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Car usage disincentives - it's happening

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Private transport

Are you a resident of Mizoram capital Aizawl? If yes, do not buy a car until you have a garage or parking space. Grappled with constant traffic snarls, Mizoram has finally found a way out, banning the sale of vehicles to any individual who does not own a garage or parking space. A car purchased after August 30 will be viewed illegal if its owner does not possess a garage or parking space.

The Mizoram Government has issued an order banning the sale of vehicles to anyone who doesn’t own parking space. The diktat, which also holds for Government departments, was issued last week by the state’s Transport Department after an assent to the Mizoram Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Rules of 2010.

For the full report in the New Indian Express, click here

Muralidhar Rao
 

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murali772's picture

And, across the world

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check this

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

otherwise, this is where we are headed

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China's nine-day, 100km long, traffic jam - check this

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

  And here we are waiting for

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And here we are waiting for traffic studies to prove there will be enough people to use commuter rail 30 years from now. The rate at which we are going it will be overflowing in 5 years. Somebody in govt should have common sense and intution. I bet we will find that person in my lifetime.

abidpqa's picture

There was another post about

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There was another post about Chennai, in Praja

"Car buying/parking..emulate the Chennai way"

Actually, I am not able to enter the link because it triggers spam filter.

Naveen's picture

Car buying/parking..Chennai way"

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...is here

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

Scientific Implementation required

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 This is the move I was hoping for long way along with local registration suggestion.  The parking space registration should be done mandatory in phases for existing owners and new purchasers. I am imagining a following roadmap for the same. However, before implementing I would suggest strongly to make a cost vs. benefit analysis.

1. Pass a BBMP law/rule regarding this, which shows political willingness to do. (Otherwise its a waste of energy and resources)

2. Notify in all newspapers/local TV channels regarding implementation plan and timelines. and IMPORTANTly the need for this and expected benifits out of it.

3. Implementation plan should be phased manner. If one fine morning something is imposed like this, people will not welcome.

4. Do not expect 100% compliance. So implement in following way:

a) Make parking space registration mandatory for new purchases mandatory during registration within BBMP limits. People will go to outside city and register :), never mind.

b) Open a multichannel system where existing owners should(must) register their parking spaces. Give  timelines to do it with a comfortable time limtis, say 3 months from notification, another 1 month will a nominal fine, and next 1 month higher fine. Multichannels should be : 

    - Temporary registration offices (something like tent IT return offices we have seen on rooftop of IT building near Indian Express)

    - SMS registration

    - Website portal

    - Phone registration

    - On the spot registration (outsourced to some agencies, like survey outsourcing)

Not needed to say, all these systems should provide a legal acknclowedgement.

5. Keep public updating public from time to time (like % people registered)

6. Design a non-compliance handling system after implementation keeping in mind :

 - Handling outside trucks

 - Handling handcarts (used by street vendors) and bullock carts

 - Handling outstate/outside registered vehicles

- Detection of non-compliant vehicles ( For example, sticker to be provided for registered vehicles)

- Temporary vehicles like Other SRTC vehicles, Tourist and other state-owned buses

- Private service buses.

- Other practical issues.

I think lots of effort to required to implement it in a scientific way, thus making it people friendly implementation. But it should benefit BBMP in long run like parking lot infrastructure planning etc

 

 

 

 

 

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
murali772's picture

140 traffic jams in a day

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Beijing was choked by 88 traffic jams yesterday morning in addition to a record 140 traffic jams that paralysed the city's roads on Friday last with the number of vehicles on road exceeding 4.5 million.
For the full report in the TOI, click here.

The lessons have been staring us in the face. But, our 'planners' refuse to see.

Muralidhar Rao
ESAF BANGALORE's picture

Restriction on Personal Vehicles!

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It's high time Bangalore has to innovate new ideas to put a restriction to the usage of personal vehicles. We need to follow similar examples from Mizoram/ Shanghai where people are forced to shift to non motorised vehicles. Of course our public transport syatem (PTS) needs to be improved, but these kinds of restrictions will make people to think about better usages of PTS.

Until and unless we are forced by law, policies and exorbitant fines, we the people can never ever shift to such modes of transportation. These forced policies will help us to have some more better sense towards our environment, health and the list of advantages are umpteen.

Please check out the link below for Shanghai's example.

http://www.hindu.com/2010/07/11/stories/2010071156631800.htm

This will also allow our children to have much more play spaces on the street which otherwise would be vehicles parked on both the sides leaving very less spaces for them.

