Bengaluru

Bengaluru's traffic jams leave a bitter taste

Life in the slow lane: Traffic piling up at Hebbal Junction on Bellary Road in Bengaluru on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

Motorists, pedestrians and even the traffic police have come to dread major junctions in the city that have become infamous over the years.

The Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) have identified some of the worst traffic black spots, which include Tin Factory Junction, Hoodi Main Road, Silk Board Junction, St. John’s Junction, Hebbal Circle, and Kengeri Bus Stand Junction.

These are just a few of over 25 traffic-heavy junctions, said senior police officials who feel that the situation is going from bad to worse. Poor traffic management, bad condition of roads, lack of pedestrian facilities, failure on the part of motorists to follow rules, construction work by various agencies, and haphazard parking contribute to the problem.

Traffic and transport expert M.N. Sreehari said that though the city aspires to international standards, road infrastructure remains poor.

“It is unfortunate that though we pay vehicle and road taxes, the government does not provide with good roads. This is the biggest problem,” he said.

K.V. Jagadeesh, DCP, Traffic (East), said that BTP was working day in and day out to regulate and manage traffic in the city.

“We are coming up with various innovative ideas to tackle the problem. Artificial Intelligence will be used to study the traffic densities at signals. All this will be based on data analytics and we hope it will provide some relief motorists.”

K.V. Jagadeesh, DCP, Traffic (East), says BTP is working day in and day out to manage traffic in the city

K.V. Jagadeesh, DCP, Traffic (East), says BTP is working day in and day out to manage traffic in the city   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

 

The police were planning to install cameras with AI technology which will record and provide data on vehicular movement, time of day.

The data will help regulate and mitigate traffic and human intervention. “A clever blend of both human involvement, technological intervention can solve many of the problems huge and fast growing cities like Bengaluru are facing,” he added.

VVIP alert at Sankey Road

Sankey Road and Palace Road junctions pose a different problem: they are connected to important government installations like the Vidhana Soudha, the Vikasa Soudha, and the Raj Bhavan. “There always is VVIP movement affecting traffic with no specific time,” said a motorist.

The police, pedestrians and motorists pointed out that the junction near a private school in the area is unmanageable in the morning at around 8 a.m. and again at around 2.30 p.m. “Though the traffic police have instructed vans and rickshaws not to park for more than 5 to 10 minutes, no one follows it,” said a traffic constable.

Shiva Prasad, a software engineer, said that traffic congestion on Sankey road was more towards the city in day time and more towards the Hebbal and Ballari road in the evenings.

At Hebbal Circle, which sees the intersection of several roads including Outer Ring Road (ORR) towards Tin Factory and Silk Board, the problems are plenty. Apart from a few bad stretches of roads, there are no pavements and proper bus stands. “Absence of bus stands and pedestrian way causes traffic congestion. It is very dangerous as well,” said a BMTC bus driver.

Thousands of people can be found on the main roads at various points waiting for the buses. “As citizens, we feel neglected when the system is completely broken down. If we don’t even have a proper bus stand and foot path, why should we pay taxes,” questioned Tarini Chandra, a student.

School chaos at CBD

Several junctions in Central business district, like Mayo Hall and Vellara Junction, face traffic jams on account of the school vans and autos that come to drop or pick up children. “There are around 10 to 15 schools and college in the CBD. Vehicles are parked for hours on the roads,” a traffic cop said.

Lack of parking space available within schools has been a major problem. This has led to traffic jams in the morning and in the afternoon, along with the usual evening peak hour traffic. This is the case especially on Residency Road leading to Mayo Hall junction, Richmond Road, St. Marks Road, Vittal Mallya Road etc.

Ways to IT hub turn worse

Silk Board and St. John’s junctions, the gateways to the IT hub of the city, have gone from bad to worse. The two junction see massive movement of vehicles every day from the city and also from other parts of the State as they connect Bengaluru to border States.

“It is high time one creates a dedicated lane for public transport. It will ensure fast movement of buses and ease traffic,” said Jayaprakesh a BMTC bus driver.

Road work and metro construction has made it a nightmare for citizens.

“Agencies dig the roads and do not bother to restore them. This is extremely dangerous for everyone, and the number of accidents have risen,” said a traffic constable near St. John’s Junction.

Others point to slow metro construction work, which results in bottlenecks from Jayadeva to BTM Layout and Silk Board.

(With inputs from Vinay B.S. and Pranav Kumar)

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2020 11:42:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/bengaluru-jams-leave-a-bitter-taste/article29512709.ece

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