city experiences localised shortages despite overall availability of parking space.
The two cities are thus trying to solve the parking problem by better on-street parking management. The Pune Municipal Corporation has proposed a policy to manage parking in the city. The policy suggests slabs of parking charges, using the fundamental economic principle of supply and demand to determine the cost. It prioritises road space for other users – especially pedestrians, by dissuading the usage of any available public space (both off- and on-street) for parking.
Chennai has initiated the process of implementing a smart parking management system. Key features of the proposed system are parking guidance for users and real-time information of parking slot availability on mobile platform, an online digital payment portal to improve revenue collection and enhance transparency and an electronic enforcement system, among other things.
For parking charges, a zone-based system will be followed wherein streets are categorised into paid parking (medium to high demand), free parking (low demand) and no parking (since parking restricts movement) zones. Parking fee and fine will be determined by the Greater Chennai Corporation and Chennai Smart City Ltd. It is estimated that the revenue from the system only from bus-route roads could itself be well over half a crore rupees per year.*
In order to assist the two cities’ commendable efforts to deal with parking, Dr.Paul Barter will be visiting and leading discussions in both Pune and Chennai. Dr. Barter has offered his expertise along with necessary training in several parking-management projects across the world including Beijing, Kathmandu, Jakarta, Singapore, Mumbai, etc. He has published an on-street parking management toolkit as a guide for government staff in low-income and middle-income countries. His expert opinion and knowledge will add greatly to the parking management plan of the two cities.
Through their actions to tackle parking, Pune and Chennai are surely setting a great example for other cities that intend to create an urban environment focused on people rather than vehicles!
*This estimate is based on a parking fee rate of Rs. 40 per ECS per hour for bus-route roads.
Read the draft of Pune’s parking policy here: Suruvath: Public Parking Policy 2016.
Discover the basics of parking management and regulation in ITDP’s publication, Parking Basics.