Innumerable traffic bottlenecks

Sad state

Innumerable traffic bottlenecks

Thanks to poor planning and a subsequent lack of infrastructural support, there are certain junctions in the City which motorists make every attempt to avoid because of  the traffic that builds up around them. The junction of MG Road and Kensington Road, for instance, is one such bottleneck. It faces three-way traffic and since the roads aren’t perfectly aligned and there aren’t any proper dividers or markings to demarcate the flow of traffic, navigating the crossing can be a nightmare. Similar junctions exist in Koramangala, parts of Outer Ring Road and HSR Layout.

A majority of Bangaloreans feel that these bottlenecks are reflective of the haphazard manner in which the City has grown in the last few decades. “It shows a distinct lack of planning,” says Anahita, a software engineer. “There isn’t enough infrastructure to support the volume of vehicles on the road and to add to that, poorly-planned junctions like this create bottlenecks that are a nightmare to drive past. What’s really sad is that it isn’t difficult to solve this problem — all that has to be done is put up either a makeshift divider or paint markings on the road, so there’s some idea of which lane leads where. But then again, these sort of correctional measures require planning — something, which it seems, is lacking in this City.”

Interestingly, something of the sort has been attempted immediately in front of the Regional Passport Office — a roundabout has been constructed and has helped to an extent in regulating the flow of traffic on the road. Manya, a professional who travels on that route fairly often, admits that it has made an impact. “Of course, there are still errant motorists who continue to jump lanes and drive erratically on the road.

But this addition, simple though it is, has made a difference in the area. And let’s face it, constructing something like this isn’t a large-scale project. It was completed in a matter of days and didn’t even hold up traffic during that period, since it takes up only a small portion of the road,” she says. “It just goes to show that small initiatives can make a big difference. If other tricky junctions were identified and similar measures adopted at each, it would help cut down on the time wasted at these bottlenecks.”

Vishal, a professional, points out that motorists face similar problems on stretches of Hosur Road and Outer Ring Road as well. “The turn-off to Bannerghatta Road on Hosur Road, near Forum Mall, is an example of poor planning. There is no need for three entries on the same road — it needs to be streamlined. Motorists also face problems at the Madiwala junction leading to St John’s Hospital. It would help if the signals were placed a little higher on these roads. Any motorist who is driving behind a bus has no clue what’s happening ahead,” he says.

Kunal, an engineer, says that the problem isn’t only restricted to arterial roads. “There are some terrible crossings in residential colonies as well, which are worse because most residential roads are barely wide enough to accommodate two vehicles side by side. In Koramangala, the roads aren’t planned in a grid, because of which there are points where different streams of traffic merge and there’s total chaos.

The stretch of First Main leading to Jakkasandra has several such spots,” he says.
Other than infrastructural changes, citizens feel that better coordination between the different parties concerned in the matter could produce positive results.  “The traffic police need to have a bigger say in urban planning, especially since they are the ones actually managing this problem. Commuters need to be roped in as well,”  concludes Vishal.

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