Monday, June 3, 2013

Parking Policy

The bus rapid transit of Bogotá has been well known for its sustainable transportation system. However, the parking revolution has gotten little attention. Along with launching the Transmilenio Project, the parking reformation was  started to provide more public spaces for the people. Specifically, the main goal was to recover public spaces which were occupied by automobiles instead of people. It was also to take back public spaces which were taken up by vendors, street hawkers, and other private users to public space users including pedestrians. Peñalosa, a former mayor during 1998-2000 when various innovative people-centric transportation policies were implemented, refuted the idea that users of parking facilities, such as car drivers and shopping mall owners, need to supply their parking places  for public use, and argued that it is not necessary to accommodate their private needs through public assets. He commented once  "Does the city give me a public closet to put my shoes inside? No, then they shouldn't give me a parking space to park my car." Although most of the citizens favored the new parking policy where on-street parking places were transformed into wide sidewalks, it was really hard to implement because of opposition from neighboring communities and retailers. The mayor was almost impeached due to this policy. On-street parking reforms turned out to be successful. On-street parking places had been replaced by off-street parking lots. Tax subsidies to private retailers or companies who built off-street parking facilities aided in the success.

1. Arturo Ardila and Gerhard Menckhoff,2002. "Transportation policies in Bogota, Colombia: building a transportation system for the people” ,Transportation Research Record 1817, 2002.

2. Carlosfelipe Pardo , "Parking revolution in Bogota: The Golden Era, 1998-2000", October, 2010. Web.

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