Parking in Thimphu Thromde is fast becoming a major problem. It is a serious problem because the authorities responsible are failing in their duty to implement the rules.
Parking is a problem because Thimphu is a very haphazardly planned city. Now the problem is spreading to the suburbs.
Buildings are required to have underground parking space, according to the thromde rules and regulations. But this rule is not being taken seriously. Thromde officials say that illegal roadside parking is one of the biggest challenges despite repeated “issuance of notifications”.
When the residents of the core city and those living outside of the city have no parking space, people are forced to park their vehicles on the roadsides, which aggravates the issue of traffic congestion.
Who is responsible?
Thromde. As per thromde’s rule, vehicles have to be either parked in their private residential parking or in designated government parking lots—roadside parking is strictly prohibited.
The thromde’s service system leaves a lot to be desired as the city and its population continue to grow.
There is a standing rule that landlords should provide parking space for tenants. However, this rule seems to be only on paper given the number of cars parked on the roadside. The fact is, in Thimphu, many tenants also own more than one car.
Plainly, who is responsible if the landlords are not providing this space? The thromde, of course, who says it doesn’t have enough budget to implement the rules, which begs yet another question—why is Thimphu Thromde so impoverished that it cannot do what it is supposed to do?
If a tenant parks his car on the roadside because there is no parking space where he lives, the rules can easily fine the landlord. However, this is not happening. Because this doesn’t happen, reckless parking is a serious problem.
Unless Thimphu Thromde launches a drastic action, traffic congestion problem will only grow. Defaulters must be penalised but tenants are not defaulters. Why are building owners let scot-free so? Why?
According to thromde’s Development Control Regulation 2016, a residential building should have one parking slot for each dwelling unit with three or more bedrooms.
For example, in the city core, why do people not prefer to park their vehicles in the multi-level car park? Because it is inconvenient. Shoppers should have easy access to the parking space.
How do we connect shoppers to the parking lots, for example? If we can link the two sensibly, half the city’s problem will disappear. That’s city planning.