Even while Kochi is set to become a Metro, the city encounters major issues of parking space. With regular parking violations, traffic snarl-ups at busy roads are becoming a routine affair.
The MG Road stretch from Jose Junction to KPCC Junction is crowded with vehicles parked on either side of the road. The traffic policemen here struggle to keep order as it is one of the major traffic points. Despite imposing fine, the number of parked vehicles keeps increasing. “People tend to mistake lines drawn for lane traffic as lines to demarcate parking area from the road. Many are not aware of traffic rules,” said the traffic cop on duty at KPCC Junction.
Lack of parking areas attached to buildings is another issue. The Corporation has issued directions to shopping complexes and offices to have their own parking lots. However, the rule remains forgotten, which poses difficulties for motorists as existing parking facilities fail to accommodate growing number of vehicles. “The issue of parking violation goes unheeded,” according to a traffic policeman at Jose Junction. “Many people are ignorant about basic parking laws as they tend to consider any place sans no-parking sign as a parking zone whereas the authorised parking lots are few and far between,” he said. In addition, there’s also vehicle drivers are reluctant to use pay and park facilities at various parts of the city, with most of them wearing a desolate look.
“The parking violation is due to lack of facilities at required points,” said Shareef, an auto driver. “With the metro work on, the parking will be cut down further, we just hope that the authorities will find a way to make it all work together,” he said.
The issue takes a whole new turn when it comes to bus drivers in the city. “Many of the accidents happen due to parking violations, and private buses suffer the most as there’s hardly any space left for us to move,” opined Louis, a private bus driver.
The Market Road at Menaka is usually crowded with vehicles that makes it difficult even for pedestrians. Hospitals in the city also face obstacles because of vehicles parked next to their entrances blocking the way. “Less space and increasing traffic are the main reason for parking violation, I would say that inadequate town planning is to blame here,” said Rajagopal, a motorist.