Caught in the snarl

Caught in the snarl

The traffic pileup around schools has always been a motorist’s nightmare, thanks to school buses and private vehicles parked just outside the campuses.

The worst affected areas are Residency Road, St Mark’s Road, Chalukya Circle, Hosur Road, Richmond Town and roads leading to Kamaraj Road in the Central Business District (CBD) especially during the examination season.

 Poor traffic management, inadequate parking facilities near schools and vehicles parked in the connecting roads and bylanes further complicate things.

Sukumar Raghav, an IT professional who commutes to his office on Lavelle Road, says, “The road in front of Baldwin Boys’ High School is always blocked between 10 am and 12 noon. The traffic pileup extends till Johnson Market. Better traffic management is the need of the hour,” he says. Adding to this, Kaleem Khan, an autorickshaw driver, says, “I never come anywhere near Hosur Road or St Mark’s Road during school hours because I get stuck in traffic.” 

Parents who bring their own vehicles to pick up their wards say that they don’t find space to park anywhere near the schools located in the CBD areas and have to park quite a distance away.

Aarti Totlani, a homemaker who has to pick her son from  a school on Residency Road, says that she has stopped using her own vehicle. “I now travel by cab because I find that an easy option. But sometimes, even cabs refuse to come this way because of the traffic congestion,” she says.

Napolean Alexander, an IT professional and parent, adds, “My car has been towed away twice. There’s no place to park anywhere in and around the school. The double-line parking adds to the congestion.” He also says that many two-wheelers parked on the Tender SURE roads near the school make walking difficult. “The school has done nothing to ensure parents are able to drop off or pick up their children safely,” he adds.

 Amidst the chaos and complaints, Bengaluru City Traffic Police have identified a few schools across the city around which there are regular traffic jams. These include Bishop Cotton Boys’ and Girls’ School, St Joseph’s Indian High School, St John’s High School, Baldwin Boys’ High School on Hosur Road and Sophia High School among others.

R Hithendra, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Bengaluru City, says, “In case of haphazard parking, we clamp the vehicles, seize them and fine them for violating the ‘no parking’ rule.” On being asked whether the Bengaluru Traffic Police has worked out a plan for these vehicles to enter the school premises, Hithendra says, “Most of the managements have refused to provide parking inside the school premises.”  Hithendra also informs that a traffic police personnel has been deputed in front of every school to facilitate the smooth movement of traffic. 

Mrs D’Souza, the transport in-charge of Sophia High School, near Chalukya Circle, informs that the school has hired 14 BMTC buses and provides transport to students from class 1 to 12. “There is only one entrance to the school and we don’t allow any vehicle (including BMTC school buses) to enter the premises. This is done keeping in view the safety and security of the children,” says Mrs D’Souza.

She adds that all vehicles reach the school by 7.50 am and leave as soon as the school disperses. “We have discussed with the Bengaluru Traffic Police and explained why parking cannot be provided inside the premises,” she adds.

Similarly other schools have also voiced their constraints for not providing parking facilities inside the school premises during peak hours.

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