The random halting of government and private buses at blind curves and unauthorised stops has been obstructing vehicular movement adding to the already chaotic and dangerous traffic scenario in the city.
Though there are designated bus stops on roads maintained by the local bodies and the Public Works Department (PWD), none of the government or private buses halt at such locations. The traffic snarls caused by such buses are a nightmare, say, residents, who have to deal with this every day.
Most of such unauthorised stops are at blind curves. However, unmindful of the risks involved to road users, stakeholders including the Traffic police and the Transport authorities have failed to act tough against such unauthorised stoppages.
“This trend of stopping midway on the roads at blind curves or near traffic signals to drop and pick up passengers is more rampant at junctions including the Ajantha junction, Indira Gandhi square, and Rajiv Gandhi square. Most of the traffic jams occur due to the complete disregard for other road users by private buses.
For instance, buses halt on the middle of the road at the Lawspet-Uzhavar sandhai junction causing massive traffic jams. Though there is a designated bus stop a little further, it is barely used. The authorities should penalise drivers for unauthorised stoppages,” says V. Chandrasekhar, president of Bangaru Vaickal Neeradhara Koottamaippu, a water rights advocacy collective.
“The intersection of 45-feet Road and Kamaraj Salai sees buses stop in the middle of the road to allow passengers to board and alight from them. With the road already narrow and choked, the motorists behind are just forced to halt till the buses move.
Passengers who travel by buses also face a harrowing time as most of these buses do not halt at the designated stops, forcing the passengers to run for a distance to catch the bus,” said P. Ajay, a resident of Kamaraj Nagar.
An official admitted that random stoppage of buses on the middle of the road proved to be the major cause of traffic snarls at a number of places in the city. The existing bus stops were notified some 15 years ago.
Bus stops at several places need to be relocated he said, adding that the Transport Department had identified about 400 bus stops across the Union Territory based on the traffic flow and available space. The new stops will be notified and enforced by the authorities.
The official added that a coordinated approach involving all stakeholders was also required to address the problem to ensure that the roads are free of traffic bottlenecks.