Breaking traffic gridlocks: Let public follow rules

For all the comfort that Bengaluru offers, a huge challenge stands in the way of the citizens actually enjoying those benefits: Its hugely problematic vehicular traffic and clogged roads. The ever-increasing traffic coupled with low density roads to carry them are leading to frequent gird-locks, eventually rubbing the sheen off an otherwise buoyant city.

Here’s a cross-section of Bengalureans from different walks of life commenting on this crucial aspect of their everyday lives:  

Sandip Basu, an architect, feels that in certain areas, the traffic signals are manual. “The flow of traffic at such signals is not managed well. One can witness the girdlock on one side of the road for a long time while on the other, there is free movement of vehicles.”

Besides, the time allotted is minimal for pedestrian crossings in certain areas such as Indiranagar KFC and BRV building on Cubbon Road. How could the traffic authorities expect the public to have a hassle-free crossing given the volume of the crowd and the monstrous vehicles charging ahead to cross the junction once the signal turns green? “This needs to be worked upon,” adds Basu.

Also, the pattern followed for flashing signals is the same throughout. In the mornings, people come to the city for work and in the evening, the crowd is dispersed. The pattern should be altered accordingly.

Jagadeesh Gowda, a cabbie, brings forth another key observation on traffic patterns in the city. He explains, “Almost everyday,  I see blockades on one side of the road while on the other, there is hardly any vehicle. I am at a loss to understand as to why this issue is not catered to. This definitely can be improved with a scientific approach.”

But he feels the public too are responsible. “Commuters need to maintain lane discipline. I often see that travellers, who want to take the road on their right, keep their vehicles on the left at the signals and vice-versa. When the red signal is lifted, the traffic turns out to be chaotic. Rules should be made stringent in this regard.”

Homemaker Sharan has a clear solution to the problem: Public should strictly be made to follow lane discipline. “Fast moving vehicles need to be on the right especially on national highways. Buses need to stop at the designated stops and not act according to the driver’s whims and fancies. Speed limits need to be set in the city and on highways. Anyone driving above or below the limits should be penalised.”

For autorickshaw driver, Nagaraja, a change could be seen by banning parking of all vehicles within 500-metre radius of a traffic signal. “People should take cognisance of the white straps on the roads and mind their lanes. Technological advances may help, but I cannot see any glimpse of it happening anytime in the near future,” says Nagaraja.

Disha, a content writer contends that for a city with a big growing population as Bengaluru’s, traffic jams are inevitable during peak hours. “But that is no excuse for the public to disregard every traffic rule there is. The rules are in place for everyone's safety. Most people think it is okay to break them if they are the ones doing it,” she says.  

She sees many vehicles, mainly two-wheelers, that don't care what colour the traffic signal is. “They just zoom through. Due to this, even the ones genuinely following the rules would get injured, though there is no fault of theirs.”

Traffic constables manning the junctions admit that although they try their best to manage the traffic, lapses are unavoidable at times. “Signals break down due to incessant rains and changing weather conditions. However, we rectify them as soon as it comes to our notice,” says one of them, obviously preferring anonymity.
 Keeping the traffic in check throughout the city is definitely a complex challenge. But as these road-users and police personnel collectively emphasise, a solution can be possible only with a whole-hearted cooperation from the public and quick response from the traffic rule enforcers.



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