Malls creating bottlenecks

Malls creating bottlenecks

Mushrooming Structures

Malls creating bottlenecks

Time and again, the malls have been adding to the traffic chaos in the City. What’s worse is that despite space and mobility constraints, more and more malls are sprouting up in various areas. Whitefield, especially, is becoming more of a mall hub than an IT hub.

On weekends, it is not uncommon to be stuck in traffic for a prolonged period at the KR Puram-Whitefield/ITPL stretch.

One can only travel a short distance after the first mall and the traffic clearing before the same problem presents itself again. When the area was being developed, such a large flow of traffic was not expected. Now, with this unprecedented development, the roads are forced to take on more vehicles than the capacity allows. The congestion therefore is inevitable.

In this scenario, somebody has to make way for another, which often turns out to be the non-mall-goer.

People blame the developers for allowing these massive malls to stand tall and indifferent to the bottlenecks on the roads caused by to them. “Mall traffic has been mismanaged and the exit leads to the main road. This leads to a lot of confusion and narrow roads, like the one outside Phoenix MarketCity, that can’t handle such traffic. A solution would be to create alternate exits that don’t disturb the already fast-moving traffic on the same road,” says Arjun Rao, a professional who frequently faces this problem.

It’s easier for pedestrians, who can beat the traffic and stick to the footpaths. But for commuters, it’s an annoying ordeal to deal with, not to mention a waste of time.

 “The government always gives precedence to growth over development. They sanction large-scale constructions eagerly without giving a thought to the civil liabilities of the project. In the case of the rampant mall constructions around the City, couldn’t they implement simple measures to counter the resultant increase in traffic?” questions Shantanu Verma, a resident of Whitefield.

On a personal note, he adds, “Earlier, the drive down Brookfield Road would take not more than 15 minutes, even during peak hours. Ever since HyperCity came up, you’ve got bumper-to-bumper traffic all through the evening.”

The problem essentially lies in the lack of initial planning, because of which roads aren’t wide enough to deal with the clustered traffic resulting from malls.

“Malls these days are more than just places to shop. Over time, they’ve developed from being places to shop to congregational spaces where cultural and entertainment activities happen. When such events happen, the footfall is much more than average, perhaps double. But no mall seems to take steps to handle the large influx of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic,” says Dev Ambardekar, an architect.

“Either for security reasons or poor planning, most mall entrances and exits become bottlenecks. This results in traffic jams that congest the non-mall-going vehicular traffic. Most malls also have poor parking systems, regardless of whether there are humans or computers running the show, which leads to further traffic jams,” he elaborates.

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