The chaos continues...

Futile endeavour

The chaos continues...

Schools have reopened and with that returned traffic chaos. The Bangalore Traffic Police have identified some schools, in the heart of the City, where traffic blockades are a perpetual problem.

Several schools had advanced their school timings a few years ago to eight in the morning and are winding up classes by 3 pm to make sure that the timings don’t clash with those of the office-goers. But is that helping in decongesting the roads?
Metrolife spoke to the traffic police, school management and people to understand how best to handle the traffic blocks around schools.

The Bangalore Traffic Police have identified 93 schools across the City where there are regular traffic clogs. Additional commissioner of police (traffic and safety) M A Saleem informs that schools such as Bishop Cotton Boys’ and Girls’ School, St John’s High School, Sophia High School, to name a few, have all been following the guidelines issued by the traffic police, to help ease traffic around these school.

“We held a meeting with all the school principals and the education department in May this year wherein we instructed the school managements to encourage parents and children to take public transport and go for car-pooling. This will lessen the number of private vehicles that come to pick up and drop kids to school,” says Saleem.

The traffic police have also chalked out alternative parking spaces near schools where school vans and private cars can park. “We have identified alternative parking spaces around schools such as Promenade Road for St John’s High School, St Francis Xavier and St Germain High School. The Miller Road for Sophia High School and so on. The traffic problem around schools cannot be solved in one go, it will take time,” adds Saleem.

 Saleem says that he has deputed three or four cops around those schools in the morning between 7.30 am and 8.30 am and in evening from 3 pm to 4 pm. Most schools have hired private vehicles in addition to fleet of their own buses. The Bishop Cotton Girls’ School, for instance, has seven school buses and seven Pushpak buses to ferry children.

Aron Priyakumar, transport manager of the school says, “We can’t do anything when cars and private vans park outside the school gate on the road.  We have started issuing car passes for Rs 1,500 to students whose cars can come into the school premises and pick them up and leave immediately. This has helped control  traffic around our school.”

But commuters don’t think the situation has improved. They feel, the traffic management around schools, is poor and a lot needs to be done. Karthik Krishna, an IT professional points out that those who drive spend nothing less than an hour on the road. He feels people must start using public transport and take to car-pooling in a big way.

“It would be nice if there is a designated lane for school goers,” he adds.  Suja Sharma, a home-maker who drops her daughter off to Sophia High School every morning says, “I have to set apart two hours in the morning, just to drop my daughter off to school and return. My day is planned according to the traffic on the road. It’s that bad.”

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