SM Salehuddin, transport expert and former executive director of Dhaka Transport Coordination Board, said that for the lack of adequate public transport people were compelled to use private cars in Dhaka.
He said that parking space crisis intensified for increased number of private vehicles as well as use of parking space of buildings for other purposes.
He urged the government agencies, including Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority and Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha to reclaim the grabbed spaces to curb the crisis.
He said that ideally 25 to 30 per cent space of a city should be allocated for transport facilities, but in Dhaka it was a mere 8 to 10 per cent, which was one of the main reasons of the crisis.
‘Dhaka needs multi-storey parking all over the city — at least in specific spots across the busy areas,’ he said.
He suggested that the RAJUK, the development control agency for Dhaka, should keep sufficient space for parking at newly developed areas like Purbachal, Jhilmil and Uttara.
Saleh said that illegal parking at different busy city points like Motijheel, Gulistan, Shahbag, Farmgate, New Market and the other areas created traffic gridlocks which regularly led to people suffering.
A World Bank analysis published in July 2017 revealed that the average traffic speed in the capital, over the past 10 years, dropped from 21 kilometres per hour to just 7 kilometres, slightly above the average walking speed.
According to a study of Accident Research Institute of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, currently the average traffic speed in Dhaka is five to six kilometres per hour.
He suggested that the government should facilitate wide, comfortable footpaths, bicycle lane and separate lane for motorised vehicles at the newly developed areas of the city.
He said that it was high time to take measures to control private cars in Dhaka.
Saleh said that suitable public transport with easy access was essential for discouraging private cars.
He warned the government that if the number of private cars continued to increase traffic management of the city would go beyond control.
He said that recently government declared 64 spots for parking and government could create some more spaces other that allowing street parking in the city’s busy areas.
The transport expert said that if the number of private cars continued to increase at the current rate, parking facilities in Dhaka could not be arranged, since it was not possible at all to accommodate such a huge numbers of cars in a city with such high vehicle density.
He also urged the government to implement the newly formulated Road Transport Act 2018 strictly to stop haphazard parking.
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