There are days when it takes Vijayan Menon about 20 minutes to travel from his house in Koramangala 4th Block to the water tank junction which is about half a kilometre away. A resident of the area for 25 years, he has seen Koramangala transform from a quiet area to one notorious for traffic gridlocks.

Quoting a study carried out by the Koramanagala Resident Welfare Association, Mr. Menon says about 50 per cent of traffic in Koramangala comprises of motorists cutting through the area to reach other destinations.

“A lot of the traffic that passes through Koramanagala is from various points of Sarjapur Road, Hosur Road, NIMHANS, Indiranagar and so on. As Koramangala is bang in the centre of the freeways, it becomes congested. The parking of cars and autorickshaws in junctions also lead to traffic hurdles,” he says, adding that a large part of the traffic comprises IT employees travelling towards or from Electronics City and different points of Hosur Road.

Shops and eateries

This apart, rapid commercialisation, which has meant shops and eateries springing up across the locality, has made Koramangala a popular attraction especially for the youth. Forum Mall was one of the earliest malls in the city and continues to draw large crowds. Some of the worst gridlocks occur at Ejipura signal, Sony World signal, UCO Bank signal near Forum Mall, Water Tank signal and the signal near Infant Jesus Church just before Ejipura, say residents.

Dr. Radhakrishnan, a resident of Koramanagala 3rd block and a member of the Koramangala RWA, says at peak hours it is not just main roads that are choked, but even internal residential roads get choked with motorists trying to avoid traffic.

“Since it takes me a minimum of one hour to commute between my home and the Manipal Hospital, I leave early just to beat the traffic,” he says.

Some harried commuters complained that traffic signals at peak hours are regularly switched off and monitored manually. But, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic-East), Rajendra Prasad, said such measures are necessary to regulate traffic. “It is necessary to avoid piling up of traffic at certain junctions when the volume of traffic is high.”

He said proposals to ease congestion include a skywalk near St. John’s Hospital and a round-about junction on Sarjapur Road. However, Mr. Prasad said these have to be tried on a trial basis first.

Residents’ projects

The Residents’ Welfare Association is also working with the Bangalore Development Authority and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike on two projects to arrive at a long-term solution to the traffic problem. One is an elevated road project from Ejipura signal to Kendriya Sadan and the other a flyover that will facilitate commuters to travel from the Water Tank junction to Sarjapur Road. While tendering process is to begin for the first project, the second is still in the planning stage.

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