Reducing private car use not only requires improvements in walking and cycling facilities, but also better management of on-street parking. In most Indian cities, unorganised on-street parking and invasion of pedestrian footpaths by parked cars is a common sight. This oversight in parking management not only hinders pedestrian movement, but also feeds into the prevalent inequality of access to urban spaces and drains the government coffers of revenue.
The Pune Municipal Corporation heralded a new era of travel demand management by regulating on-street parking. In 2018, the city adopted the Pune Parking Policy that introduces a fee for on-street parking based on demand levels, as well as better enforcement techniques such as IT-based parking management that eliminate the need for cash collection, thereby reducing revenue leakage. As for Ranchi, a pilot parking management project on the arterial MG Road stretch led to a twelve-fold increase in parking revenue. The state of Jharkhand, spurred by the revenue spike in its capital’s pilot parking management project, invested efforts to regulate parking as a statewide policy.
Chennai is also planning a parking management system to manage 12,000 car park spaces across the city. In doing so, the city stands to gain Rs 550 million per year in revenue—a whopping 110 times increase from what it presently earns.
As mentioned earlier, green modes such as walking and cycling form a significant part of the Indian transportation culture. By ensuring pedestrian and cyclists are given due consideration, Indian cities will drive the dialogue further.
We have codified many of the lessons learned from street design work in cities across India in Better Streets, Better Cities: a Guide to Street Design in Urban India, published in 2011. A further resource, Footpath Design and Footpath Fix, provides a quick reference to key concepts on designing and implementing better pedestrian facilities.