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Old 30th April 2011, 23:05   #31
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
By the way, here's another option: Park the car in a mall or multiplex, and take an auto to the destination from there. Any risk associated with that? Is that illegal to use the mall/multiplex if we are not going to use the mall/multiplex?
As far as I know, there is no risk associated with the plan you have suggested.

However you will block some other mall goer's parking spot. It is not easy to get parking spot in a mall on weekends or holidays. Better to choose a road that is (1) parkable
(2) reasonably near destination
(3) easy to get auto/bus to and fro
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Old 30th April 2011, 23:54   #32
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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I'd agree with you to an extent but not completely. This isnt a new society, most of the houses are 15-20 year old and were at a time owned mostly by single families. Now, many have got floor system and 3 + families living in one house. Also, the time these houses were built, scooters used to have waiting of 3-5 years, forget about owing a car. So most houses had parking of 1, at max 2 cars and that too considering size of 800. The way things have changed in last 15-20 years is incredible, with each person owing his/her own car. Now you cant expect people to demolish the house completely and build again. The new houses being built have the provision for parking at ground floor and then 4 more floors on top of it.

This is a problem because of lack of planning by the government, and the civilians like us too who didnt bother to think about it. So I agree that if I do the same mistake while building a new house, I am to be blamed, but you cant blame people (previous generations) who spent most of the time with a scooter or at max 1 car for the family. Please note, the way India went on from 1947 till 1995-2000 was very different from How it has come from 1995-2000 till today.

Further, we havent make illegal possesion over a land and neither have we built any covered parking on the spot, just that we prefer parking our car in front of our house.

Add to that, most colonies in Delhi have similar parking problems. Its sheer lack of planning from the government's side.

OT: if you knew I wont like what you will be saying, you could have used some lighter words. Anyways, its a free country.

I'm really sorry - nothing personal here. I understand the issues you mentioned completely and it was never my intention to write harsh words.
You are right about old buildings and that is genuine problem. To some extent government should do plan for it - but they could not have seen 30yrs ago that so many people will have so many cars (remember - in those days govt provided space for scooter parking and few did have scooters).

But then, as you mentioned in your earlier post itself the problem is exacerbated due to another reason - each household owning several cars.

Also, I'm not blaming the old genration. I know it for a fact that people "add" rooms by building into verandahs etc. into the work of the old generations (who built beautiful houses with plenty of open spase inside the house) It beats me where that ingenuity goes when it comes to car parkings. For example in the houses in the picture you sent removing the front wall (leave a couple of pillars - it can be done without demolishing the whole house) would reduce the drawing room size but gain you a parking of even two cars. When people don't do that then it is all their greed. Blaming the govt. is fashionable of course.


Multistory parking is a good idea, but let me ask you how much are people willing to pay for it? Obviously it can not be free or even subsidised for people who already own several cars (In fact why should ANY car owner get a subsidy. Otherwise, and I think you'll agree, this is a handout to the rich). If a reasonable fee (decided by the cost of providing that service and a reasonable return on capital) is possible then I'm sure some entrepreneur (why not you for example) can buy some land in the area (may be buy and demolish a few houses) and build a multistory parking on that land. One reason that doesn't happen is that everyone knows nobody will pay when they can just park in the land - govt. is not to be blamed for this, nor planning (if the previous generation could not foresee the flood of cars, then how could the previous generation's govt.?)


If you were parking the cars in front of your houses earlier, then so can you do now. I don't understand what you were writing about earlier then (that a govt. babu took away the land and turned it into a park for your kids to play)? If on the other hand you were using some portion of the park land then that is encroachment and that is illegal.
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Old 1st May 2011, 00:01   #33
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

I would ask a different question. Rather than stopping car ownership maybe what folks should do is move to cities where infrastructure is better shape. I was in bangalore for the first 2.5 years/next 3 odd years in NY and the past 1 year in chennai. One thing about the indian metros is infrastructure/public transport/distance between work/residential area is in bad shape and things are going to become worse before they become better. I thought hard about this and decided to move to TVM. Been a month and half after the move and guess what the standard of living/quality of life is much better now. I have space to park my car in my own house and the traffic is better and the job conditions are better than what they were in chennai/bangalore(because of lack of 1-1.5 hr commute that was the norm). As long as i stay with my current employer there is no real difference between working in bangalore/chennai or tvm. Dare say that prospects in this city is better.

