Bengaluru's roads are bursting at the seams with thousands of vehicles added to the streets every single day. For citizens, commuting has become a daily nightmare and a challenge to avoid accidents as everyone tries to move ahead of the other. With the increased congestion and ever increasing travel time, the commuters' patience is wearing thin day by day. DH file photo
No respite for commuters as precious time lost on chaotic roads
Bengaluru's roads are bursting at the seams with thousands of vehicles added to the streets every single day. For citizens, commuting has become a daily nightmare and a challenge to avoid accidents as everyone tries to move ahead of the other. With the increased congestion and ever increasing travel time, the commuters' patience is wearing thin day by day.
To get a pulse of the people's commute woes, DH did a deep dive. This is what one citizen, Fazaluddin D.A, an entrepreneur and engineer has to say: "I generally travel on Outer Ring Road, Whitefield area and in and around Indiranagar. I have been driving for almost 25 years. Of late, I am seeing traffic jams on all roads, something that was only seen only on major roads before."
Traffic, he says, gets particularly congested at bus stops. Reason: "Often, the buses stop right in the middle of the road. Many a time, they park parallel to each other on the already narrow roads. Seamless movement of vehicles is rare. Vehicles keep cutting across one another."
He has also seen too many cabs eating up space, especially after 9 pm. "As more people prefer cabs over autos, more space is occupied by these vehicles."
Siddappa Kaller, Deputy Commissioner for Transport and Senior RTO is of the view that a change in the proportion of walkers and motorists will make a big difference on the traffic situation in the city. He believes that if people consciously cut down on the use of their personal vehicles and walk whenever they can to small distances, it will benefit everyone.
To do this effectively, Kaller says, common parking spaces should be created near residential areas and work specific zones. This will cut down the daily mess. Since people will then have to walk a few hundred metres daily, it will bring in a change in people's psyche with regards to walking more, which is good for everyone. Roads, he adds, are too narrow in the city and they need to be widened to manage traffic and congestion.
Creative technologist, Azharuddin A travels by car frequently. The biggest disadvantage, he says, is the time taken to negotiate the traffic. "I end up spending four hours every day in traffic and that is a huge loss of time. The slow moving traffic only adds to your stress levels and affects your health in the long run, especially after a long day at work. If you are awake for 16 hours, one-fourth of the time is spent on the road on a regular work day," he laments.
Assistant Sub-Inspector, HSR Traffic, Narayanappa C says the vehicular numbers are rising all the time. "Besides, road works constrict the flow of traffic and the materials used for the works eat up space. It seems to us that the traffic jams never end, no matter what time of the day it is. There are just too many vehicles and people," he notes.
On Outer Ring Road, he says, most four-wheelers could be seen with only one passenger / driver inside.
"They are one major reason for traffic jams. In places where there are no signal lights, it is very taxing for us to manage traffic for long hours. Thankfully, a few private companies provide us with people who help us manage the traffic," Narayanappa elaborates.
The traffic police, he points out, also make extensive efforts to remove stalled buses or lorries from the roads so that vehicular movement is not stopped completely. "Technology these days helps us a lot in managing traffic and monitoring the flow. However, the constant exposure to dust and air pollution affects our health badly."
Mohan Govindiah, a Koramangala resident, says that about 15 years ago things were totally different.
"When you came from Adugodi to Koramangala, the journey was very easy. However, it is very cumbersome now. During peak hours, it is a total nightmare. It is the same situation if not worse at Silk Board junction. This is all because of the ever increasing density of vehicles.