Medians and dividers are set up on roads with the sole purpose of separating traffic thereby making it safer for motorists to commute. But the same structures can turn into death traps when they don’t have reflective paint or reflectors on them.
Dividers and medians without reflectors can be seen in many areas of the City like Hennur, Cox Town, Hebbal and RT Nagar to name a few. Most Bangaloreans feel that with the growing number of vehicles on the road, more measures need to be taken to make the roads motorist-friendly.
Rajashri Gupta, a young professional, says that she has seen many accidents caused by medians. “Our infrastructure lacks proper planning and certain stretches in the City are pitch dark at night. So one may not see the different lanes since either the streetlights are not turned on or their light is blocked by trees,” she says. Rajashri adds that even well-planned places like Sadashivanagar have medians without proper markings or reflectors.
Priyanka Jain, a CA student, says that since Bangalore’s weather is unpredictable and it can rain at any time of the day, reflectors need to be placed on medians. “Just imagine driving in the rain! The visibility is poor and if one cannot spot these dividers, it’s the worst one could ask for. The reflective paint on the structures also need to be repainted as most of it has come off. There are even highways without reflectors and this can affect buses too,” she says. Priyanka says that there are medians in front of Mantri Mall and near Shivananda Circle without any reflectors on them.
Others like Suhas S say that such medians can even cause slow movement of traffic and create more confusion on the road.
“This has lead to an increase in accidents. A friend of mine met with an accident on a stretch, which had no streetlights, by running into a median which didn’t have any reflectors,” he says. Suhas adds that the situation gets more difficult for the elders who drive around the City.
The headlights of cycles are not as bright as other vehicles and thus, spotting the medians is a harder task for cyclists. Rohan Kini, an avid cyclist, says, “There are many stretches in the City which do not have streetlights or reflectors on the dividers and medians. This can be risky for cyclists. The worst part is when the cycle doesn’t have headlights.” He says that though cyclists ride on the left side of the lane away from dividers and medians, the situation gets tricky when other motorists suddenly turn in order to avoid a median.
But traffic officials do not see this as a major cause of accidents. Says Dayananda B, additional commissioner of police (traffic), “We do not have data for such accidents and I do not think there is a rise in the number of accidents because of the lack of visibility of medians. In the nights, many a time, people tend to overspeed. So the accidents could be occurring because of this.”
The BBMP authorities say that they’re working towards bettering the situation. M Lakshminarayana, commissioner, BBMP, agrees that there are stretches which have medians without reflectors or reflective paint.
“We are working on 400 kilometres of road and the work also includes painting of medians and curb stones with a better quality of paint. This will not only last longer, but also reflect better,” he says. He also says that reflectors will be added to many stretches especially in areas like the Central Business District.