If the infrastructure/public transport was as good as it was in NY i wouldn't ever miss my car but in india it's not going to get there any time soon.In NY my commute time was 30 minutes in the metro/Chennai was 1.5 hrs+ stressful driving/Bangalore was again 1 hr with stressful driving and in TVM it is 15 minutes .

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Old 1st May 2011, 00:02   #34
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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This is a great idea really. Bring a car/bike/vehicle to a point and use public transportation from then onwards. We had tried this in Bangalore successfully. We used to park around Infantry road and take an auto anywhere in MG road area. In Pune also if we have to go to old city areas, we park at a strategic place and take an auto.

This is what govt. does in UK. There are "Park and Ride" centers outside major cities. You drive till there is your car, park there (usually free) and then take a bus to the city center - wherever you want to go (part of the fare subsidizes the free parking). If you wish you can even bring your own bicycle and go the town on the bike (no bus fare, parking is still free).

Strong statement. Whatever it is, it is good to have a personal vehicle.

I think you misunderstood. I wasn't making a recommendation. My circumstances are different from others'. I didn't need a car if the Meru service was reliable is what I was saying.

For example My sister drives about 160km/day and for her owning a car is better than Meru etc.



Thats why we used to go around on Sunday mornings.

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Old 1st May 2011, 00:07   #35
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Multi-storey parking is a nice idea but I think it is not feasible, atleast in Mumbai. It will require lots of space and the charges will also be higher. I think nowdays buildings are being built with proper planning for parking. However for old buildings the problem persists. The number of cars are increasing day by day whereas the space is almost the same.

In some areas in Mumbai I have seen a group of people managing parking for that Area. It is not an area specialised for parking or so but in that part these people will be there and they manage parking over there. One such road was near Churchgate, near Jai hind college. I think many such areas has to be identified and given to people who can manage parking. One might say that if parking is available shouldnt we park it ourselves. I think keeping others in charge of parking will lead to better use of space. Ofcourse I am not saying this will solve all problems but atleast this will help parking in some areas.

P.S - How about encouraging people to use two-wheelers?

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Old 1st May 2011, 00:07   #36
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
...

Some mentioned that parking fees are not affordable. Well I just want to say, expensive paid parking is still better than NO parking spaces. I don't mind paying Rs.100 for a whole day in the weekends, for a legal paid parking. It will cost less than getting a rick or call taxi. But even such spaces are not available.
...
My take on this: A Mercedes is unaffordable for many - so they buy a cheaper car. If parking fees look unaffordable then you ought to buy a cheaper car and spend the rest of the money on parking fees. If even that is not possible the don't buy a car - parking is a prerequisite (like fuel, oil change service ...) and if you can not afford that then actually you can not afford a car, even if a dealer is willing to sell it to you.

A majority of people don't/can't buy a car and just because you can make a down-payment and pay the EMI doesn't mean you can afford it.


Govt. providing parking etc. is frankly a subsidy and that is unfair on those who do think about this issue before they buy a car.
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Old 1st May 2011, 00:14   #37
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by vina View Post
I think you misunderstood. I wasn't making a recommendation. My circumstances are different from others'. I didn't need a car if the Meru service was reliable is what I was saying.

For example My sister drives about 160km/day and for her owning a car is better than Meru etc.
Yeah, I got it wrong. No offence meant. Thanks for your post @vina

Come to think of it, if an ideal taxi service existed, would not need a car myself.

But then again, real world is different. Right now as I write this post, my wife is spending some torrential times as ecabs blundered at Mumbai airport where they were supposed to pick up my in-laws. I mean they gave their word on certain things but that never happened.

