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Old 7th May 2011, 18:30   #136
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

While people here talk of why one should not afford to buy a car in their lifetimes and such emotional arguments - the other way is to ask - why are they not staying elsewhere & paying more. But that's an aside.

In shahdara, a barely planned & congested part of East Delhi - land values are now well into crores. What do people do?

150 sqm houses have the 1st floor only as parking + lift and then 3/4 floors above it. Contravention of building laws? mebbe. Convenient - you bet. Its a feature of all such new constructions - except the new buyers/tenants now have 2 cars/floor. There is no end.

Its idiotic to blame the government.

Its like tomorrow I have six children when my income can support only one.

One way is to say, no - children are god's gift & the state will support. The other way is to say - have as many children as you can afford & adequately bring up.

Most of us will tell our maids to practise family planning if she has 5-6 kids, but its okay to own 3-4-.... cars (& expect the universe to provide parking!)

@Gansan - Good arrangement. But how long will it work?
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Old 7th May 2011, 18:49   #137
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
@Gansan - Good arrangement. But how long will it work?
As long as it lasts! Now we have info that our road is going to be further widened by 5 feet on either side and the HD will initiate land acquisition proceedings. If that happens the parking place inside the frontage of our complex will go. The remaining width will not even accommodate my Alto. Many other properties in this 3 KM long road will suffer the same fate. So the welfare associations are discussing how to preclude this move by the Govt. or stall it for as long as possible!

As the secretary of our association, I hate to stand in the path of development, but sometimes you have little choice!
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Old 7th May 2011, 19:11   #138
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by vina View Post
You are twisting things - if you park in clearly marked parking area, and that marking was done by the authorities, then why did you ever say that you didn't have parking? If the markings were not done by the authorities then you can't claim that his system was designed by them.
Not twisting things my friend just stating facts. The fact of the matter is that I have to search for a parking area of my own accord as the builder has not provided one for me. In this case, I dont have any complaints. I still do not have any parking and I stand by that statement.

As for the locality, it is my choice due to restrictions which are personal in nature. In this case, parking issues would the last on my mind. I am honest to admit it; it isnt a life/ death issue. In any case I dont carry any guilt as I am not inconveniencing anyone by parking where it isnt allowed.
What I believe is the worst blockade these days is stopping the car in the midst of high density traffic with the driver seated, just to indicate that it isnt parked.
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Old 7th May 2011, 19:13   #139
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

This debate has become very uni-directional. Parking in the night is one part of the whole issue and not the whole issue in itself. The thread was started to discuss wayS to reduce the congestion on our roads. Wouldn't it be more progressive to develop good public transport systems and encourage a change in people's attitude and thereby practice? Rather then making laws to prevent people from buying more cars and so on. We all know how easy it is to go around these laws. Failure of enforcement of these laws is the main reason why the parking space is such a exotic entity now because every building has flouted rules big time.

In my medical education, we were always taught that the emphasis should always be to encourage people to change there way of doing things. Such a change will always be easier to sustain long time.In our context this translates to:
1. Develop Good modes of alternate transport. Ex. Delhi metro- clean, amazing frequency, convenient and safe.
2. Educate people on the need to shift to these modes of transport.
3. The last can be bring in some laws like related to parking, taxing a person according to the number of cars he already has etc.
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Old 7th May 2011, 19:16   #140
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
Not twisting things my friend just stating facts. The fact of the matter is that I have to search for a parking area of my own accord as the builder has not provided one for me. In this case, I dont have any complaints. I still do not have any parking and I stand by that statement.

As for the locality, it is my choice due to restrictions which are personal in nature. In this case, parking issues would the last on my mind. I am honest to admit it; it isnt a life/ death issue. In any case I dont carry any guilt as I am not inconveniencing anyone by parking where it isnt allowed.
What I believe is the worst blockade these days is stopping the car in the midst of high density traffic with the driver seated, just to indicate that it isnt parked.

What I meant was that you didn't mention in the earlier post two posts before this one) that you did have a parking, though it is a (legal) designated parking on the road. You gave an impression (or I might have missed it) that you didn't have a parking - that's what I mean by the twist.

I agree with the rest.
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Old 7th May 2011, 19:27   #141
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
1. Develop Good modes of alternate transport. Ex. Delhi metro- clean, amazing frequency, convenient and safe.
2. Educate people on the need to shift to these modes of transport.
3. The last can be bring in some laws like related to parking, taxing a person according to the number of cars he already has etc.
As a start, all of us in the cities can select one day in the week as "no travel / public transport" day. If one has to go out on that day, use only public transport. For me it has been Saturday, for a long time. I will not take out my car or bike on that day and will take only auto + suburban train / bus.