Hope in near future itself we will find such people/child friendly policies by curbing the current automotive favoured policies.

 

Manju George

murali772's picture

Beijing to reduce new car licences

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The local government said it will issue 240,000 licenses for 2011. This works out to less than 35% of the 700,000 cars sold in Beijing this year. Zhou Zhengyu, vice-secretary general of the Beijing municipal government said the move was aimed to ease the traffic pressure in the city.

The new system becomes effective at midnight on Thursday as cars brought on or after December 24 have been subjected to a lottery system. The first batch of lottery results will be available on January 26. The new rules favour individual buyers, who will be allowed 88% of the quota through the lottery system. The idea is to restrict buying by companies and government agencies.

Industry estimates suggest that car ownership in Beijing city will touch five million by February 2011.


For the full report in the ToI, click here

When is Bengaluru going to wake up to this inevitability?

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

 Unfortunately what they are

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 Unfortunately what they are doing is a "buying" disincentive and not a "usage" disincentive. Their alternate number plate on the roads was on the other hand a real usage disincentive. They need to implement congestion charging and prioritize public transport for it to be a real usage disincentive. 

silkboard's picture

buy but not use

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Right IDS, the perfect policy measure would something that lets people buy cars (no impact there), but discourages usage for daily commute purposes.

People want to buy cars, that ambition/want is a bit too big and popular today to fight against and govt would be spending a lot on court battles if buying side disincentives come in. Only China or North Korea can do it.

Usage for commute disincentive can be pushed through and defended. At-market rate or higher charges for weekday parking, widening roads with priority for public transport, no incentive in offices for car use or maintenance would be those things.

murali772's picture

inevitable

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While American cities are synchronizing green lights to improve traffic flow and offering apps to help drivers find parking, many European cities are doing the opposite: creating environments openly hostile to cars. The methods vary, but the mission is clear — to make car use expensive and just plain miserable enough to tilt drivers toward more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

For the full text of the report in the New York Times, click here.

Sadly, Bangalore has still to wake up to this reality.

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

Jakarta moves closer to

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Jakarta moves closer to congestion pricing & other usage disincentives http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/06/25/one-legal-boundary-go-jakarta-erp.html

murali772's picture

it's catching on fast, except in India

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Mr.Gorton believes in a government policy which works towards automobile suppression, including punitive taxes on cars. He also added that traffic undermines the liveability of the city. Many countries have realised this, and limit driving by putting in place stringent parking norms, he said. “Copenhagen reduces its parking space by 2 -3 per cent every year, while in Tokyo you first need proof of parking space before you can buy a car,” he added.

Similarly, Singapore has a limited number of slots for automobile licences which are auctioned every year and in Denmark, the sales tax on cars is 270 per cent, he said.

For the full report in The Hindu, click here.

"India has the historical advantage of being able to see the damage that automobiles have done to cities in Europe, America and China. It can decide not to commit the same mistake,'' he said. Gorton firmly believes in what Enrique Penalosa, a former mayor of Bogota, once said - you can have a city that is friendly to cars or friendly to people. You cannot have both.

His grouse against automobiles goes beyond the obvious concerns over pollution and congestion. He is concerned with the intangible fallout of living on a street that is crowded by cars and has little space to walk. "When there were fewer cars on New York streets, the city was safer for children, who could cross over, walk to school or run to a park. "A child's world was, say, a kilometre in diametre. It has now been reduced to a few metre in front of the house,'' Gorton said. He said this may well be a cause for childhood obesity, as children have no place to walk on the streets. "You now need an adult to accompany a child from one place to another,'' he said. He points to studies which show that on an average people, who live on streets having heavy vehicular traffic have fewer friends in the neighbourhood than those who dwell on quieter streets.


The above line is from the ToI report (for the full report, click here).

Wonder when our neta/ babu lot are going to realise this

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

Wonder when our neta/ babu

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Wonder when our neta/ babu lot are going to realise this

Even if they do, they have an uphill task in convincing public who cant look beyond their steering wheels

Naveen's picture

Harsh decisions overdue

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Even if they do, they have an uphill task in convincing public who cant look beyond their steering wheels

Exactly - this is why I have been saying that harsh decisions are necessary (in fact, they have been long overdue), but none of the political parties dare oppose public ire. So, the nation is now being driven all the way only by public sentiments.

