Unscientific Parking Spaces on Light House Hill (LHH) Road is Not a SMART IDEA by SMART CITY Officials of Mangaluru Smart City Ltd (MSCL)!
Mangaluru: Good news for the citizens of Mangaluru and tourists to Mangaluru is that the stretch of the Light House Hill Road till Dr Ambedkar Circle (Jyothi Circle) is getting widened, and about 80% of the work is complete, even though the project is going on a slow pace. Unfortunately, what the bad news is that providing unscientific parking spaces for four-wheelers of this road that is getting widened-which si nothing but a DUMB idea. Every educated person and person with common sense, whom Team Mangalorean interacted, they all said that the parking slots which are getting done are nothing but senseless and abolutely a dumb idea, by those officials who are behind the plan.
These parking spaces are getting ready near to Ladies Club and Opposite to Tagore Park, on the stretch of LHH Road. Four-wheelers getting parked in these spaces with their bumper extending onto the road,imagine what would be the situation of traffic moving on this road during rush hours. Also how would the parked vehicles move out when there is heavy traffic? Did any of the MSCL officials think of all these cons while planning these unscientific parking spaces. Apart from this project of road widening , if you look around the City, the majority of the recently widened roads have been ample parking space for vehicles rather than benefiting the smooth flow of traffic.
I am sure many of us have faced similar delays on busy streets purely because of vehicles parked at odd spots in already narrow lanes. It won’t be surprising to see such sights in areas with shopping malls, markets and commercial centers. Roadside parking is a necessity in any city’s traffic ecosystem. Unfortunately, it is so underrated when compared to bigger problems that it gets sidelined. Given the high percentage of four-wheelers among the total vehicular population in Mangaluru, apart from two-wheelers it becomes paramount to be able to manage the availability and proper utilization of parking spaces on the main arterial roads of the city.
The growing City of Mangaluru has the unfortunate distinction of having one of the highest vehicles per capita in the state. To put it in layman’s terms, there are more vehicles per every 1,000 people compared to many of its peers. Adding to the total numbers a very high percentage of almost 20% of traffic consists of four-wheelers which demands a much larger space for parking these long vehicles. Management of parking space hence is a crucial element in solving traffic problems.
Traffic delays have multiple reasons: high vehicular volume, potholes slowing down traffic flow, inefficient traffic signal coordination, unhealthy driving practices, infrastructure shortcomings etc. Bottlenecking on roads is another such reason, which can happen when the road by design is narrow compared to the preceding stretch. Presence of a building like a religious institution, or a natural impediment through trees, are common examples of bottlenecks. Vehicles parked along the road can create a similar bottleneck and sometimes accentuate a pre-existing bottleneck because of the conflict and blockages they create for flowing traffic.
Curbside parking can be streamlined by bringing in simple changes in the way we look at parking overall. Earmarking specific sections of a busy road to be open for parking will bring in a much needed structure to the parking availability, but surely not on this LHH road.. Making a single side of the road open for parking and alternating the two sides every few meters can split the congestion evenly. This is not a popular solution for a congested City like Mangaluru. However this would not yield benefits in small stretches in certain streets in Mangaluru. On such roads having a clear demarcation on one side open for parking is a welcome respite.
While we try to address the parking problems of the city, it is important to note that at the crux of this problem is the paradox of balancing the means and the ends of achieving a systematic, well-enforced roadside parking. The ultimate objective is not to smoothen the parking experience to encourage people to bring out their cars and vehicles more often, but to achieve convenience for those opting to bring their vehicles, and to remove the bottlenecks being caused due to haphazard parking. Solutions for the parking issues should be designed keeping the end results in mind. Making the traffic and parking experience smoother should be the agenda.
Ultimately a well-managed parking space scenario in the city will not just provide a comfortable option for drivers to make a swift parking and save time, it will also lead to a clear enlistment of available parking spots and more informed rider decisions to choose the appropriate mode of transport. Given the call for removing parking spaces altogether from some of the busy roads in the city, a better parking environment will enforce discipline and informed commuting decisions on a daily basis. Let’s hope parking space management is given its due importance in the long battle for improved and safe mobility in Mangaluru! .