And, lets not even go to those rape cases.



We will probably keep the car around.
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Old 1st May 2011, 00:46   #38
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

1) Why should we stop owning cars ? Car is for our own personal comfort, safety and utility. No chance we do away with cars. Never.

2) Lack of public transport. This can in a big way reduce the traffic nuisance. The no. of vehicles plying on the road will go down drastically.

But what about quality of public transport ? Can public transport offer car-like level of comfort ? Safety ? Security ?

Lack of discipline in India is biggest factor against public transport. Once the general public is disciplined, things will get better even as far as cars go.

3) Lack of parking place ?
There is concept of urban planning. Where was it ? Is it implemented even now ? 4-5 inch rain = flooding and water lodging on road.
Do we follow natural descent of a city ? No, we dont.

I am sure, we can have much less of a problem if we have urban planning implemented.
What about encroachment ? There are people in so called general public who first of all have illegal space occupied and then use contacts to prevent the same from coming down.

Yes, lack of parking space is a problem, but coming to a conclusion about reason for the same is wrong IMO.

4) Using bike. For getting bullied by cars ? For getting dirty and drenched in rains ? For lack of safety ?
If one can afford a car, there is no reason why should one use a bike. Occasionally for fun, not as a regular transport.

I use bike a lot ( more than 1200 kms. a month ) and I am aware of quite a bit of negatives and positives. Positives are only a few and eventually look good only on paper.

We dont have that discipline, that kind of roads where we can state that bike is safe.
Nano exists because its safer than bike.

5) Giving out more tax for owning car, etc. is like denying right.

Large financial inequality, perceptions, etc. come in way when we buy the largest possible car in the planned budget. The lower middle class who has always suffered in buses will for sure love to have a car.

This issue is not just about NOT owning cars, but it runs deeper into India and public thinking. Much more complex than having a post/thread here.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 1st May 2011 at 00:48.
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Old 1st May 2011, 01:36   #39
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Originally Posted by dot View Post
Yeah, I got it wrong. No offence meant. Thanks for your post @vina

Come to think of it, if an ideal taxi service existed, would not need a car myself.

But then again, real world is different. Right now as I write this post, my wife is spending some torrential times as ecabs blundered at Mumbai airport where they were supposed to pick up my in-laws. I mean they gave their word on certain things but that never happened.

And, lets not even go to those rape cases.



We will probably keep the car around.
I agree with you fully. I managed without a car (or even two wheeler) for a very long time, but bought cars on three occasions (on each of those occasions I did have adequate parking space):
  1. My father had a slip disk and was admitted to hospital. He is a miser ( like son, like father) so I knew he wouldn't take a taxi to work plus Meru was not available then (even now sketchy at best in Ghaziabad) - so I bought him M800
  2. My sister used to ride her scooter. The she started taking my father's car to work and my father was back to the scooter. Two problems - his back and her life were at risk if any of them drove that scooter. So I bought her a Figo ZXI
  3. I had a baby recently. Even though Meru services are pretty good in Hyderabad, they are not 100% reliable - in last year's rains I once reached home after 4 hours (normally takes 30min. by Auto) and could start only at 11pm because before then no cab was available. Such a thing is a no no in case of an emergency with the baby.
Real world will always be different, but we can make it come pretty close, and many a times in emergencies things can be managed.

Several years ago very few people in my locality owned a car and we used taxis extensively. I had to go to the airport and the taxi guy didn't come. So a neighbor dropped me in his car (and we were not on talking terms till that day for years). In a way the unreliability of the taxi guy helped us break the ice that day.

I'll not go into the other terrible things you mention - but that is why Meru kind of services are more important - you reduce the likelihood of such events to below what can be expected if you were using your own vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
1) Why should we stop owning cars ? Car is for our own personal comfort, safety and utility. No chance we do away with cars. Never.

Hey, please don't get angry - nobody is proposing to force people to disown cars. The idea is to think of a solution where a substantial number of people may choose to give it up on their own.