People even argue about their 'rights' to park & use roads without any payment.

blrpraj's picture

urban greenways concept in Seattle

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Seattle has come up with a cool concept called urban greenways.

 

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017493611_greenways13m.html?prmid=4939

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017493611_greenways13m.html

 

Here is some more interesting information on what greenways are - http://neighborhoodgreenwayssea.wordpress.com/

 

 

murali772's picture

fundamental logic

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INDIA'S NATIONAL transport policy says there should be socially equitable distribution of space on roads but as is quite evident, we are biased towards motor vehicles. For a country like us, number of people transported is much more important than number of vehicles transported. By that standard, most of our highways are unconstitutional. We have only 18 four wheelers per 1,000 persons, which is much less when compared with US (809) and Germany (554). However, that does not stop us from importing their designs for our roads, thus, inviting disaster. Since the western road designs are for homogeneous traffic (because almost everyone there is on a car), they don't cater to our local traffic which include pedestrians, cyclists, animal-driven carts and a large number of two wheelers using the same road as heavy motor vehicles.

Also, expanding and building flyovers on our urban roads without a firm policy related to land use pattern along these roads is an illogical exercise. Practically, one urban road should not be expanded more than four lanes because according to the rule of traffic equilibrium, people shift to alternate, under-utilised routes whenever there is congestion. More than four lane makes it difficult for a pedestrian to cross the road in the available 15 to 20 second time.


For the full text of the essay by Nevdeep Asija, click here

Fundamental logic - but, how come planners don't seem to get it?

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

well stated, Your Honour, but - -

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Relevant excerpts from Delhi High Court order dt Oct 18, '12 (full text may be accessed here), dismissing the petiton against BRT corridors in Delhi:

The number of motorized vehicles other than buses plying on the street in Delhi as of the year 1997 being 26,98,488 rose to 63,75,033 in the year 2010. During this period the corresponding figure for the buses rose from 13,576 buses as of the year 1997 to 29,849 as of the year 2010. The culprit is known. The rising number of cars and two wheelers

- - Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the grant by the Central Government through the Ministry of Urban Development to Delhi has been utilized 83% for expansion of roads and construction of flyovers. 15% has been spent on parking projects and only 2% to other transport projects. What does it reveal? Cars, cars and cars and nothing else. And yet the roads are bursting on the seams. It could well be argued that when more than 50% of the road passengers travel by buses it would be illogical and irrational to spend 98% of the grants under JNNURM with the targeted beneficiary being cars.


The argument in the writ petition that those who create wealth travel on the roads by cars and their time is precious is too egalitarian an argument and ignores that unless labour meaningfully participates hand in hand with the capital, by itself the capital would create no wealth. Interests or concerns, beyond what belongs to any 1 of the 160 million people of Delhi have to be adjudicated keeping in view the interest of all and not a few or a group. Besides, these "wealth creators", we are sure would like to live in a developed country; and we remind ourselves that a developed country is not one where the poor own cars. It is one where the rich use public transport.

But, like the editorial in 'the Hindu' (full text accessible here) has commented "The idea is not new, and remains on the list of gridlock-reducing measures for Delhi since last year. Car and two-wheeler users do have a point about poor quality and supply of public mobility options", the problem lies largely in the poor quality of services of the monopoly government bus transport service providers - the BMTC in Bangalore, and their equally bad counterparts in other cities.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Paris and New York taking steps to the next level

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Paris:
The Delanoë city administration has opened bicycle lanes, launched a bicycle sharing scheme, built a major new tramway line, changed parking policy to encourage people to leave their cars in their home neighborhoods, opened several new parks, and even re-purposed a former highway as a public promenade along the Seine.

The Department of Roads and Mobility (Direction de la Voirie et des Déplacements) has driven much of the change in Paris’s public spaces. 185 acres of Paris’s streets have been given over to cyclists, sidewalks have been widened, parking has been restricted, and many public spaces have been redesigned according to the new philosophy.


For the full report, click here

New York:
Throughout North America, cities are recognizing the need to stop treating pedestrians as second-class citizens. For the first time since auto-centric planning began to take hold several decades ago, the mobility and safety of pedestrians is being given as much attention as motorized vehicles, as the movement to create livable streets gains momentum.

For the full report, click here

Meanwhile, Bengaluru seems to continue its romance with auto-centric planning.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

pro-acive cities, and fatalistic Bengaluru

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ODD numbered plates will be the only ones allowed on Paris roads as of Monday. Why? The city is desperately trying to halt pollution, so they decided to make public transport free and stop half the city’s vehicles from driving by simply banning them from the road.
 
