Statement of the Problem

Introduction

This chapter is divided into five sections. The first section provides the deep insight into main research problem. The second section throws light on the objectives of the study. The third one attempts to provide justification of the investigation. The fourth part describes scope of work. The fifth section briefly explains the research methodology in chronological order. The sixth section is intended for report organization respectively.

Statement of the Problem

With the growth of urban traffic, the menace of roadside parking has significantly increased in various cities of Pakistan. Lahore, the capital city of Punjab, is no longer an exception where kerbside parking is burgeoning day-by-day along all busy roads such as Davis Road, Mall Road, Multan Road, Jail Road, Edgerton Road, Ravi Road, etc, and some other busy roads of the city. This situation has occurred mainly due to improper management of parking, haphazard commercialization of properties, shortfall in off-street parking spaces, inefficient public transport policies, and increase in number of privately owned vehicles.

One of the major problems arising as a result of increased motor vehicle rate is the improper accumulation of kerbside parking without any management. Such irregular accumulation of kerbside parking causes traffic congestion which lengthens travel time, increases operating cost, and produces high emission level. Although, there are also some other factors contributing to traffic congestion such as lack of appropriate land use planning, encroachments , outdated off-street parking standards and absence of intelligent transport systems yet, inapt management of kerbside parking strongly influences the flow of traffic. Instead of discouraging the agglomeration of kerbside parking, the strategies/policies developed by the concerned authorities encourage concentration of kerbside parking to a greater extent.

At present, parking management control is in the hands of CDGL that is taking care of the issue in the interest to manage and reduce the on-street parking by awarding parking contracts along the 32 approved roads (See Annexure A for approved roads) of Lahore. Besides CDGL, TMAs are also responsible for exercising management control within their jurisdictions (except 32 roads of CDGL). However, central to the entire issue is the sad point that authorities contract out these parking spaces merely for the purpose of generating revenue without considering the availability of spaces and road capacity for smooth and normal traffic flow.

Kerbside parking problem in question being a challenging activity, has become an issue due to different reasons. Firstly because of some plazas owners who grease the palms of concerned authority officials in the interest to cover 100% plot space without giving due regard to necessary off-street parking spaces. As a result of this negligence and corruption, traffic comes and is accumulated along such road causing hindrance in the path of flowing traffic streams.

Secondly, there are different private hospitals in Lahore where CDGL has designated kerbside parking spots that provide inadequate road space for vehicle storage in response to high parking demands. Parking contractors of such hospitals often use footpaths to accommodate more vehicles in order to generate more revenue from car and motorcycle parkers. The situation causes traffic blockage both for vehicular and pedestrian traffic. (Tasleem, 2005).

Thirdly, there have been so many cases wherein contractors function as "overcharging mafia" as they charge more than the stipulated fee set by CDGL. For instance, according to the terms and conditions given in the agreement, the contractors are bound to charge Rs.5 for a motorcycles and Rs.10 for a car but often they charge double the fee prescribed in the agreement (Siddiqui, 2008).

To recapitulate the above discussion, proper kerbside parking management has been a topic of complete ignorance by the concerned authorities. The road spaces are usually contracted out and operated for parking merely for the purpose of maximizing revenue generation. This selfish behavior leads to mismanagement of roadside parking which ultimately gives birth to a number of serious transportation planning issues such as traffic congestion, traffic delays, traffic crashes, and environmental pollution, etc. Thus, at this time, an in-depth research study is required to be carried out to rationalize the kerbside parking with priority on increasing the road capacity for traffic flows.

Research Objectives

The central objective of the present research is to examine the distortion due to the kerbside parking on smooth flow of vehicular traffic and to suggest empirical recommendations in order to effectively manage issue of kerbside parking. The specific objectives are listed below:

  1. To map the location of existing kerbside parking spots of Gulberg Town;
  2. To examine the existing pattern of kerbside parking;
  3. To measure the negative impacts of kerbside parking on smooth flow of vehicular traffic;
  4. To review the literature pertaining to kerbside parking management techniques in order to learn lessons for Lahore; and
  5. To draw conclusions and suggest realistic and economical recommendations to effectively manage the issue of kerbside parking.

Rationale of the Study

It has been elaborated earlier under the problem statement that management of kerbside parking has emerged as a burning issue nowadays in various cities of Pakistan. Among these cities, Lahore is at the top of the list so far as the adverse effects of parking are concerned due to various reasons. Therefore, at this stage, a thorough and in-depth study accompanied with great deal of dedication and enthusiasm is necessary to cope with parking dilemma in a way that will be economically viable and socially acceptable to local citizens.

It is important to mention here that the subject of the research is purely research-worthy that is selected according to the standard parameters of a scientific investigation. Point of interest is that the research study is also innovative as no such study has been undertaken so far to address kerbside parking issues. These factors also contribute towards highlighting the significance of the mentioned research and its usefulness in the field of urban planning.

The study will help in resolving the on-street /kerbside parking issues from the case study areas. Also, its recommendations will serve as a guideline for other congested areas of the city. Such management solutions may result in alleviating the traffic congestion, control of traffic delays, reduction of pollution and saving time, fuel and operational cost.

