BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI
Anytime from now, the Lagos State Government will commence the enforcement of the state wide parking policy, aimed at ensuring parking discipline culture on roads as well as free flow of traffic in the state.
Parking in the metropolis can be very tasking.
As crude as the informal parking arrangements in the state are, it rakes in millions of Naira daily into the pockets of faceless collectors.
More often than not, no question is asked by vehicle owners about the charges, for fear of vehicles being towed for parking contravention.
The targeted audience of the new policy is said to include: hotels, mosques, churches, event centres, restaurants, inner streets, central business districts, residential areas and other places so designated.
In preparedness for enforcement, the state has created 20 zones, which had been developed and agreed through consultation with respective concessionaires and local governments.
According to reports, with an estimated 1.2 million registered vehicles, about 224 vehicles per kilometer of road space and a population of over 20 million, the state surely needs a sustainable state wide parking policy to complement the renewed urban development plan.
Indiscriminate parking of vehicles in the state has led to loss of lives in some cases when drivers run into parked vehicle particularly stationery articulated vehicles.
The new state parking policy is hinged on the development of on-street and off-street, multi floor parking lot.
It will encourage public transportation, maximise available common land space use and be in agreement with all relevant legislations of the state.
Backed by the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law, URPD (2010), the policy is in keeping with the wholesome development plan of the metropolis.
Speaking on the parking policy of the administration, Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), said it had taken his administration about three years to put together assuring that when introduced, problems associated with parking anywhere in the state would be solved.
Also, the Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, said the need for the policies and regulations is to develop parking management strategies that would reform structured parking such as but not limited to on street/kerb parking and off-street parking.
Parking violations and Offences
In the on street parking scheme, the following constitutes parking offences to which the state shall impose fines – Parking of vehicles on side-walks, parking on road median- whether paved or grass, parking of vehicles within three metres of a fire hydrant, parking against the directional flow of traffic, parking of commercial vehicles on streets not regulated, blocking an entrance or exit and walkway.
Others include: Parking on slots marked for public transport, fire service, ambulances, taxis, and people with special needs by any other person not so authorized shall constitute an offence.
No person shall park or store any motor vehicle upon any street, alley or public parking space that is not licensed and fully operational. Additionally, making repairs or modifications of any motor vehicle while parked upon any street, alley or public parking space shall be strictly prohibited and is an offence.
Policy enforcement and concession
The policy states that the Ministry of Transportation should be responsible to appoint enforcement officers and the office of the Public Private Partnership, PPP will appoint concessionaire in conjunction with the transport ministry.
For paid parking, the relevant applicable law should contain provisions permitting the concessionaire or the local operator managing the roads to allow roads, or parts of roads, or areas, for short-term parking during specified hours of the day.
Regulations can then identify or specify the roads/areas as well as the tariffs that are set within the bounds of applicable law.