PARKING OR NO PARKING?
To conclude that then Bangalore city traffic is in a mayhem in a no brainer. It has remained so for quite some time. The recent news stories from the outer ring road to the airport road does in no way give any indication that we are moving in a direction, which people of Bangalore would like it move. The traffic logjams widely reported in the media, can be termed as watersheds moments in the hallowed history of the city traffic, this is not to talk of harrowing experiences on a day-to-day basis for the citizens.
For lots of such problems the citizens too are to blame, but the regulator cannot go unscathed. The buck has to stop somewhere. The bigger challenge whether it is even treated as an issue. Parking in self-regulated or contracted commercial parking spaces gives us the confidence that things are moving in the right direction. Parking fees or commercial considerations makes it happen in a neatly regulated manner and over a period of time has become the norm. The harsh reality is that large part of the city’s vehicle population spends most of its life span on public roads,(not plying) mostly unregulated, but for some parking advisories hanging on boards on some of the roads.
So, the areas on every road, unannounced parking through the city is open to parking rules as decided by the contiguous owner, shopkeeper, commercial establishment or an apartment building management as the case may be. Large parts of the pavements were gained control by such owners, some to even make lawns on them and many a makeshift arrangement as per their convenience. Now the parts of the roads facing them have been parceled out for parking, it is just that you cannot visibly see, but it is in their control. As you try parking somebody would just emerge out of nowhere and ask you not to do it, mostly in an authoritative and at times in an aggressive manner. You can imagine the fall out for yourself.
From a shopkeeper, adjoining vendor, or a security guard can perform their self-assigned traffic job. Mostly, it is strictly followed. A government servant recently ended in a physical scuffle recently in a similar situation. You can well imagine their audacity. It was widely reported in the media but situation remains the same. Similar altercations are the order of the day. Many times, it is abusive and parked vehicle is being physically blocked by other vehicles etc. too is not unknown. This happened in case of the government servant too. To escape becomes a challenge. In residential areas and otherwise, police traffic type cones and variety of no parking signages / boards adorn the city. Some cones are also tied to chains in traffic police style. How can private individuals buy and use it on public roads? A bird’s eye view of any of these roads will instantly give you an idea as to how far are we from any semblance of parking rules or discipline on most of unannounced parking spaces /roads in the city. Clippers put on bike and car tyres at will, can at best be an eyewash.
A SELF-PROCLAIMED CONSTRICTED ROLE OF THE REGULATOR TAKES US NOWHERE.