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Autorickshaw lane: boon or bane?

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Callous: It is common to find autorickshaws ignoring the lane earmarked for them in Bangalore.
Callous: It is common to find autorickshaws ignoring the lane earmarked for them in Bangalore.

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Have the exclusive auto lanes managed to instil some discipline in the traffic as was hoped? Not quite, if we were to judge by the traffic and the callous attitude of motorists towards the exclusive lane earmarked for autorickshaws.

The city police have created separate lanes for autorickshaws on either side of Queens’ Road (from Cubbon Road junction to Mahatma Gandhi statue) and again from Tiffanys Circle to the Corporation, not to mention St. Mark’s Road.

While there are autos that blithely speed along on the main road ignoring the lane, drivers of two-wheelers and cars, on the other hand, can be seen zooming through the lane at breakneck speed, little realising that the lane is not meant for them. The police also seem to turn a blind eye to the violations, leaving the law-abiding motorist infuriated with both the police and the errant drivers.

What of pedestrians? The safety of pedestrians, as always, seems to have been overlooked.

The exclusive lane can become virtual death trap for them. Morning walkers in Cubbon Park say that if they were earlier wary of stray dogs in the vicinity, now their new worry is the vehicles zooming along this lane will put their life at risk.

Several visitors to Cubbon Park and regular walkers testify to the dangers of such lanes. They point out that as the lane is bricked from one side, motorists speed along without caring for the safety of others on the roads. They say that they are not against any innovation or measure to smoothen the traffic flow. All they want is adequate regulation to control the speed freaks. Till then, they say, they will have their heart in their mouth when crossing the exclusive lane.

They only hope that the police now do not go on an overdrive marking such unmonitored lanes on all major roads, leaving pedestrians and motorists at the mercy of rash drivers.

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