Do you know that cats sleep a lot — for up to 20 hours a day?
Do you know what sleeps for longer? Cars!
Cars sleep, on average, for 22 hours a day! To sleep (i.e., to be parked), a car needs a 250 sq. ft. ‘bedroom’, aka parking. This space is more significant than most of us get as a bedroom or an office cabin for ourselves. But one bedroom isn’t enough for a car. The car wants two or more bedrooms around the city — over 500 sq. ft. of precious real estate — but does not want to pay for them. Imagine you telling your landlord that you don’t want to pay rent!
Unsurprisingly, commercial real-estate owners often use parking spaces in their basements to store goods, not cars. And why would they not? Why waste private real estate when cars can park for free on public streets? But as we all know, those streets are a royal mess — a Tetris of parked cars.
What can cities do to fix this? Acknowledge that parking space is a type of real estate. People can own cars if they so desire, but only if they pay the market price for the bedrooms their cars use — 10–100 lakh rupees (US$ 15–150k) to buy a car-bedroom, or 5,000–50,000 rupees per month to rent one. It may get them to consider whether owning a car is worth the price. For some, the answer could be a yes. But for many, the answer probably would be a no. An auto-rickshaw or a taxi could be a better option. Or a combination of walking, bus, and cycling (WBC of transport, anyone?!). The choice is theirs.
In conclusion, parking spaces are as valuable as real estate. Charging of parking could transform city streets in India. How? Don’t miss our comprehensive article:
“Park It Right: Solving The Great Indian Parking Problem.“
This post was first published on medium.com. To access it, click here.