For the full text of the report, click here.
 
It'll work fine in Paris, since they have an excellent public transport system. In Bengaluru, however, with the highly limited, BMTC (monopoly) - centric, public transport capacity, we will be far worse off.
 
The answer lies plainly in opening up of the services to professional private players - check here for more. 
 
Muralidhar Rao
sridharraman's picture

Paris public transport is privatised?

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More importantly, the common excuse one hears from car-users in Bangalore for not switching to the bus - we need it to be like London/Paris/NY.  I wonder what excuses do the car-users in Paris give?  Obviously, having just the excellent system hasn't seen the impetus that the city wishes for - hence the move toward more disincentivisation.

Probably, talking to the people in Paris who do not take public transport might give us a better understanding of what really should the city be prioritising - pandering to cars or cutting-down on their usage?

Frankly, the one thing that the privileged seem to have in abundance (apart from other things) is excuses.

idontspam's picture

Elephant in the room

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Sridhar makes a good point, paris has always had a good public transport system but still faces a problem. Having good public transport is only a necessary condition for good, healthy life in the city but not a sufficient condition. We are trying very hard to ignore the elephant in the room. Restricting usage of private transport! 

Naveen's picture

Congestion to stay

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No matter what public (or private) transport, congestion is here to stay. All arguments & claims about BMTC monopoly etc being responsible for congestion is bizzare. Restraining private transport with additional costs like tolls, congestion pricing, taxes etc is the only way, not by privatizing BMTC.
MaheshK's picture

Ever increasing vehicles

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Here we go again. The old and ridiculous argument about BMTC. Let’s not compare European and North American cities to Bengaluru. Ground realities are different. Number of cars has increased in the city. Those who already have a car, when they buy a new one, they sell the existing car. This will increase the number of cars on the road (which is getting narrower) leading to congestion. Even if Metro rail if fully operational (god knows when), still there will be congestion. As per the standards, one bus is equal to 3.5 cars. Now do the math to see how many commuters a bus can carry and how many cars would be there to carry the same number of commuters. Would it cause congestion or not? Btw, number of registered vehicles have crossed 57 lakhs. Owning vehicle is a right. 

Privatizing BMTC will NOT solve the problem. 

murali772's picture

Pink elephant in the room

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Every study, done by CiSTUP, DULT, whoever, has recommended deployment of more buses, simultaneous with introduction of various schemes to disincentivice usage of personalised forms of transport. Now, the question that arises is does the BMTC have the capacity to manage the increased load, when it's seen to be doing a poor job of even the job on hand. I am not sure even the most ardent of BMTC's fans, would answer that with a 'yes', if approaching the question rationally. That's where the matter of opening up the sector, even if just to BMRCL to operate their feeder services, comes in. That's the pink elephant in the room that can't be missed even in poor light. 
 
Better, of course, would be to open it out to professional private players, all under the oversight of UMTA, as envisaged under the new Transport Bill (check here). Once that happens, providing for good overall connectivity (more than comfort), I am sure, many of the present day car users, who are driving by themselves, would switch to using the buses, since driving in our traffic conditions is no longer a pleasure - rather, it's a nightmare. The chauffeur-driven lot, including the neta's and babu's, will perhaps continue using the car. And, when that too becomes a problem is when you need to go for methods like the one adopted by Paris. 
 
Unfortunately, however, there are the many with the "Socialistic" approach, where they want everyone to suffer the same BMTC dis-service, which they are apparently happy suffering. Given an option, they would even ban cars, planes, etc, and may even go on to suggest that everyone be brought on level with the villager and ride the bullock cart. And, bizzare is the kind of point of view that maintains that opening up of bus services to effective competition from professional private players is a no-no, even as competition is welcome everywhere else - check here. Further, nobody is questioning anyone's right to own a car. But, equally, the government has every right to make its usage costly, when the situation warrants it. 
 
 
Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

A vision for bangalore

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Watch this video https://vimeo.com/122483608

Naveen's picture

Bizzare logic indeed

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Cities like Paris, New York, London, Beijing, Shanghai, HongKong & almost all others with extensive networks of mass transit options in addition to bus services still have huge congestion problems. With no mass transit yet, Bangalore's congestion isn't surprising.
And those that blame BMTC for the congestion & imagine that increasing the number of buses (which supposedly BMTC cannot do!) will solve congestion problems are ignorant & biased.
 
