Arvind Mayar, CEO of Secure Car Parking on how effective car parking management can be in solving the traffic chaos of Andheri - 12 September 2012, Economic Times Bureau

Explain traffic impact and parking demand analysis? How is your company involved?

Traffic impact analysis is a term used to assess the impact of traffic on the adjoining road network due to trip generated by a new development planned specifically adjacent to it. Any building will attract employees, visitors and consumers that will consequently add to the traffic on the adjoining road network.

Parking demand analysis is a process of estimating the parking requirement for a development based on the traffic generated by the development. Proper estimation of parking demand is a complex subject as many factors come into play, making it difficult to get an accurate estimate. Hence the city authorities have come up with various bylaws for parking requirement based on different land uses.

Secure Parking is actively working on numerous projects with in India and has addressed the parking demand, traffic impact analysis and car park design for various projects with reputed developers.

What is secure parking and how does it work?

The concept of secure parking guarantees parking but, does not reserve it for someone. This has worked very well for commercial building parking lots where the demand is high and the capacity is low. The current trend of commercial parking is that it gives parking slots as per the area taken on lease. These parking lots are reserved and cannot be used by anyone else. For example in Raghuleela Mall, Vashi one basement is dedicated for commercial and another for retail. Even on Saturday/ Sunday when the commercial building is not operating, the respective car parking space cannot be used by the retail customer. We follow mixed used development policy wherein either of them can use the parking lots during excess parking demand.

What are the main findings of your report on current parking trends in Mumbai?

The surveys which we have conducted pertaining to some of our projects have seen a pathetic situation as regards to 'on street parking' with auto/two-wheelers/LCV and four wheelers parked all along the road curbs. The effective lane width is thereby reduced, degrading the road capacity. Suggestive improvements in the form of removal of 'on street' parking with proper traffic and loading/unloading regulations has been suggested and has also recommended provision of MLCP (multi level car parks) in the study area that are devoid of parking lots.

What kind of regulatory intervention is needed?

Encourage public private partnership to build and operate car parks. This should not be left to the unorganised sector. Land availability for widening the road is also a matter which needs to be appraised soon.

Which locales in the city are worst hit?

The entire city faces this problem. Today one can buy a car but cannot park it. On an average around 2 lakh new cars are registered every year but no old cars are scraped. Each car requires a standard 2.5m x 5.5 m parking size. There is no horizontal space for parking. We need to have more MLCP (multi level car parks) and better public transport.

What's your analysis for Andheri?

Andheri is getting worse by the day. The problems are compounded due to the metro construction. Many people avoid coming to this area especially during peak hours. The value of commercial buildings is decreasing due to lack of parking facilities. Today many offices are moving out. Recently there was an advertisement by a commercial building for Rs 60/- sq feet rent which is very low. The only silver lining has been the metro coming up. Its success is yet to be seen. Will metro change the traffic pattern of the region?

Where ever the metro starts the road traffic below decreases initially. However given the backlog and growth, volume will come back to current levels.

Do you currently have projects in Andheri? Can you brief us about them?

Yes, we have projects like Timesquare which has a BMC car park of 300 bays. We operate the parking of a commercial building called Qube.

What are the contributors in aggravating traffic in Andheri and how can they be addressed?

The older buildings do not have any planned parking areas as the DC rules did not require it then. So vehicles are parked on the street. The new commercial buildings also do not have parking space. Being an industrial area, the traffic is heterogeneous - tempos, autos, hand carts, two/four wheelers. This adds to the confusion. Construction of the metro has decreased the lane width. Due to the east-west connectivity, the traffic volume is very high. Road width needs to be increased

Few years hence, how will be the parking situation for this region?

Bad if not planned properly. Public car parks, designed, built and operated as per snorms need to be built fast. Identify commercial buildings that have extra parking and arrange for public pay & park on a commercial profitable basis. Strictly implement no parking on road by imposing stiff penalties and tow away.