50,000 people take part in Open Street

50,000 people take  part in Open Street

The usually traffic-riddled MG Road received a footfall of over 50,000 people when it went vehicle-free for the populous ‘Open Street’ initiative here on Sunday.

People either parked their vehicles at faraway places or chose public transportation to attend the event. But many roads surrounding the action-packed stretch were blocked. While a few traffic cops were busy decongesting roads, some others were levying penalty on people who parked their vehicles on the roadside in and around Anil Kumble Circle, Brigade Road and Cubbon Road. A separate vehicle was deployed to tow away such vehicles.

Utkarsha Dhariya, who works for a private firm lost Rs 300 for parking his car on the roadside next to St Mark’s Cathedral. “There were many cars that were parked on this stretch. I returned from the event only to find the cops waiting to levy fine. There was no parking space nearby,” he told Deccan Herald.

Limited parking
Although, limited parking arrangements were made in places including RBANMS Grounds and Shivajinagar, the demand was more than supply. Bhavya Bhat from Koramangala said there was parking space in Cubbon park for those who arrived early.

“We saw many vehicles being towed away. We were lucky to find an appropriate place,” she said. But, there were others who said the rush was expected. Naveen Menon, who works for a private firm in Kasthurinagar, attended the event with his family.

“The parking issue was expected. Hence, we left the car in Byappanahalli and rode the metro to get here,” he said. Similarly, Mallika Kalro, a resident of MSR Nagar said she took an auto rickshaw instead of getting her own vehicle.

Meanwhile, the BMTC, in a bid to encourage public transport, extended services till 11 pm from different locations. It ran special shuttle services to facilitate commuters to come to the nearest metro station. BMRCL too extended services till 11 pm from all its metro stations. Besides, the organisers gave away about 100 prizes to those who chose public transportation to get here.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M A Saleem felt that such meaningful events could be organised in the City as traffic was manageable.

Complaints too

Despite the huge footfalls and fairly positive reviews of the event, there were a few complaints by people.

Padmini Srinivas, a student, was of the opinion that although the event was nice, what was missing was information about the line-up of events. Despite the presence of many food stalls, Mithali G, another student, said the prices at which they were being sold were exorbitant.

“Food was too overpriced. A cup of coffee was Rs 50. Other items were similarly costly,” she said. For shopkeepers on the road, the crowd, it seems, did not translate into business. Gurunath, a cloth shop owner on MG Road, said: “Despite the huge crowd, we got no business due to the stalls erected on the entire stretch of road. We were just sitting idle.”

The Canara Bank ATM ran out of cash by around 6 pm.

By evening, there was garbage all over the place.

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