To tackle the evergrowing parking menace in Bhubaneswar, the Commissionerate Police, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and Bhubaneswar Development Authority are jointly formulating on a Smart parking policy for the city. According to Seshadeb Panda, General Manager, Smart City (Technology), Bhubaneswar Smart City Ltd, the policy will take shape in the next threefour months and dissuade commuters from demanding more parking space in the city. “The policy’s main objective is to improve public transport, non-motorized transport and last-mile connectivity,” he said.
Consider this: around one lakh new vehicles (10.4%) are being registered in Bhubaneswar every year. And, with no alternative roads, there has been heavy traffic congestion in the city. Considering this, a decision has been taken to formulate area traffic management plan in consultation with experts in which there will be a separate traffic plan for each area in the city. Besides, steps will be taken to construct parallel roads in the area where there is heavy traffic rush. The city authorities are also considering to impose dynamic pricing policy for parking. “Whenever the demand is high for parking space, prices will go up, which will be updated on the app. However, this is in initial stages of discussion, and yet to finalized,” Panda said.
Sagarika Nath, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic mentioned why the smart parking policy is necessary for the city. “To make the city carbon-emission friendly, we need to first identify whether the city needs more parking space or multi-level parking parks. What Bhubaneswar needs is a holistic parking policy with rules and regulation in place. Recently, we have decided and identified a few locations for multi-level car parking along with vending zones. Meanwhile, to stop the reckless on and off-road parking, we have already declared six road stretches in the city as no parking zones.”
Under the Smart City initiative, Bhubaneswar Smart City Ltd has implemented Adaptive Traffic Signal Control System along with the provision of pelican signals and blinkers. The project has already benefitted the citizens by improving travel time, & reliability, reducing congestion, distribution of green phase time equitably, faster response to traffic conditions, providing timely emergencies and support, and predicting traffic volumes including adjustment to signal timings. Besides, the BSCL is developing Smart Janpath project, a 5.8km road stretch equipped with streetscape design, beautification, landscaping, intersection redesign, and infrastructure upgrades with construction of new pavement, rehabilitation of existing pavement, construction and/ or rehabilitation of major and minor bridges, culverts, road intersections, interchanges, drains, etc. “In this road stretch, the entire one side is dedicated to car parking, and is equipped with an AI-based parking management system,” Nath added.