Less than 10 seconds to save your life

Less than 10 seconds to save your life

Not able to cross the road comfortably is a perennial problem all over Bangalore. You have to save your life from speeding vehicles by running faster than usual and if you don’t make it, expect death, no less.

The most glaring examples of difficult road crossings are in the central business district. Try the one between Bishop Cottons school and St Joseph’s College junction on Residency Road. The ends have pedestrian crossings, but in between there’s none, no subway, no skywalk. You see scores of people in front of Sweet Chariot restaurant trying to cross over to the IBM building on the Konark Hotel side. You get less than 10 seconds to cross. Two-wheelers charge at almost 50-60 kms per hour, followed by autorickshaws and buses.

People are unable to cross first time, even the second time and third. In less than 10 seconds, the light turns green for traffic coming from St Marks Road onto Residency Road. Then again, Residency Road traffic is given green, again in less than 10 seconds. This is a repetitive process at very frequent intervals that doesn’t permit relaxed crossing in the middle of Residency Road. If you rush, trip and fall, there’s no saving the person from certain death.

Thirty-year-old Mohammed Siyam, a software engineer, agrees Bangalore’s most pressing problem is traffic. “In the central business district, there’s very little time to çross roads. People risk their lives to do so.”

A section of the traffic on Residency Road turns towards Museum Road. Crossing Museum Road a little away from the pedestrian crossing is near-death experience. As soon as vehicle flow from Residency Road is over, in less than four seconds, vehicles from Hosur Road converge on Museum Road at great speed leaving just two to four seconds for people to cross the Museum Road. The situation is no different on St Marks Road. There is again less than four seconds to cross the road near the SBI junction. The only saving grace is a road hump which slows down traffic to enable pedestrians to cross.

Apart from the hump, there is no signal to stop traffic. People have to walk all the way till St Marks Road and MG Road junction to cross. Typically people don’t walk all the way from SBI junction to Anil Kumble Circle to cross over. Twenty-six year-old Akhilesh Chetty, software engineer, agrees road crossing is difficult in Bangalore.
“The cause is our attitude problem. In Sri Lanka, motorists stop, let pedestrians pass. They respect walkers, we don’t.”

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