I don't think extra tax on additional vehicles will work in India - they will simply be purchased in the name of spouse, children, etc.
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Old 7th May 2011, 20:12   #142
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by gaurav_chopra04 View Post
With the number of cars rolling out of the factory most of which are sold in metros adding to the traffic and no old cars exiiting the roads, give it another 5 years and it will be an utter chaos.

Atleast, getting a fitness certificate should be made much more difficult and the time period should be brought down to 10 years from 15. Not that you pay 2 grand and get a fitness certificate.
See, removing old cars is wrong. There should actually be incentives to keep them running. I understand about the safety aspect. But, try applying the case to the safer cars being produced now a decade or two down the road.
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Old 7th May 2011, 20:37   #143
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
As a start, all of us in the cities can select one day in the week as "no travel / public transport" day. If one has to go out on that day, use only public transport.

Good idea. However, I will take the plunge that you fully realize that this noble suggestion is not applicable anywhere other than a handful of places (not even the entire city).
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Old 7th May 2011, 22:04   #144
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by dot View Post
Good idea. However, I will take the plunge that you fully realize that this noble suggestion is not applicable anywhere other than a handful of places (not even the entire city).
Why not? I think it is workable at least in the top 10 cities.
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Old 7th May 2011, 22:46   #145
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
I don't think extra tax on additional vehicles will work in India - they will simply be purchased in the name of spouse, children, etc.
+1, agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by dot View Post
I agree, before purchasing one needs to make sure that sensible parking space is available.
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This is a satellite view of North Calcutta, taken from wikimapia. On the left hand side you can see river Hoogly and on the right hand side you can the more orderly Salt Lake city. A very close up view of the steets I grew up on.
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As you can see all the houses are next to each other. Wall to wall. There is absolutely no space between houses. The situation is like this for over 100 years. This picture would be similar to peth areas in Pune, some parts like Mahim in Bombay.

Where will these people park? Dont they deserve to buy a car?
Agree here too, just because the houses were built 100yrs ago and the administration is incapable of building any proper parking place/roads etc, the residents cannot be denied the right to own vehicles with their hard earned money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
Why not? I think it is workable at least in the top 10 cities.
Even though I agree with your initial point, I would love to know the 10 cities in India this is possible where people can travel with proper public transport from one end to the other end of the city (assuming you won't mention call taxi and 2-300/- auto fare)


I agree with @Vina as I mentioned in one of my earlier post the same, that if I can buy a car I should try my best to park it in a proper place with designated parking. At the same time, I cannot say that @SelfDrive, @dot, @ani_meher posted something illogical. After all we are paying Road Tax, Infrastructure Cess ( in direct as well as indirect taxation ), parking fees - so where the money is going!


Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
+1 to that. Thats the problem with democracy. Reaching a consensus is very tough as everyone wants to have the best piece of the cake. Time for a monarchy anyone?
IMO, this is quite nicely summarized Not sure monarchy is the solution or not, but definitely equal distribution of wealth would minimize these sort of issues. At the end of the day, I decide what I buy with my hard earned money, not others.
Just my point of view

Last edited by AvonA7 : 7th May 2011 at 22:56.
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Old 7th May 2011, 23:38   #146
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Well atleast 1 good side of this debate is that it shows that we the citizens are committed to curbing this mess. Otherwise at the rate we are adding cars to our roads is alarming and scary. With each month of GTOs car sales figures I get scared to see so many cars have been added up to the jumble. Cities specially like Bangalore (where I lived for 6 years and hence the example) have to take some drastic steps NOW or they are gonna have serious issues in the very near future. Flyovers, Road widening, Public transport, Laws and legislature. They have to follow a holistic approach!
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Old 8th May 2011, 10:04   #147
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

We talk about the issues created by private car ownership. As many mentioned, restricting car ownership may not be a feasible solution. And whatever discussion we have here, the car sales are going to grow exponentially.

In my opinion, road congestion to an extend can be addressed by a disciplined public transport system. Our public buses and 3-wheelers have their own rules, and most of the time they are responsible for traffic deadlocks.

On car ownership, these are something which may be good to think:
  1. Ensure dedicated parking space before a vehicle purchase. Anyway, as a norm we have to produce quite a number of paperwork for various reasons. Maybe a parking ownership proof can be introduced as a mandated document.
  2. Additional taxation on private vehicles which are more than 10 years old (infact this can be based on the age or fitness of the vehicle)
  3. Points / Merits system for all who hold a driving license, and strict implementation of the system.

Last edited by vb-san : 8th May 2011 at 10:05. Reason: spelling
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Old 8th May 2011, 10:52   #148
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
Why not? I think it is workable at least in the top 10 cities.
You know, I am in agreement with your views. So dont want to argue when we are on the same side!

In Chennai the bus service is very good. However the autos are rouges. Imagine you need to go in a hurry to a place and you cannot wait for the bus, or there is no bus service. What do you do? Take an auto. but they will not use the meter. So pay double or triple the fare.

