The Dhaka North City Corporation with assistance from police plans to set up an app-based parking system in Gulshan in an effort to prevent people from pulling up their vehicles at random places.
The app will let users know about empty spots in dedicated parking spaces along with hourly charges which can be paid through the app. Authorities are in touch with the law enforcement coordinating council LOCC, comprising Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara and Niketan societies.
The pilot project, which will be implemented at nine streets of Gulshan, is slated to be launched at the end of November or towards the start of December. If the Smart Parking project in Gulshan brings fruit, it will be applied to all zones of DNCC, according to Mayor Md Atiqul Islam.
The DNCC said the idea is being tested at Gulshan Road No. 62, 63, 64, 58, 103, part of Gulshan 2 Outer Circle’s Road No. 46, 52, near the groceries market and beside Gulshan 2 Inner Circle’s Road No. 4.
Parallel parking will be set up at Road No. 62, 63, 64, 58, 103 and near Gulshan 2 Outer Circle groceries market, while the rest of the areas will have angle parking. Initially, these will facilitate the parking of 200 cars while motorcycles can be kept in two spots.
Private car owners will be charged Tk 50 for the first two hours and for every hour after that. And for motorcycles, the parking fees has been set at Tk 15 for the first two hours and the third hour, and Tk 30 for every hour beyond that.
Atiqul said the illegal and sporadic parking is causing traffic slowdown and affecting city corporation revenues. “So we want to bring a radical change to the parking system.”
On whether dedicating a part of the street for parking would disrupt traffic, he said: “The streets are still subject to illegal parking. It’s not generating any revenue for us. If we specify parking locations, people will know about it and police will fine anyone parking outside those locations.”
Atiqul said different aspects of the idea, including the mobile phone app, were being tested.
Rafez Alam Chowdhury, secretary general of LOCC. said people were parking cars at different locations for hours and no one else was able to use the space during that time. This is where the fee-charging classification comes in. “We don’t want anybody to occupy a spot for nothing and it will also help people park cars legally.”
The parking spaces will be under surveillance through CCTV cameras, he said, and will be observed from a control room. A warden will be stationed at each parking zone.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Md Rafiqul Islam of Gulshan police said: “Most of the private vehicle users have no idea about proper parking locations. So they do it disruptively. The app-based parking will bring discipline in the system.”
Nayeem Raihan Khan, executive engineer for DNCC’s Traffic Engineering Circle, said the parking spaces were marked with road and traffic signs while making the app was complete.
“An empty spot of a parking lot shown on the app can be booked if it is within 100 metres of the vehicles. Or a spot can be booked upon arriving at the location if it is empty.”
“Wardens will receive notifications of bookings and guide users to the spot after matching the number of the car upon its arrival. The time of parking will be considered from the booking."
Officials placed signs leading to the Smart Parking location where several cars were parked at Gulshan Road No. 62, 64 and 58 on Monday.
Idris Ali, who drives a private car to Gulshan from Khilgaon every day, appreciated the idea. He said he heard about the service but had not downloaded the app.
“This is where my boss sits at office and I have to come here each day. Parking a car is a huge hassle. Traffic sergeants file cases whenever they get an opportunity. Parking facilities requiring payment will be very useful.”