Vehicles to be banned on Church Street from 5 pm to 10 pm

Vehicles to be banned on Church Street from 5 pm to 10 pm

Vehicles to be banned on Church Street from 5 pm to 10 pm

 In a few days, no vehicle can enter the renovated Church Street between 5 pm and 10 pm. The traffic police's plan is in tune with the chief minister's instructions to make the showpiece road pedestrian-friendly.  

A final decision, however, will be taken after holding talks with the BBMP,  R Hithendra, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic),  told DH.  "While inaugurating Church Street, the chief minister had instructed us to make it pedestrian-friendly," he added.  

As a first step, police banned parking on  Wednesday. Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar had issued a notification to this effect on March 6.  

The notification, a copy of which is with DH, states: "After the stretch from Brigade Road to St Mark's Road has been renovated under the TenderSURE project, Church Street has become narrow and there are commercial complexes, hotels, bars and restaurants where many pedestrians use the stretch. Hence, to give priority for pavement users, parking will be prohibited on both sides of the stretch (sic)."  

The move, however, hasn't gone down well with the BBMP or motorists. They demanded why did the civic agency build parking bays if parking was going to be banned.  Mayor R Sampath Raj indicated the traffic police had taken the decision unilaterally. He said he would call a meeting with the additional commissioner of police (traffic) on Friday to know why the parking bays were off-limits to vehicles.  

Hithendra argued that parking bays are meant for the vehicles of local shopkeepers who stay from morning until evening. "A motorist who comes to the street for an hour can't use them," he added.  

The ban on parking has led to confusion among people.  

Pushpal Vasani, a motorist, said:  "I don't understand why the parking bays were closed all of a sudden. If the authorities  didn't intend to allow  parking on Church Street, why did they construct the parking bays?"

Another motorist said the confusion showed a lack of coordination between the BBMP and the traffic police. "Had the need  for parking bays been planned well, there would have been no  confusion. This rule clearly shows  a lack of planning by the authorities," said Aalim Khan.

Pallavi K welcomed the ban on parking but urged the police to keep the street off-limits to vehicles. "I can see during evenings that most motorists drive rashly, endangering pedestrians," she said.