Friday, May 2, 2014

Parking Studies (Highway Engineering)

After teaching this topic of highway engineering to 1st batch of Civil Engineering at JNGEC Sunder Nagar, I thought to write a post about it.
Certainly, I have not lived in a big city such as Chandigarh,Mumbai or Delhi and more than that I have spent first 10 years at a mountain village of Himachal Pradesh and next years at its nearby district towns.
I love short distance travels and I feel good when I travel. I have not taken more than 2 days train journey but, that doesn't make me less curious to know more about Highway Engineering. Completing a four years degree in Civil Engineering was a totally different thing than to teach it.

In order to teach it I have to have a deep understanding of the subject matter. Now, let's come to the topic at the instant. Parking Studies are done to find out the present capacity and the demand of the parking in the area under study and thereby to suggest any kind of improvement to it.
I have seen that parking studies may not be important in the places where I live at because parking demands are less, except at few cities. At the places such as Shimla, even if we have parking demand in peak seasons, not much can be done to fulfill it.

At the metropolitan cities and at industrial, commercial and residential places where parking demand is high, it becomes very necessary to perform the parking studies.
According to S.K.Khanna and C.E.G. Justo, in their book "Highway Engineering", parking studies can be phased into three phases or parts:

  1. Parking Demand
  2. Parking characteristics 
  3. Parking Space Inventory
  • Parking demand can be found using few methods such as cordoning of the area, noting down the number of the parked vehicle or by interview method.  In the first method of cordoning the area, the area under study is cordoned at all he entrances at the exits, and difference between the numbers of vehicles entering and the outgoing will give us the parking demand of the area. 
In the second method, one has to count the number of the vehicles which are parked in the area under study. If we note down the number plate of each vehicle, then we can also note down the total time of parking of each vehicle. 
In the interview method, one can find out the parking demand by interviewing the drivers of the parked vehicles. This method is specifically more useful when the parking demand in the study area is higher than the parking space available.
  • Parking Characteristics: This study is useful to find out the characteristics of the parking practices of the area. In the kerb parking, it is necessary to study the parking pattern, interference to smooth flow of traffic and the accidents involved during parking and un-parking operations.
  • Parking space inventory: Area under study is fully surveyed and a map is prepared showing all places where kerb parking and off-street parking facilities can be provided to meet the parking demands. The traffic engineer has to strike a balance between the capacity and parking demands and to design proper facilities for parking. 
At last A special thanks to the book I mentioned above (Highway Engineering by S.K.Khanna and C.E.G. Justo )
and thanks for your kind visit!

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