Imagining that the many disorganized dirty, unsafe speeding private buses will solve the problem of congestion is irresponsible & silly. Talk about a so-called "pink elephant" is bizzare!
murali772's picture

very much relevant to Bengaluru

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@ IDS - Similar is the scene in quite a few other European cities too. My experiences in Prague and Amsterdam, middle of last year, are brought out here.

A lot of it can be adopted by Indian cities too, particularly Bengaluru, which enjoys a conducive climate most parts of the year.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Neighborhood in Motion: One Month, No Cars

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Neighborhood in Motion shows how a one-month car-free festival in a neighborhood affects the urban spaces and the mindsets and lifestyles of the residents.

In September 2013 a conference and a festival on EcoMobility were organized in Haenggung-dong, a neighborhood of Suwon, in which 1,500 registered cars were blocked from the neighborhood for 30 days. The district’s 4,300 residents were forced to switch over to alternative modes of transport, or ‘EcoMobility’ — walking, cycling, ‘wheeling’, public transport and car-sharing. The idea behind this urban experiment was to prepare the citizens of Suwon for urban life in an era of dwindling fossil resources and therefore make them aware of low-carbon energy supply and how this could look like in real life.

For the full text, click here.

Bangalore desperately needs this to happen, and not just for one month, but all through. But, poor public transport is going to be the stumbling block. And, the answer to that very plainly lies in dismantling BMTC's monopoly (check here)

Muralidhar Rao
vatsan007's picture

Car free on Sunday evenings -- Ganjing, Lucknow

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There is one such initiative in our own country in Lucknow where Sunday evenings (5:00PM to 10:00PM) are car-free in Ganjing, Lucknow.

Check the link below:

http://timesofindia.india...

If not in big terms, smaller zones/stretches should be made private-vehicle free zones.

 

- Srivatsan

Sanjeev's picture

Thanks Murali posting that Care month link

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Even our Cycle day has same concept which works for 3 Hrs in the morning where all vehciles are banned for the event on the selected street.

These good concept can be started with 6 - 9  timing of both morning and evening at select areas during school holidays.

This will encourage childrens and others to  come out of home and enjoy their neighborhood

vatsan007's picture

See the link below: The

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See the link below:

The Public Bicycle Sharing System (PBS) to be launched in Mysuru soon. 550 cycles at 52 docking stations located across the city to encourage non-motorised transport.

This looks like an initiative by the District Administration.

http://kannada.oneindia.c...

More and more initiatives within an area should be appreciated and promoted.

 

- Srivatsan

murali772's picture

we have a lot of catching up to do

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It's the trend world over now - check this Guardian report. So, when is Bengaluru going to catch up?

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

BMTC monopoly our biggest impediment

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Our roads are already clogged and it’s going to get worse with over 1,500 vehicles being bought per day. There is no hope for the future unless we embrace public transportation (rail, bus, shared cabs, autos) and alternate modes (walking, cycling) on a large scale basis. In London at the iconic Shard building there are no parking slots except for handicapped persons. The message is clear – you are welcome, your personal vehicle is not. So once again – parking is not a birthright that the city needs to or can deliver on. The city needs to focus on other mobility modes (including walking) and public transportation investments are critical.

For the full text of the responses to a set FAQ's on TenderSure by V Ravichandar, in Citizen Matters, click here.

Undoubtedly the way to go. The hitch however is that our public transport system, centred largely around the government monopoly, BMTC, is not, and cannot ever be expected to cope up adequately with the demand. The answer lies in opening out the services to reputed private players, or at least the BMRCL (for feeder services) to begin with. For more on that, check here.

Muralidhar Rao
abidpqa's picture

Car pooling has not been

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Car pooling has not been successful in Bangalore. The better option for Bangalore seems to be sharing taxi. Uber started as a ride sharing app. Also share autos are also not  being successful because there are too many autos and their influence.

 

Sanjeev's picture

Leave Your Car Home Every Second Day as Delhi Fights Crippling A

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Under fire over rising pollution in Delhi and the lack of a concrete plan to tackle it, the Arvind Kejriwal government has announced that private vehicles with odd and even registration numbers will be allowed on the roads of the national capital only on alternate days starting next month.

This means that from January 1, 2016, if vehicles with number plates ending with an odd number can be driven one day, only those ending with an even number can be brought out the next day. This will not apply to public vehicles.