2) Lack of public transport. This can in a big way reduce the traffic nuisance. The no. of vehicles plying on the road will go down drastically.

But what about quality of public transport ? Can public transport offer car-like level of comfort ? Safety ? Security ?

Lack of discipline in India is biggest factor against public transport. Once the general public is disciplined, things will get better even as far as cars go.

How do you propose to "discipline the public". And where is this holier than thou attitude coming from?

Also over the last 5 years public transport in Bangalore has improved considerably (multiple options with buses, high reliability taxi services ...) while public discipline has decidedly gone down.

I think availability is the bigger constraint along with the fact that very few cities like to keep bus fares reasonably high.

3) Lack of parking place ?
There is concept of urban planning. Where was it ? Is it implemented even now ? 4-5 inch rain = flooding and water lodging on road.
Do we follow natural descent of a city ? No, we dont.

I am sure, we can have much less of a problem if we have urban planning implemented.
What about encroachment ? There are people in so called general public who first of all have illegal space occupied and then use contacts to prevent the same from coming down.

Yes, lack of parking space is a problem, but coming to a conclusion about reason for the same is wrong IMO.

there are several reasons for lack of parking; as you mention encroachment on public land is one, lack of city planning (or, more commonly, subversion of city planning officers) etc. are some of the reasons to blame. Others include stupidity of people (100yrd house-owner with 4 cars) the sheer number of cars (after all relatively clean and foreward looking UK has had this problem for over a decade in multiple cities even without increasing population.


4) Using bike. For getting bullied by cars ? For getting dirty and drenched in rains ? For lack of safety ?
If one can afford a car, there is no reason why should one use a bike. Occasionally for fun, not as a regular transport.

I use bike a lot ( more than 1200 kms. a month ) and I am aware of quite a bit of negatives and positives. Positives are only a few and eventually look good only on paper.

We dont have that discipline, that kind of roads where we can state that bike is safe.
Nano exists because its safer than bike.

I agree fully - especially after coming close to death on two occasions (and walking away without a scratch thanks to the helmet I wore)

5) Giving out more tax for owning car, etc. is like denying right.

Large financial inequality, perceptions, etc. come in way when we buy the largest possible car in the planned budget. The lower middle class who has always suffered in buses will for sure love to have a car.

??? what is this about?

This issue is not just about NOT owning cars, but it runs deeper into India and public thinking. Much more complex than having a post/thread here.

??? what is this about?

clearly this is an issue close to your heart. We hope to have a lively discussion with you.

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Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
...

@gaurav_chopra04, just a thought: how do I put this in light words?.. well, maybe others have an equal right too, to park there? As far as I know, the owner of the house doesn't get any priority to park his car in front of the house, as the car is parked on the road and not within the property owned by the house owner. Correct me if I am wrong.
...
First - don't get rid of the car(s) you have if you already have them.

Regarding the comments above, (I might be completely wrong here) I believe on the roads inside residential areas in front of houses (but not apartment buildings) "roadside parking" is allowed for residents giving them preferential rights over others. the residents pay property taxes and this use is included in that (however small the property taxes may be).

Of course if a resident needs more parking than the front of his house allows (and also if the house front is a major or minor traffic route, not an internal road likely to be used only by residents) then he is responsible for it himself.

Note from Team-Bhp Support: Kindly avoid back-to-back posts within 20 minutes. Take another look at the forum rules.

Last edited by Amartya : 1st May 2011 at 21:58. Reason: Merged the back-to-back posts. Please read the forum rules once more, this is clearly laid out.
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Old 1st May 2011, 02:17   #40
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

A very intriguing topic, but quite worth it.
We might have come a long away from cars being status symbols to a more utilitarian one, but there is still a lot to change.
Most people use the cars for going to office. Not using a car lands them with public transport. Now thats not something to be very proud of in many cities but is improving. I have lived in NCR and now in Kolkata, both of them have a robust (in number not quality) public transport. NCR has improved a lot with Metro but Kolkata public buses are no fit to go to office. One of my colleague comes in a T shirt and changes to a shirt in office as he cant be decently dressed after an hour of local train travel on Sealdah route (kolkata'ns will know).
So no cars is a tough decision for office. Chartered buses and Volvo's may be are a decent option.Again not every city.
Thanks to umpteen number of malls, shopping visits are still getting better on cars, but the occasional local markets, its a nightmare for parking. In kolkata, there are places where even parking a bike is a matter of luck.

