Mumbai May Soon Try Out Odd-Even Parking
In big cities, motorists are usually required to obey several parking regulations. Among them is the law of ‘odd-even’ or ‘alternate-side’ parking popularly implemented in cities like New York. Although, it has garnered a mixed response from citizens, but some authorities in India such as the traffic police department of Mumbai are hopeful that the strategy would work to eliminate parking woes and streamline traffic movement.
The department has filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court stating that it is launching the ‘odd-even parking system’ on a pilot basis in the Kalbadevi market area in South Mumbai aimed at decongesting the crowded streets.
Let us understand what ‘odd-even’ parking means and how it would help.
What is ‘odd-even’ parking?
Under odd-even rationing method, private vehicles are allowed to drive or park on alternating days. So, as per the ‘odd-even’ parking policy, vehicle-owners will be allowed to park their vehicles only on one side of the road, on an odd and even basis. That is, the vehicle would have to be parked on either side of the road depending on whether it is an odd-numbered or an even-numbered day of the month.
Traffic police department in many Indian cities like Chandigarh, Bangalore and Patna have adopted this system across arterial roads and roundabouts in order to regulate traffic movement, especially for allowing emergency vehicles to navigate smoothly.
Many localities of south Mumbai, like Kalbadevi, Bhuleshwar and Lokmanya Tilak Road are busy market areas which are choked by the heavy presence of vehicles, hawkers, shopkeepers and pedestrians. Although the traffic department has formed a special committee to come up with measures to remedy the road congestion problem, it wishes to experiment with this new parking system.
Pros and cons of ‘odd-even’ parking
Many developing countries like India and China have joined the battle for finding parking spaces and tackling alarming pollution levels. Various smart parking solutions such as multi-level parking facility, have although seen the light of day. However, the idea of alternate-side parking comes as a practical solution which will permit vehicles to be parked only during specified hours of the day, thus discouraging vehicles which are parked for more than one day. This would also help facilitate road maintenance and execution of civic services.
On violation of the rule, vehicles parked on the wrong side would be towed away or owners would be charged fines for the release of their vehicles.
Sounds easier than it actually is, the system comes with its own challenges. Many shopkeepers have expressed their dissatisfaction with the new policy as it affects their business. On days when the vehicles are parked on their side of the road, customers find it difficult to enter the shops. Besides, the solution is not fool-proof either as they are many motorists who get away by paying fines. By charging hefty fines, the traffic cell of Patna police generates a monthly revenue of about Rs 7 lakh.
On the contrary, the system might work in residential areas and can go a long way in instilling discipline among vehicle owners.