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Parking Tax in Bangalore to Curb Congestion

Could a parking tax in Bangalore discourage drivers from parking on narrow streets? Photo by jchessma.

The Greater Bangalore Municipal Body is considering a tax on vehicles parked on roads and pavements in residential neighborhoods. “The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike is contemplating taxing the ‘encroachers’ found ‘misusing the public property,” reports the Deccan Herald.

The goal of the annual tax of 50 rupees (about US$1) is to discourage illegal parking in narrow residential streets and thereby reduce congestion on the city’s streets. However, critics of the plan are concerned that the tax might achieve the opposite of the desired effect. Some believe that taxing vehicles that are parked on the road will make encroaching official and provide a good reason to park on the road legally.

Part of the problem for those debating the topic is land owners who build multiple-story commercial buildings without providing adequate parking spaces. Most often, landlords rent these spaces to multiple families who bring their own vehicles, clogging up narrow streets.

If the tax truly works as a deterrent, then residents feel that old Bangalore will especially suffer. Areas like Malleswaram, Chamarajpet, Basavanagudi and Rajajinagar that have high car densities, pollution troubles and congestion will struggle to displace cars.

The tax is being discussed as one possible step to reducing congestion. Officials do not yet know how the revenue generated from the tax would be used.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Would a parking tax in a dense neighborhood discourage drivers from parking on the road? If the tax goes through, how do you think the revenue should be used?

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  • Reducing private car use and congestion can be made to work, of course, but (as I’m sure all readers of Embarq already know) only through the provision and promotion of convenient, affordable and safe mass transit. That the money should be used to fund mass transit, and/or a vehicle scrappage scheme for the older and more polluting cars, seems almost a no-brainer.