In Bangalore, bus service is poorer. Volvo is a good option, But then again one needs to wait. And if you need to go inside a layout, there is no other option than taking an auto. Autos are generally ok, however outside BMC they will mostly refuse to go on meters.

In Cochin, bus service is good, but only on main roads. Let not talk about autos there, I dont understand why they are always angry and arguing.

In Pune there are "no" bus services. Autos people are pleasant generally but they will mostly not use the meter.

Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta have decent public transport. So no need to talk more on it. However commutes in suburbs is still very much a challenge.

Last time I was in HYD was almost 10 years back,. I am sure it cant be recognized now. But my friends tell me that situation is not very different than Pune, Bangalore.

Last edited by dot : 8th May 2011 at 10:54.
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Old 8th May 2011, 10:53   #149
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

If I were to think beyond the level of personal preferences and bye-laws and look at the larger picture, here's what I would surmise it as:

a. A small percentage of the world's population owns cars. This number is rising fast, really fast, as of now and is likely to accelerate even further. The problem of finding enough space for driving and parking cars will get far worse than today.

b. As an architect, I can safely say that no amount of planning and future projection can ensure that cars are always accounted for. To accommodate cars, you need low density cities. By having low density cities, you create enormous pressure on land, on services and distribution, on energy consumption and create a huge "commute mess".

c. To counter the problems in 'b' above, you need to 'densify' cities. A 'densified' city works only without cars and on public transport.

We, as Indians, are still stuck with the British hangover of "low density" and aspire for a "Bungalow" lifestyle. As long as we keep aspiring for the same, the Builders will keep building these things. We get what we deserve.

No public transport system in the world can support low density cities. This is why public transport works quite well in a dense city like London or New York but is a failure in a typical American low-density city like Washington DC.

We need to a drastic shift in our thinking where we move towards:

a. High density cities where walking or taking a small bus ride takes you wherever you want to. These cities need to restricted in size. We can't have monsters like NCR and Mumbai in such a set-up.

b. If 'a' above was implemented, we would save huge amounts of energy on transport, fuel, services distribution etc.

c. Cars can be bought and sold, but their usage can be restricted, and dis-incentivised with higher taxes / parking charges. Of course, having simpler choices, people will not prefer to use them.

d. A neighbourhood of the density of, say, Lajpat Nagar is actually very liveable *provided* you remove the cars from it. The cars have taken over the roads, the footpaths, the parks and even the space under the flyovers. It has to stop. We cannot have cars usurping the space of pedestrians, children and plants.

I love cars and I enjoy driving them. But I would sacrifice owning one if they would make a mess of my city, my environment. A car is, after all, a car. It's a means, not an end. There are other things in life more important than this.

Before everyone here points out that all this that I have written is a pipe dream, that the Government will never do this, that the public transport infrastructure will never provide decent, efficient systems for the public, I would like to say that the change begins with us. We love staying in low density and badly planned neighbourhoods (commute-wise) and pay lakhs and crores to buy such property. We try and make a mad rush for the big, uncontrollable cities. I am guilty of each and everyone of these unsustainable practices as well. I am not any better.

We cannot continue to live in this unsustainable manner for more than 2-3 decades at most. We need a paradigm shift.

Should a few of us stop owning cars?: Absolutely, ideally all of us. Or atleast we should stop using them on a regular basis.
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Old 8th May 2011, 11:17   #150
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

This is an interesting thread.
Should few of us stop owning a car? In India, purchases are not made on necessity but on affluence, affordability and snob value. This is accentuated by the absence of quality public transport as well as attitude.
Car ownership is not regulated in India. For a private car, after first FC practically no further checks and balance.
In a place like Singapore, owner has to first prove that he has parking space available. To reduce traffic congestion, toll will be paid if there are no sufficient occupants in the car(this encourages car pooling or simply helping others). In very congested areas, odd number/ even number car entries on odd / even days are practiced.
In NZ, vehicles are inspected every six months. Not withstanding kilometers, tyres to be renewed every six months. Town planning is so meticulous that, before opening a shop or a public service permission is to be obtained from City counsil, who will inspect amenities from toilets for invalid to parking facility for customers. In India, just take a walk around in T Nagar, Chennai or Haaz Kaus, Delhi we can sea big shops without any parking facility. Here residential area get converted to commercial without blinking an eyelid. Floors are added at the drop of hat. Court orders are ignored. Building norms are violated.
Holistic approach would be, to improve public transportation, encourage people to use them, adhere and implement town planning rules, impose restrictions on use of private cars by way of tolls/ odd and even day areas/ parking fees.
Food for thought:- Abroad, the toll paid goes to the Civic body. In India, the toll, parking charge etc paid go to the dada or binami contractor, who had taken a contract after paying hefty bribe to politicians and officials and very little part goes to the Civic body as a once a year fee. Any comments?
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