Development Of Parking Facility In Thimphu, Bhutan
Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan is spread along the Western bank of river Wang Chhu across an area of 26.13 square kilometers. Over the last decade, the city has witnessed a rapid growth in population, economy and an increasing number of motor-vehicles. With the objective of removing on-street parking in core city areas by accommodating the parking demand in off-street parking facilities, Thimphu Thromde, requested the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to conduct a pre-feasibility study for developing these facilities. Through PPP (Public Private Partnership) the objective of this study was to assess technical, economic and financial viability for developing an off-street multi-level parking facility in the city. On completion of this study in August 2012, IFC appointed Urban Mass Transit company (UMTC) to review Thimpu's parking management plan and undertake detailed technical due diligence for developing the project on the approved PPP model.
As a part of this study, UMTC has prepared the Parking Management Plan and Parking Policy for Thimphu's core commercial areas and the growing demand for additional parking spaces. The basic objective of the Parking Policy is to (i) discourage the use of private vehicles by encouraging public transport (ii) improving the flow of traffic and increasing carriageway capacity, (iii) contribute to the city’s economic activities by ensuring a ‘turnover’ of different vehicles rather than long stay vehicles in commercial areas, (iv) Satisfy social objectives of supplying adequate parking space at certain locations for local residents and thus to restrain parking demand.
Specific recommendations such as restriction of on street parking in the core city area, introduction of residential parking permit scheme, use of technology for effective enforcement of parking violations, congestion pricing and improvement of the city bus service system have been suggested. Similarly, long term demands include management measures such as introduction of a garage permit system and additional off-street surface parking sites in peripheral areas with park and ride facilities to central areas, have been recommended.
UMTC’s study outcomes included; design, construction, operation and maintenance of two multi-level car parking facilities.