No doubt, this research will serve as an "anti-congestion tool" for the planning departments CDGL, TMA and other policy makers like TEPA that can follow the recommendations and proposals as appropriate guidelines in the formation of plans, policies and by-laws related to kerbside parking management.

Scope of the Study

Lahore is a metropolitan city spreading over an area of 1,772km(684sqmi)[1]. The administrative jurisdiction of Lahore is divided into nine (9) towns namely:

  1. Ravi Town;
  2. Shalimar Town;
  3. Wagha Town;
  4. Aziz Bhatti Town;
  5. Data Ganj Baksh Town;
  6. Gulberg Town;
  7. Samanabad Town;
  8. Iqbal Town ; and
  9. Nishtar Town.

It is not possible to cover the whole area of CDGL. Therefore, after having a number of deliberations with research supervisor and keeping the nature of research problem in view, case study approach has been adopted. So, Gulberg Town has been selected as case study area for the present research as car ownership rate and parking generation activity is exclusively high in the town in comparison with other towns of Lahore.

It is generally believed that parking is a vast topic which covers a number of aspects like on-street, off-street parking, etc but the present study focuses on kerbside parking of the Gulberg Town. The focus of the first research objective is on preparation/acquisition of different maps namely City District Government Map and Gulberg Town Map. Its scope is also limited to mapping of existing parking spots falling in the jurisdiction of Gulberg Town.

The scope of second research objective comprises determining the existing pattern through critical analysis and having a detailed insight into case study area. It segregates the parking stands for a detailed study. In particular, it includes collecting information regarding various aspects like parking duration, parking accumulation. Getting information regarding existing parking problems alongwith their solutions also comes under the scope of objective 2.

The scope of the study, under the third research objective, is further extended to measuring the impacts of kerbside parking on flow of traffic. Such impacts include exploring the traffic volume and traffic delay data along the selected spots of Gulberg Town with and without kerbside parking so as to compute the change/variation.

Fourth research objective requires review of literature concerning best kerbside parking management practices from developed countries with a view to replicate the best suitable practice in context of Lahore in general and for case study area in particular.

Generally, kerbside parking is observed along service road and along the carriageway. Since kerbside parking stand located along a carriageway adversely influences the flow of traffic as compared to a stand along a service lane. For this reasons, this study mainly focuses on kerbside parking stand located along a carriageway.

Methodology of the Study

Research methodology provides answer to the question "how research is likely to be conducted". It involves selection of an appropriate method depending upon the nature of research. Here, the specific research methodology has been selected in accordance with this principal. Best method has been employed against each research objective as an instrument for collecting the suitable information. Like the conventional social research procedures, the data have been collected from various primary and secondary sources. Various primary sources include:

  • Reconnaissance Survey - to have general understanding about the area
  • Field Inspection - to identify the location of each approved parking stand
  • Parking Accumulation Survey -to compute the accumulation of kerbside parking
  • Parking Duration Survey- to calculate the duration of parked vehicles
  • Traffic Volume Survey- to assess the variation in traffic volume due to kerbside parking
  • Traffic Delay Survey- to assess the reduction in speed to kerbside parking
  • Interview with drivers and concerned authority officials - to get to know about the problem in question and their suggestions
  • Besides the above mentioned primary sources, various secondary sources in the shape of books, research journals, magazines, encyclopedias, pamphlets, newspapers, and online sources etc have also been consulted. The data procured both from primary and secondary sources has been then analyzed using latest computer softwares. On the basis of the overall analysis, the conclusion and recommendations have been given with a view to manage the kerbside parking problem both in terms of quality and quantity (The details are given in Chapter 2 namely Research Methodology).

    Report Organization

    The thesis has been organized in five chapters. The overview of each chapter is given below:

    1. Chapter 1 embodies introduction of research work comprising statement of the problem, objectives of the study, justification, and scope of the research. It also encompasses general overview of methodology adopted to conduct the research endeavor.
    2. Chapter 2 sheds light on the research methodology. It includes specific research design methods employed for collecting data from several primary and secondary data sources. It justifies relevant parameters used in the selection of case study area. The techniques adopted for data analysis together with their interpretation are also included in this chapter.
    3. Chapter 3 explores relevant literature review related to the topic of research. It starts with theoretical consideration of parking management as well as kerbside parking management. It then explains with the sufficient wordings various kerbside parking management techniques categorized on the basis of parameters such as geometry, pricing, timing, technology, etc.
    4. Chapter 4 gives an in-depth analysis of research. It begins with the introduction of the case study area and its relevant salient features. It also presents the results of surveys like traffic count survey, field inspection, traffic delay survey, parking accumulation survey and parking duration survey for each selected parking stand.
    5. Chapter 5 draws conclusions of the study derived from analysis presented in Chapter 4 and finally puts forth recommendations for further research.

    REFERENCES:

    1. Tasleem, N (2005) Hospital parking areas on service lanes: CDGL causing traffic problems [Internet] Lahore, Daily Times. Available from:< http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2005\11\24\story_24-11-2005_pg7_24/> [Accessed 01 July 2009]
    2. Siddiqui, ZM. (2008) CDGL stops campaign against overcharging: Metered-parking setup imported [Internet] Lahore, The Dawn. Available from: < http://www.dawn.com/2008/09/27/nat21.htm/> [Accessed 01 July 2009]

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