So a tough ask, but my suggestion is to use public transport to the max, it saves a lot of effort. Enjoy the cars on drives. Might do some good to the earth too.
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Old 1st May 2011, 02:17   #41
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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But then, as you mentioned in your earlier post itself the problem is exacerbated due to another reason - each household owning several cars.

If you were parking the cars in front of your houses earlier, then so can you do now. I don't understand what you were writing about earlier then (that a govt. babu took away the land and turned it into a park for your kids to play)? If on the other hand you were using some portion of the park land then that is encroachment and that is illegal.
Yes, the problem exaggerated because of single house being turned into multiple, floor system and because the parking area along with the park (you can see a proper park in the picture and then along with it where I wrote parking space, that was an extention which was not a part of ground earlier and was used for parking) was added to the park. We never parked our cars their but other neighbours who didnt have park in front of their house did. So once the parking area was not available, they started parking in front of our house. Please note, it was a bare land till 9 year ago and we (very few neighbours) turned it into a beautiful park.

For the babu, he was from horticulture department and took over complete park and didnt leave space for parking, which was used by everyone as a whole and that by no chance was used by us because our cars were always standing in front of the house.

So for the encroachment bit, the land was for public use and we anyways didnt use it, But it got us i trouble as people used to park in front of our house when it became unavailable.

And lastly, I cool with the way you replied, thanks .

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
@gaurav_chopra04, just a thought: how do I put this in light words?.. well, maybe others have an equal right too, to park there? As far as I know, the owner of the house doesn't get any priority to park his car in front of the house, as the car is parked on the road and not within the property owned by the house owner. Correct me if I am wrong.
Well, you already did Raju. Yes, the owners have all right to park in front of their house. This is very much legal. However, we cannot claim the parking space next to park's boundary as ours. That definitely is not ours. Dont ask how and why I know this but I heard it direct from Horse's mouth.

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Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
What about encroachment ? There are people in so called general public who first of all have illegal space occupied and then use contacts to prevent the same from coming down.

Yes, lack of parking space is a problem, but coming to a conclusion about reason for the same is wrong IMO.
I completely agree with you, thanks for sharing.

EDIT: @VINU, you are absolutely right with residential property rights for parking. Thanks for sharing.

Last edited by gaurav_chopra04 : 1st May 2011 at 02:40.
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Old 1st May 2011, 02:31   #42
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Originally Posted by gaurav_chopra04 View Post
Yes, the problem exaggerated because of single house being turned into multiple, floor system and because the parking area along with the park (you can see a proper park in the picture and then along with it where I wrote parking space, that was an extention which was not a part of ground earlier and was used for parking) was added to the park. We never parked our cars their but other neighbours who didnt have park in front of their house did. So once the parking area was not available, they started parking in front of our house. Please note, it was a bare land till 9 year ago and we (very few neighbours) turned it into a beautiful park.

For the babu, he was from horticulture department and took over complete park and didnt leave space for parking, which was used by everyone as a whole and that by no chance was used by us because our cars were always standing in front of the house.

So for the encroachment bit, the land was for public use and we anyways didnt use it, But it got us i trouble as people used to park in front of our house when it became unavailable.

And lastly, I cool with the way you replied, thanks .



Well, you already did Raju. You are absolutely right with what you said. We dont own the land officially. But them its a prefered place for us rather them people who live down the road.
Hi Gaurav

thanks for being patient with me. I must say I misunderstood your first post. I thought you were using the parking. Again sorry for that.

