Yichang has in recent months implemented a major on-street parking reform program focused along the BRT corridor in Dongshan Avenue. Roughly half of the 1,000 off-street parking spaces along the BRT corridor have been removed (see photos below), and the remaining setback parking is now better managed to eliminate or minimize encroachment on pedestrian and bicycle facilities. (Setback parking defined as parking in the area between the edge of the walkway and the building frontage. It does not include parking on the walkway, which is illegal.)
Yichang's approach to on-street parking reform focused along the BRT corridor is, to our knowledge, the first such systematic approach to implementing corridor-wide on-street parking improvements as part of a new BRT system. This is an approach which has been supported and encouraged by Far East BRT experts working for ITDP during 2013-2015, with support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Oak Foundation. Phase 1 of the BRT system opened in July 2015.
Setback and on-street parking reforms is critical to the achievement of other station area improvements. For example, improvements to walkways, bike lanes or plazas are of no practical utility if the space is later simply occupied by parked cars. The impressive on-street parking reform measures achieved along the BRT corridor in Yichang are in large part due to the strong support and guidance of the vice mayor who is in charge of enforcement by the traffic police and has played a key role in ensuring the BRT system is viewed as an 'urban development corridor'.