No end to traffic tailing back

No end to traffic tailing back

Solution needed: Are schools responsible for the traffic chaos in the City?

No end to traffic  tailing back

This move was welcomed by the traffic police. The principals too are happy because they can dedicate more time after school hours to extracurricular activities. But there are a few other things pertaining to schools that continue to affect traffic in the City.

Cars, private transport and vans that come to pick up kids stop haphazardly in front of the schools, blocking more than half the road creating a traffic jam.

It appears that the change of timings has largely benefitted the schools and has contributed little to the reduction of traffic chaos.

Metrolife spoke to a few school principals, traffic police and traffic analysts to understand whether the change in school timings has made a difference to City’s traffic pile up. Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic and Safety) Praveen Sood said that the change in timings has brought down the burden of the traffic cops by half but, “people used to complain of traffic block ten years ago and they do so even now.”

About cars and vans parked outside the schools,  Praveen said, “Before the schools reopened this academic year, we directed the school authorities to make arrangements for parking within the school premises. If this haphazard parking continues, we will be forced to clamp the vehicles and seize them.”

Traffic analysts too think the advancement of timings has contributed to the reduction of traffic. B H Sanjeev Kumar, Managing Director, Transport Training Institute and Consultancy points out the advancement of timings has definitely made a difference to the traffic flow but is also aware that the private vehicles parked outside the schools create a mess.

“Nobody is willing to take up the responsibility. People don’t mind muck in another’s space but don’t want the same to happen to them,” he added. Benny Joseph, principal of Clarence High School said, “We start early and end early. Children too find this an ideal time to start. They don’t have to spend long hours in school and those who are interested can stay back for the extracurricular activities.”

Deepa Suresh, a senior teacher with SJR School too thinks this timing does not interfere with that of the office-goers. “Children are more relaxed as they have to travel less. But those who come from afar still face the trouble of travelling long distances,” she said.  

While school managements and traffic police may be pleased with their decision, the ordinary people think that the traffic scenario has only got worse.  Arun Padaki, a banking consultant said, “The change might have made a difference in the beginning but now with increasing intake of students and the overall increase in the number of vehicles, no difference is seen. School timing has no impact now and things have got worse. These schools must accommodate the vans, buses and importantly cars inside their campus and charge for it. The idea is to discourage car owners from bringing their vehicles to drop and pick up children.”

Rohan D’Souza, a researcher is critical, “The volume of vehicles on the road seem to be increasing by the day and reactive measures such as road widening, construction of flyovers, underpasses only seem to temporarily address the situation,” he said.

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