The horticulture guys are responsible for upkeep of parks, and while in this case it caused bother for you, in a way you should be happy that finally these guys are getting around to what they should have been doing in the first place - govt. efficiency is improving (and those who deal with govt. regularly know that inefficiency and incompetence of govt. employees is a bigger problem than corruption itself).

I really don't have anything to say here except that you should check the local municipal rules. You actually may have preferential rights to using the space in front of your house as parking. I am not sure but I think in several old localities in Delhi that is the case (DDA advertised some developments as "parking on road").

If so, then the NO PARKING sign you put is perfectly legal.
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Old 1st May 2011, 02:38   #43
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Nice thread and quite some interesting responses. Really appreciate those that have either given up their cars or have reduced usage - hopefully this thread would inspire me to opt for office-cab, thereby reducing 1 car on the congested Chennai road and also saving 3.5L of precious fuel daily. This topic is something we all would be pondering on seriously sooner than later, given the rising number of cars in our metros.

While I am not thinking of selling off our cars (with my bike sold, I have only the Baleno left at Chennai), I am not thinking of buying any more cars. We have a Swift at Kerala, which is sparingly used as Dad prefers his Scooty for short runs. Wifey has started driving and while she also has a Scooty, in the interest of safety, I would like her to use a car for anything that involves travel on the busy main road which is 1km away from home.

It would make immense sense for her to drive the (unused) Swift, but she says it is too big, less FE compared to a small car etc etc and wants an Alto. Though I think the real reason for her reluctance is that the car belongs to my Dad, who is posessive about it and she is worried about any damage to it, since she is a new driver. Being in a small town in Kerala (no flats - independent homes on huge plots), parking-space is a non-issue. Neither is getting a new car an issue. But when we have a car at home that is just sitting in the garage, it does not make sense to get another. Everytime I try to make her understand this, she responds that I am finding excuses not to get her a car. Now I have a solution finally - just point her to this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajushank84
I was trying to search and find out about whether or not it is legal to park a car in a residential area. Every house owner puts a "NO PARKING" sign in front of their gate, and even if they don't, they come for a fight saying "Dont park in front of my house.". Whether it is legal or not is secondary in India
Parking in front of a gate, blocking access is illegal - I should know since I failed my driving test due to parking the bike in front of a gate, after completing the test ride. But the road alongside one's home/apartment does not automatically become our parking. Ofcourse, in an ideal scenario, the civic authorities should identify roads that are suitable for parking & mark slots accordingly, like it is done in other countries. But we are clearly not there yet.
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Old 1st May 2011, 02:51   #44
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...

Parking in front of a gate, blocking access is illegal - I should know since I failed my driving test due to parking the bike in front of a gate, after completing the test ride. But the road alongside one's home/apartment does not automatically become our parking. Ofcourse, in an ideal scenario, the civic authorities should identify roads that are suitable for parking & mark slots accordingly, like it is done in other countries. But we are clearly not there yet.
In England in community housing areas (where the front door directly opens on the footpath) the house owners had rights to use the front side of their house as the parking (and nobody else was allowed to park there).

you are right, even if there are rules they are not clear.
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Old 1st May 2011, 07:19   #45
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

A major bulk of the cars that are driven on the roads are those that belong to office-goers on their daily commute. If these offices take responsibility for the commuting needs of their employees, it would improve traffic conditions significantly. My company in Mumbai, for example, has buses that operate on both the Eastern and Western express highways. Thus many car owners who drove through these stretches, now simply hire autos to the nearest bus pickup point and are now dropped directly at our gates. No hassle and stress of daily driving. Even organising car pooling among employees can help things considerably. If 3-4 car owners working in the same company and living within the same area of the city can pool their cars together, it would mean that fuel costs drop at least by 50% and driving just about 1-2 times in a week is something that most office-goers would love.

Make no mistake, a personal vehicle is no longer a luxury in today's world and having a car or a 2-wheeler at one's disposal is always convenient and even necessary. The key is to reduce our day to day usage. This requires proactive measures from each and every one of us.
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