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Environmental Effects

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Environmental Effects

The problems of green house gas emission, ever depleting fuel resources and global warning have to be tackled through careful measures taken through our everyday activities. These menacing problems of society that has a far reaching impact on our lives, have to be dealt with one tiny step at a time and with perseverance. If driving on city roads through traffic to get to a destination is a hazardous venture, then finding parking is an even bigger one. It is estimated through studies conducted in the US over a period of almost 80 years, that about 30% of traffic on road is caused by commuters looking for free parking space. Which means 30% of vehicular pollution, fuel consumption and gases emitted contributing to global warming, are caused by commuters looking for free parking space. Paid and restricted but well managed parking can reduce car use/ dependency which can reduce air pollution and congestion in the city.

Air pollution is already taking heavy toll due to respiratory diseases like asthma, cardiac problems. Long term exposure to high air pollution levels can lead to increased occurrence of cancers. Noise level lead to stress and disease. Global experience shows that when parking policy is designed as a travel demand management it reduces car usage and therefore congestion, air emissions as well as fuel use. Boston froze the parking requirements in the city at a level that is only 10 per cent higher than the parking requirement level that existed in 1973. This helped Boston to control car usage and meet the federal clean air standards. In New York very high parking fees and limited parking supply have lowered car ownership far below the average rates in other US cities and reduced air pollution. Portland, Oregon has set an overall cap of parking spaces downtown. This has increased public transport usage from 20-25 per cent in the 1970s to 48 per cent in mid 1990s.

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