Little bit of Paris in Bengaluru, open air restaurants on Church St

Bengaluru: With the traffic police banning parking on Church Street on the directions of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to make it pedestrian-friendly, citizens have suggested to the BBMP to lease out the space reserved for parking to food trucks and open restaurants.

Mr Srinivas Alavilli, Coordinator, Citizens for Bengaluru, said, “The BBMP building by-law states that commercial properties should mandatorily provide basement parking. But this is hardly enforced in the city and Church Street is no exception. I support pedestrian-only Church Street, but it cannot happen overnight since commercial establishments have existed on the stretch much before the redesigning of the stretch. Alternative arrangements have to be put in place.”

He said, “Parking charges should be at a premium not only on Church Street but also every commercial area in the city to disincentivise private vehicle users and to promote public transport.”

He suggested that the BBMP should hold a meeting with the traffic police and owners of businesses on the street, and come up with a plan to take vehicles off the street.

Architect and urban planner Naresh Narasimhan, who was the brain behind Church Street’s new look that has drawn much praise, said, “Parking can be allowed on the stretch between Museum Road and KC Das outlet. The space reserved on the remaining part of the stretch between Museum Road and Brigade Road can be leased out to food trucks and open-air restaurants."

He said that this will not only be pedestrian friendly, but also give an international look to the remodelled road and fetch more revenues to the civic body. The BBMP should take care of garbage disposal and other issues if it is really interested in augmenting its revenues, he said.

Mayor Sampath Raj said, “As per building by-laws, commercial units should provide basement parking. Then, there will be no pressure for parking on Church Street. We will take a decision after consulting owners of commercials establishments, traffic police and our officials on Tuesday evening.”


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