"Every year pollution level increases in winter. For some time, odd and even numbered vehicles will run on alternate days. Alternate arrangements are being made to bolster public transport. DTC buses, Metro services will ply extra. We are still working out the modalities," said KK Sharma, Delhi Principal Secretary.

The government said it hoped to cut down vehicular pollution in the state by half with the measure, which is likely to be very controversial.

A joint meeting of all stakeholders including traffic police, transport department and Municipal Corporation of Delhi will be called to prepare a blueprint for swift implementation of the executive order.

It was announced after an emergency meeting called by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday, a day after the Delhi High Court said living in Delhi was like "living in a gas chamber". The government also decided at the meeting to close down a unit of the Badarpur coal plant.

The High Court and the National Green Tribunal or NGT have repeatedly sought workable action plans to combat the menace of pollution in Delhi where the Air Quality Index, a measure of pollutants in the air, has hit dangerous levels in recent days.

The court yesterday ordered a "time-bound action plan" by December 21. Plans submitted by the union environment ministry and the Delhi government were "not comprehensive", the judges said, because they did not specify responsibilities and a timeline.

The NGT has called for a "stay-at-home" alert for children and older people.

The World Health Organisation said last year that New Delhi is the most polluted city on Earth; the five most polluted areas in the country on Friday morning were all in Delhi.

An expanding metro system has failed to slow the spread of private vehicles and 1,400 extra cars hit the streets every day in the capital.

Pollution typically worsens in the winter months as the cooling of temperatures combines with pollution to cover the city, home to 16 million people, in smog.

http://www.ndtv.com/delhi...

 

 

 

 

MaheshK's picture

Issues are misplaced

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Having worked on the air pollution issues for a long time, I can put in my 2c. This method has been tried in many cities across the world such as Mexico city, Jakarta, Santiago, etc., things have not changed much. The issue with New Delhi is not cars. It’s the trucks and the industries that spew out smoke. There are lot of industries around the area. Air pollutants travel long distance. Most people don’t understand the science behind this. Somehow they try to connect to climate change issue. Even the professors in research institutions do this mistake.   

I lived in Jakarta for a year. They had the same issue for cars to reduce congestion. Most people bought two cars with odd and even number plates. They just used those cars alternate days. Car pooling was also tried with car pool lanes. They took their driver / maid and dropped them at the end and those people returned home by bus.

Coming back to Delhi, one can easily buy good second hand cars. Keep two cars with odd and even nos. Alternate them and things are done. How the CM manages the police, etc need to be seen as they don’t come under Delhi govt.  I think he is trying to get the attention away from the salary hikes. 

murali772's picture

intolerant tolerance of glacial solutions

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There are about 90 lakh registered vehicles in Delhi with about 1,500 new ones being added every day and lakhs more pouring in from neighbouring areas. By cutting this traffic in half, the even-odd scheme has huge potential to push up cleaner air. But what’s disturbing is how little the government seems to have sorted out the many difficulties of this scheme before announcing it. What will citizens do in case they experience an emergency and really need to take their car out on the ‘wrong’ day?

Will police stop the cars that defy the new rule or just fine them? Is there enough police strength for this? What about those who don’t have public transport in walking distance? How will the public transport system cope with a dramatic rise in demand? What about that large labour force of plumbers, deliverymen, etc for whom their two-wheeler is essential every day, every hour? The government parries all such questions by saying it’s consulting the transport, revenue and other departments.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has said he will discontinue the scheme if there are problems. But mixed messaging won’t unsnarl traffic or clear the air. Instead of yo-yoing, solve the scheme’s practical problems. Ensure Delhi isn’t thrown out of gear by increasing its public transport capacity manifold over the next three weeks.
Rope in all available public transport vehicles from neighbouring states, maximise the capacity of sparsely used ones like school buses, increase the frequency of both metro and suburban trains. Coordination across departments will be critical. Make sure the Delhi police are properly on board. Centre must be supportive too. The scheme’s popularity will grow when Delhi breathes easier – and sets an example for other cities to emulate.

For the full text of the editorial in the ToI, click here.

The following excerpts from a report, again in the ToI (for the full text, click here), quoting Nandan Nilekani, seems to put things in the right perspective:

He also stated that soft solutions using data and technology were the need of the hour. “You don't have a choice because you have a billion people demanding their needs be met. And responding with glacial solutions - such as the new odd and even number plate system to curb the pollution in Delhi is the reason why you are seeing rising intolerance in society today . You have to start thinking differently".

