Parking woes: In Pindi, the only space to park cars is on the road

Published: July 6, 2014
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Pindi’s already-busy roads are further congested due to bad parking. PHOTO: FILE

Pindi’s already-busy roads are further congested due to bad parking. PHOTO: FILE

RAWALPINDI: 

In most big cities, parking your car can be a challenge, especially if there are few designated car parks and encroachments leave no space for vehicles on the roadside. But in the garrison city, people park their cars wherever there is space.

“I see parking violations every day inside city limits, parking which obstructs movement of vehicles, vehicles in no-parking zones, and parking in a manner that can cause accidents,” said Saman Hussain, a corporate employee.

“I’m unclear about the offence, I don’t know if I should stop parking on the road. Although it is a massive inconvenience for others, I have to do it as the main road in Gulzar-e-Quaid from the entrance up to Ayaan Bakers is always full of parked vehicles on both sides of the road,” said Anwar Shah, who lives near the bakery.

“The other day I was trying to find some space to park my car in one of the lanes in Saddar already encroached by auto workshops and to my amazement I saw many cars parked with two wheels on the pavement,” said Hamid Hasan, an educationist.

“Parking on the pavement is the only way to park on Pindi’s roads and cars are constantly parked there. However, I don’t know if it is technically illegal to park there,” said Basit Ali, a resident of Satellite Town.

Several residents were of the view that Saidpur Road had been reduced to a narrow strip by the many businesses operating along it. Any work on this street should be complemented by efforts to make it more pedestrian-and traffic-friendly. The entire area has been turned into one big parking lot.”

“Sandwiched between IJ Principal Road and Murree Road, Saidpur Road does not have much going for it as it is full of encroachments.  As it has residential areas as well, it has to cater to the demands of both shoppers and residents,” said Hasrat Hussain, an advocate.

Numerous shopkeepers have encroached the pavement and roadside. Obviously, this gets in the way of traffic that enters from Islamabad and moves towards Saddar and vice versa.

“This is a timber market. A good number of heavy vehicles enter this road and many use this route to reach different destinations within the inner city. Although entry of heavy vehicles is restricted in specific hours, it is not unusual to see them any time of the day,” said Ali Asghar, a businessman.

“In most commercial areas, there are no parking spaces available. Motorists are forced to park their vehicle either on the main roads or in residential areas,” said Ahmad Reza, a trader.

“We know that any arterial road in city limits is strictly a no-parking zone but we are forced to turn into streets when the main roads are blocked. The blockage is especially severe during school and office hours,” said Nargis Mohib, a commuter.

“City managers say commercial establishments are supposed to provide parking facilities. Some have provided this facility in their basements. I remember a building on Mall Road once had a basement for parking but later on it transformed into shops,” said Mohsin Sheikh, an entrepreneur.

“People generally blame us for the perennial problem of parking, but the rapid increase in the number of  vehicles, fewer parking spaces in the city, and misconception among motorists that a road without a no-parking sign is free parking space for any vehicle, all contribute to the worsening scenario,” said Intezar Hussain, a traffic warden.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Taimoor
    Jul 6, 2014 - 11:55AM

    And yet Punjab Govt is building Metros while not solving the real woes of the city.

    Recommend

  • Shazia
    Jul 6, 2014 - 12:35PM

    Public sector employees finish office by 2pm and take up all the parking spaces. By the time a private sector employee like me comes back from work after 4pm, there is not a single slot available. In Ramazan especially, the situation becomes worst.

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  • ryzvonusef
    Jul 10, 2014 - 3:54PM

    @ Taimoor

    Metro will ease problems, because people will use less cars to travel, which will mean less cars to park!

    Recommend

  • What.a.picture
    Jul 10, 2014 - 5:54PM

    @ryzvonusef:
    Terrible City Planning! Totally chaotic condition. What about hospital emergency, if some one need fire or ambulance? If people are not following police then just spread out the commercial areas with a mile wide roundabouts and roads. What’s up with all the smoke $ fuel in the air now? Why I don’t see motorcycles, cycles, bus & taxis. That help to thin out the congestion too! Definitely need a bypass for going forward traffic. A must parking space for all commercial building and areas. Shoppers must be made to park away from buildings and walk to get out fast after shopping. Those shoppers take local commuter buses to shuttle between park & shop. They will walk if they know that will be faster way out after shopping. Loader boys will carry their stuff fir them, their source of income. City need to make open & fully lighted field for such parking endeavor, little distance from busy commercial areas.

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  • Mateen Shah
    Jul 10, 2014 - 11:47PM

    For people like me, parked vehicles are a nightmare. I live right next to a hospital in Sadiqabad. Getting in and out of my home is an ordeal. The side street on which I live is taken over by an array of cars and two-wheelers on most days.

    Recommend

  • Syed Abdul Hayee
    Jul 10, 2014 - 11:57PM

    The concept of public space has become a joke. Every inch is taken over. My children find it difficult to even step out and go to school.Recommend

  • Saima Kanwal
    Jul 11, 2014 - 12:02AM

    A few underground parking lots in some areas may have provided relief to some motorists, but a citywide solution to the problem of parking seems distant.

    Recommend

  • Better yet!
    Jul 11, 2014 - 1:29PM

    A shortcut for public convenience is a several story high Parking Structure that can accommodate several hundred cars for shoppers and/or employees of local businesses for short or long term parking. That could run by private enterprise for appropriate fees attractive enough for concern car owners. Govt must have free areas on ground too, for public. Many heavy commercial cities have that, from Karachi to New York, and are proved to be very efficient in long run.

    Recommend

  • Salal Yousaf
    Jul 11, 2014 - 9:08PM

    Haphazard on-street parking leads to an average loss in road capacity of over 40 per cent. Better yet’s answer is to build multi-story parking facilities, but the demand for parking is infinite and the city cannot keep building multi-story facilities. They must reflect time-specific and locality-specific changes.

    Recommend

  • Maryam Pathan
    Jul 11, 2014 - 9:37PM

    Parking must be used as a tool to control the movement of private vehicles. Instead, we are allowing demand to go up by providing free parking on most city roads and then we change standards when it becomes difficult to enforce.

    Recommend

  • R. Pindi
    Jul 11, 2014 - 10:14PM

    @Salal Yousaf: You have a point! But “Parking Structure” among few other, serve two main purpose: People who work nearby or visit for whole day don’t need to be blocking the short term visitors spots. They actually would love to save their cars from road abuse. Secondly, Any removal of long term parked car from the street means spot is empty for dozens of short term parkings. The care that are just waiting on the main road for their passengers to come back from shopping or personal business in the areas. Imagine one car is creating a traffic backlog for the whole street for hours multiply that fir hundreds of cars stuck in the road.

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  • Obaid
    Jul 14, 2014 - 10:33PM

    Projections indicate that parking demand will increase five-fold by 2020 if restrictions on entry of vehicles are not imposed. Globally, it has been proved that parking fees can indirectly incentivise public transport. Shenzhen in China tripled parking charges and parking demand immediately dropped by 30 per cent.Recommend

  • Suggestion!
    Jul 14, 2014 - 11:43PM

    Give all parking business to private enterprise urgently. Post open tender for such task for highest bidding. Keep a code of business checked thru govts inspectors for public safety and business income honesty. Make a city plan, hire foreign city specialist. Soon other cities in Punjab & Kpk will follow suit, due to the income in millions, for the city development. Must spend that money only on Rain Drains & Traffic Signals & Road Repairs where the money was generated from, for the benefit of local car owners who were the source of this income thru fees & dues. Must not spend even on expensive street lights, a must.

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