Single-occupant cars, random bus stops, congested service roads

Single-occupant cars, random bus stops, congested service roads

Traffic jams, a constant nuisance in all metros of India, are particularly harsh in Namma Bengaluru. The Outer Ring Road, which sees heavy density of traffic on most days, is a case in point. To get some real feedback on what is causing these jams, DH spoke to daily commuters of various stretches of this road.

Santosh, an autorickshaw driver at the Silk Board Junction complains how he takes over two hours daily to get to Tin factory, located on Old Madras Road, a distance of 18 kms. The peak hours, he says, are from 7.30 am to 9.30 am and from 4 pm to 7.30 pm.

What causes the congestion? Buses stopping at odd places frequently contribute to the traffic delays here, he points out. Better regulation would help. Another autorickshaw driver Babu also draws attention to buses clogging the narrow roads on this stretch. Private cars, most of them with only one passenger, also contribute to the mess.

Traffic constable Prashant agrees that private vehicles are mostly responsible for the traffic congestion. Single occupants of these vehicles, he feels, could shift to public transport, thereby reducing the traffic density significantly.

Sikandar, a frequent bus user on the Outer Ring Road, however attributes the congestion to the large number of Volvo buses. These buses, he says, move in a haphazard manner and stop at odd places, slowing down the traffic frequently. The peak hour traffic is generally seen from 7.30 am to 10 am. Better vigilance by the traffic police can speed up things here, he feels.

At Agara junction, frequent commuter Madhappa talks about vehicles that do not move quickly once a signal opens. Besides, there are too many cars with only one occupant. This, he says, is a waste of road space.

Further ahead, another commuter Vishnu draws attention to the badly damaged stretches of the road. This, he says, slows down the traffic as two-wheelers swerve to avoid big potholes.
For commuter Rakesh, who spoke to DH near Iblur, the bus stops on ORR are not properly spaced out. Besides, the buses stop too frequently and move about rashly, forcing other vehicles to move slowly to avoid accidents.

In the words of Lal Krishna, another daily commuter, the traffic is 'absolutely horrible' here. The road needs better maintenance. The traffic congestion is at its worst here between 9 and 11.30 am, he informs.

Assistant Sub Inspector of police, Hosur Road Traffic, Narayana Swamy says the vehicular movement is relatively less during holidays. But on week days, the road is mostly jam-packed. During rush hours, the large number of school buses, vans, buses both private and public exacerbate the mess. Cab-sharing and utilization of public transport on a frequent basis can potentially decongest the road, he feels.

The multiple U-turns on the road is annoying, says Malcolm, a frequent commuter on the ORR stretch near Marathahalli. Besides, there are too many bus stops on this stretch. He also suggests adding skywalks at a few places to prevent jaywalking apart from better service roads.

Shreyas, a commuter near Hennur, complains that moving from Bellandur to KR Puram takes nearly two hours on an average. He lists the Kadabeesanahalli flyover among the major traffic bottlenecks. His solution: Widen the road and introduce more public transport options.

For autorickshaw driver Raju, the ring road has far too many speed-breekers, jaywalking and the traffic police do not do enough. Besides, the road badly needs repair at many places. The common refrain was that public transport should be used more, cabs should be shared more so that the available road space is better used.

Zikran Shamshuddin

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