Well, if you ask me, there's pehaps too much of tolerance of the inept ways, particularly of our city and state governments. Time the citizens demanded that they either shape up or ship out.

Muralidhar Rao
Vasanth's picture

This is how it should be - London Way or Singapore Way

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congestion_pricing

Bangalore needs similar congestion pricing strategy especially in the Whitefield and Eastern part of ORR area. Unless it is done, no other go.

Companies should also charge parking fees for cars.

No political party would take up this, I know it for sure as this would cost them their vote bank against 'strong' car owner community.

 

vatsan007's picture

Banning private vehicles during peak hours

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At least on key roads, there is a need to ban private vehicles during peak hours and run more public transport in these corridors. Companies should offer incentives for employees using public transport or cab service.

- Srivatsan

murali772's picture

urgent need for course correction

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In a shocking hike in new vehicles being registered at various regional transport offices (RTOs) in the city, up to 2,000 are being registered a day – up from the earlier average of 1,600 per day.

As per recent data with the transport department, August recorded an average of 1,953 vehicles registered per day. The entire month saw a total of 60,569 vehicles registered.

President, Transportation Research Group of India, Ashish Verma, said, “The increased vehicle population is alarming. No amount of infrastructure you create could match the rapid increase in the number of vehicles. A majority of the vehicles registered in the city are used for personalised transport. The state government, instead of focusing on steel flyover, should think about speedy completion of a mass transit project like the metro. There is a need induct a number buses into the fleet of BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) and providing dedicated lanes on the roads.”

The concern is justified. At present, the city has 64,84,354 registered vehicles (till August); however, officials maintain that the vehicle population has already crossed 66 lakh. The city already has one vehicle per two persons. Transport department officials said that at this rate of growth, by August 2017, the vehicle population would cross the 70 lakh mark.


To compare with last year, till August a total of 57,75,944 vehicles were registered in the city, showing an increase of 7.08 lakh vehicles this year.

- - - Transport minister Ramalinga Reddy said, “There is no proposal before us to restrict registrations of new vehicles. Restricting registration of vehicles is impractical as it cannot be implemented. If registrations are restricted in the city limits, people will go to RTOs on the city outskirts or in neighbouring districts like Kolar, Ramanagara and others to register their vehicles and ply them on city roads. The city traffic or civic bodies should come up with some innovative plans to de-congest the city.”

Of the total number of vehicles registered in Bengaluru, more than 70 per cent are two-wheelers. There are 44,90,827 two-wheelers; till August 2015, it was 39, 93,874.
In the last one year, close to five lakh two-wheelers were registered in the city. Registration of cars in the last one year increased by 1.28 lakh. A total of 11.26 lakh cars were registered till last August, which increased to 12.55 lakh till August 2016.


The increased rate of vehicle registrations has helped generate revenue more than what the state government had fixed. In the financial year 2014-15, the state government had fixed a revenue target of Rs 4,397 crore, against which Rs 4,608 crore was generated by the transport department. In 2015-16, the target set was Rs 4,800 crore, while the department exceeded the target by generating Rs 4,911 crore.

SG Neginhal, former principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF), said, “The pollution levels have already increased in the city due to more emission of carbon dioxide and other dangerous gases. Increased vehicle pollution and the diminishing green cover in the city could lead to various health complications including asthma, cancer and others. Increased pollution is also posing a serious threat to the fauna.


For the full text of the report (emphasis added by me) in Bangalore Mirror, click here.

In total contrast to the awareness spreading across the world to the harmful effects of excessive dependence on personalised forms of transport, as evidenced by the posts published here so far, our neta's seem interested only in targeting higher and higher road tax revenue figures and inventing various ways to achieve/ surpass them. Not surprising then that they have to come up with the most irrational of fast access means to reach the airport in the form of the 8km odd steel fly-over - check here. But, the massive protest against the same from large sections of the public is clearly an indication that they have begun to realise the hazards of such a pursuit, and hopefully this will now force the neta's into reversing the current car-centric mobility approach, and taking it along the more sustainable public transport-centric approach, a glimpse of which had been spelt out decades ago in Praja - check here. (An additional element in the whole public transport debate in Bengaluru is Namma Railu).

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

American cities too now looking at course correction

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Some Miami-Fort Lauderdale officials say they know one surefire way to ease traffic congestion: Let the roads get so miserable that some motorists give up.

