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  • Writer's pictureSachin Naik

The truth about the parking problem

As a vehicle owner for several years now I would always be frustrated with difficulty in parking. Why couldn't the places I go to provide more parking space? Street parking was a mess. What were city authorities doing? Why do other vehicle owners not park their vehicles properly? I already pay so much in taxes, why should I pay more money for parking? 

Until one day I decided to do something about the problem myself.

I spent months trying to learn about the parking problem and what I learnt was a bit humbling and shocking. I learnt that parking is like traffic where most vehicle owners see each other as the problem (Get out of my way) whereas they are actually creating or contributing to the problem. My vehicle (like most others) is parked 95% of the time and I expect space for my car wherever I go. Sound familiar?

So here is what I learnt about the parking problem   

  1. Parking is a 95% problem as most vehicles are parked for 8360 hours in a year

  2. It is a huge and growing problem all over the world.

  3. Parking problems affect everyone, not just vehicle owners. From Traffic police to Municipal corporations to Business owners to Security guards to Parking managers and operators to Smart cities. Even pedestrians.

  4. Unorganised parking leads to traffic congestion (remember how lanes being used up for parking slow down traffic passage on roads). Unorganised parking can also lead to conflicts between vehicle owners and people can get really frustrated if someone is using their parking space. 

  5. The widely quoted 30% statistic (attributed to Prof. Donald Shoup from UCLA) may be inaccurate but vehicles do spend time circling for parking which leads to increased emissions & pollution. 

  6. For non-vehicle owners - whether you own or manage/operate parking; you face several problems with managing your parking space and it is usually expensive, labor or capital intensive to organise parking.

This post attempts to highlight the fact that parking is a problem for society as a whole, not just vehicle owners.

So the question is - Are we doing enough to solve this problem? Can these problems even be solved? Join us as we try to break down the problem and solutions in this blog series.

Lesson learned:

Parking is a problem for everyone not just people that own or drive vehicles.

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