Even while the city’s first pedestrian plaza was thrown open to public, the Madras high court directed the Chennai corporation along with traffic cops to take adequate steps and remove vehicles unauthorisedly parked on pavements in the city.
The corporation commissioner told the Madras HC that the city has 54 lakh two-wheelers and 11.75 lakh four wheelers. The corporation will create parking space for 3 lakh vehicles and set up multilevel car parking lots to address the problem, besides clearing pavements of encroachments.
Parking has been big problem in Chennai for more than a decade.
T Nagar residents have been frustrated over haphazard parking in the shopping hub, especially during festival season. The civic body has been making all-out efforts to streamline parking in this burgeoning city. In 2011, the Madras high court made it clear that places earmarked for parking cannot be used for any other purpose. The court dismissed a petition and denied permission to set up a canteen, telephone booth and xerox centre on the land allotted for car parking in Hosur.
In 2017, the Madras high court ordered the closure of hotels and restaurants without parking space. Soon notices were served and some restaurants were even sealed. Restaurants are mandated to allot parking space and with no area provided, customers park vehicles on road causing congestion and traffic snarls.
In June this year, the Madras HC directed district collectors to initiate action against illegal parking fee and toll collections in the state, particularly in municipal areas. The court directed the government to issue a circular to all district collectors to instruct revenue officials to keep tabs on illegal parking fee and toll collection.
Meanwhile, abandoned motorcycles occupy parking space in city bus stands and railway stations.
CMRL has also planned to create multi-level parking lots at some stations.
The new parking management system as envisaged by the civic body must ensure there is no traffic congestion on streets. It must make smart use of road space to help motorists and pedestrians.
With parking not regulated in several areas , vehicles are just parked on roads, affecting traffic flow and movement of pedestrians. Paid parking has to be streamlined in all places. And strict enforcement will stop drivers from parking cars irresponsibly on footpaths and roadsides.
Despite rise in air pollution and CO2 emissions, carpooling is yet to pick up in the city. With the civic body chalking out plans to create adequate parking space for better traffic flow, Chennaiites must go for carpooling and follow parking rules to curb growing traffic congestion. It will also usher in safety and comfort for road users.