Yes, they said that out loud — in public and to reporters — in a part of the country where the car is still very much king.

Until you make it so painful that people want to come out of their cars, they’re not going to come out of their cars,” Florida’s Sun-Sentinel newspaper quoted Anne Castro, chair of the Broward County Planning Council, as saying at a meeting last year. “We’re going to make them suffer first, and then we’re going to figure out ways to move them after that because they’re going to scream at us to help them move.”

 - - - Local officials say they have plans in the works to help people take transit, walk and ride bicycles — and they’re asking voters to approve a one-cent hike in the state sales tax Tuesday 8 to raise money for expanding a planned streetcar line in downtown Fort Lauderdale and improving buses and pedestrian and bicycle facilities.

There are skeptics, particularly those who question how many Floridians will get out of their air-conditioned cars during much of the year’s hot, humid weather.


For the full text of the report in the Washington Post, click here.

American cities, which have the best of facilities for car travel, are also beginning to find that the model is just unsustainable. But, unfortunately, our neta's still seem to think that that's the model to follow - witness the Steel Flyover pursuit (check here), as also other equally disastrous pursuits (check here).

Far better and sustainable options have already been suggested on this blog, and many others on Praja. Will the powers that be bother to look at them is the moot point.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

we need to take the lead

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The state transport department is likely to support the Centre's idea of refusing vehicle registration without proof of parking space. The Union urban development ministry is mulling the proposal and is in talks with other ministries to decongest roads.

Transport minister Ramalinga Reddy told TOI, "We will send our suggestions to the Centre regarding this policy. It might be discussed at the next meeting of all transport ministers. Vehicular growth in Bengaluru is alarming and adds to congestion and pollution."

- - - R Hitendra, additional commissioner of police (traffic), said, "The idea is to disincentivize people to buy cars if they do not have parking space, and have them shift to public transport."


For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here.

Finally, Namma neta's too seem to have woken up to the reality, and beginning to talk about disincentivising car usage. The other equally important reality they have simultaneously to wake up to is the incapacity of the government monopoly BMTC to meet the demand (of varied kinds), if people have to be made to give up the car (or other forms of personalised transport), and hence the need to dismantle the monopoly - check here. Needless to say that all of the operations have then to be well regulated, and thereby the need for an UMTA.

The need is for the city to take the lead, rather than wait for Centre's direcrtions, if we are to redeem ourselves from the present notoreity as the traffic congestion capital of the country.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

the writing on the wall

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From March onwards, there may be no free parking on any road or footpath in Mumbai, except for a few designated tourist spots and public places, as the state government has lifted its stay on a policy the BMC prepared two years ago. The move came just a week before the civic election code of conduct kicks in on January 11.

- - - The city has been divided into three categories--A, B and C--based largely on footfall, for applying differential parking rates. The highest rates are for the most crowded places. For instance, it will cost Rs 60 per hour to park a car at Kala Ghoda (category A) but a third of that near Shoppers Stop on Ghatkopar-Mahul Road (category C).

Parking will be free at public places like Girgaum and Juhu Chowpatty, and the Gateway to boost tourism. All rates will be different on Sunday and public holidays. In the policy's residential scheme, a car can be parked on the road from 8pm to 8am (night-time) for monthly charges varying from Rs 1,980 to Rs 660 as per the category . The day-time charges will be in the range of Rs 3,960-1,320.Only one slot will be available per car owner and housing societies will have to get in touch with their local ward office to know the particulars.


While, that's in Mumbai (check here for the full report in the ToI), here's what's happening in Chennai (for the full text of the report in The Hindu, click here.

In a major blow to the city restaurants and hotels, the Madras High Court has directed the government to shut down eateries which do not have adequate parking space.

“We make it clear that if there are no adequate parking spaces available, the authorities shall forthwith shut down the restaurants, and only when they provide parking space, would they be entitled to function,” the First Bench of Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice M. Sundar said.

The issue pertains to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) moved by S. Ragu of Vyasarpadi seeking closure of hotels and restaurants till they provide parking space, open space and fire safety facilities within their premises.


The writing is on the wall, for Bengaluru too. There's no escaping it.

Ideally, for your daily commute (to work place or educational institution - which ordinarily covers 70% of the trips made in a city in developing economy), you shouldn't have to take your personal vehicle at all. But, for that, we need excellent bus services (even if for last mile connectivity) and excellent footpaths, and that's what the demand now needs to be for - check here, and here.

Muralidhar Rao

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