Shoppers, vehicles jostle for space

Crammed Roads

Shoppers, vehicles jostle for space

Come weekend and the happening places in the City like Commercial Street and Brigade Road are jam-packed.

 It worsens during the festive season and even market areas like Gandhi Bazaar, City Market and Malleswaram barely have any place for people to move. With the festive season having started already with the fast approaching ‘Gowri-Ganesha’ festival, citizens speak to ‘Metrolife’ about the problems they face while shopping at these areas. 

Shenaz, a homemaker, makes it a point to not come to these areas during this time due the heavy traffic here and the attitude of the auto drivers. “Only if I have something specific in mind do I come here. Otherwise it’s a big problem as there is no parking and the autos charge an exorbitant rate,” she says.

Families that shop at the bazaars during festival times are as troubled. Sheeba, a young mother of two, often goes to Gandhi Bazaar during the festive season to shop. “To buy clothes, I go to Commercial Street and Shivajinagar but to purchase flowers, I prefer going to Gandhi Bazaar.
 The biggest problem there is the traffic and parking. Parking for two-wheelers is comparatively better but if you have kids with you, you need to take the car,” she notes. “Another problem is the public transport, which is very poor here when compared to the other cities. There are so many newer roads which aren’t connected by buses,” she adds. “We talk about carpooling but nothing happens. With the recent rape incident, one will be all the more scared to carpool with a stranger,” she complains. 

According to Salman Abbas, an MBA student from Reva Institute of Technology, there needs to be more space for parking.  “I am an athlete and often go to Brigade Road for shopping. But sadly, most of the showrooms are completely packed during the weekends,” he laments. 

Shop owners on these roads have a tough time when it co­m­es to parking and weaving their way through traffic too. Asha Fernandez, who owns a boutique on Commercial Street, says there is definitely a big difference in the crowd during the festival season. 

“However, for shopkeepers, there is a facility at one side of the army grounds to park. So though we don’t face a parking problem, the day we don’t get our vehicles, we have a to­u­gh time with the autos that charge a minimum of Rs 100,” she notes. “Many shoppers have to park near RSI or MG Road and walk up to Commercial Street during the weeke­nds and festive season. It bec­omes a tough situation,” she adds. The traffic authorities are doing all that they can do man the traffic during this time.
 “The festivities have already started and traffic in places like City Market and Gandhi Bazaar has increased. We have deployed extra men in all these areas to man the traffic,” says B Dayananda, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic). “In places like City Market, the breakdown of a vehicle is common. So in a situ­a­tion like that, we need to divert the traffic and this causes more trouble. He­nce, we are taking all measures to keep the situation under control,” he sums up.