The problem of illegal parking is a source of constant frustration in modern cities around the world. According to some estimates, six out of every ten drivers in India are stressed about the availability of a parking spot. It isn’t hard to imagine motorists desperately looking for a spot parking their vehicles illegally.
How Indian cities are tackling illegal parking?
In May this year, Kerala’s Human Rights Commission asked the police to crack down on illegal parking on the footpaths in Thiruvananthapuram. Because of parked vehicles, pedestrians were forced to walk on the roads. While enforcement tools like surveillance cameras were placed in most parts of the city, seldom were they used by the police to identify and punish violations.
In July, the Bombay high court ordered the Mumbai police to remove vehicles in no-parking zones and those on the roads for more than 10 hours. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation was instructed to establish a grievance redressal mechanism for lodging complaints against illegally parked vehicles. This was the result of a PIL filed on the grounds of traffic congestion and encroachment of footpaths in some parts of Mumbai. It was also noted that though the traffic police department issued notifications regarding important arterial roads, implementation was lax and both motorists and police ignored the directives.
In Pune, residents and commuters in Ramchandra Vaze were able to solve the problem by complaining about illegally parked vehicles in June. Despite having parallel parking facilities, irresponsible citizens were found parking their vehicles in a haphazard manner. The police initiated a drive against the violators and routinely took action, significantly bringing traffic in the area down. While policymaking is a potent tool, it needs a proper implementation to solve the problems associated with parking. Cities need a technology-enabled solution to effectively tackle illegal parking.
Combating illegal parking with smart parking technology
Smart parking solutions can efficiently identify violators, allowing for targeted enforcement such that parking control officers can identify and tackle disruptions proactively before they become a real problem.
Sensors and cameras can ascertain parking space availability, wirelessly relaying this data to a central cloud-based smart parking platform. With data from other sensors, a real-time parking map is created that can be used by drivers easily instead of driving around searching. Thus, users can secure a parking spot with no hassle, reducing stress levels during each commute. Road rage, accidents, stress levels, and many other illegal parking issues can be tackled if smart parking solutions are implemented in the right way.
The map can also direct parking control officers to areas of high violations, improving the effectiveness of enforcement. Smart parking solutions are also ideal for implementing targeted enforcement. Manually, effectively implementing checks on parking violations is tedious. With technology, the process turns into cakewalk as pre-defined parameters on platforms do the work for enforcement officials.
Opportunities for modern cities
While illegal parking may often seem like a trivial violation, it causes great inconvenience to commuters and can lead to major accidents. At the end of the day, it is difficult parking situations that cause motorists to resort to questionable, often illegal, alternative parking arrangements. By leveraging smart, sensible and cost-effective solutions implemented through IoT, cities can solve the problem of illegal parking to a large extent, contributing to clean and safe localities.