The road less taken

The road less taken

Blaring horns and endless traffic jams are an increasingly common sight in Bengaluru. Among a host of initiatives taken by the civic authorities to address this situation, the proposition of the 'Less Traffic Day' stands out. It calls for leaving one's own vehicles at home and using public transport options every alternate Sunday.

While the soon-to-be brought-in initiative has fetched encouraging responses from some Bengalureans, others are wondering about the feasibility factor.
Mahalakshmi Sanjay, an executive assistant in a bank and resident of Malathahalli, says that this concept might not work for places which do not have frequent bus services. "It is a big struggle for me to find a cab or a bus to reach any place from here. Good bus connectivity is required before such a day is implemented, even if it is on a Sunday. The authorities can look at reducing the fares of authorickshaws and cabs that day," she says.

Though carpooling and using public transport has become common, the 'Less Traffic Day' would need a lot more planning, feels Krithi Poovamma, a credit assessment officer and a resident of Sahakara Nagar.

"A Sunday with relatively free roads would be perfect. But there needs to be more infrastructural planning for such campaigns to work," she says.

Vikas Kalkunte, head of sales at an IT firm, has been using the Metro and other public transport options on a daily basis. "Compared to Chennai and Mumbai, there needs to be more public transport connectivity here," he says.

He points out that there needs to be extensive campaigning for this concept to work. "From schools to workplaces, a lot of awareness should be created," he adds. For regular commuters, convenience is the first concern, points out Kamala Ramesh, a technical delivery manager with an IT firm. "I think everyone would be alright with the 'Less Traffic Day' on alternate Sundays but for a big change, one should practise this on weekdays too. It will be a good way to analyse if such a measure would work in the city and then increase it
accordingly," she says.

Slowly habituating the citizens to a new concept would be the best way to go, she adds. "Added restrictions like one-vehicle-per-family would also support this move," says Kamala.

Better campaigning from the grassroot level will definitely be needed for the 'Less Traffic Day', says Ranjeeta Palanivelu, a homemaker and resident of Halasuru. "Will this concept become like the 'Bus Day', which is almost non-existential now? The new day would be a great way to reduce pollution and the number of vehicles on the road. The process should include spreading the message through educational institutions, organisations and social media," she says.

Ranjeetha observes that since the day is only planned for every alternate Sunday, it would be easy to work around it.

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