People's needs get priority

THE CITY police have discovered the merits of finding out what the public want before coming out with drastic changes in road traffic regulations. Recent incidents of public protest such as the closure of shops for a day in Thippasandra over the one-way restrictions there appear to have struck home.

The most recent example is that of the proposed changes in traffic regulations in Ulsoor, Indiranagar, HAL, Dhoopnahalli, and surrounding areas. The city police and the Bangalore Agenda Task Force made a presentation to the citizens about the proposed changes on Wednesday. Despite poor acoustics and some resultant protests, the police seemed to have understood what the residents of these areas wanted.

Some of the changes suggested are necessary and most citizens may welcome them. For example, making Saibaba Mandir Road in Cambridge Layout one-way on Thursdays alone will help thousands of worshippers crowding the place. An alternative route has been provided for vehicles on the parallel Someshwarapura 1st Main Road. For the residents of Indiranagar, some of the new rules on CMH Road and Double Road may not pose any serious difficulty. Parking is to be regulated on both roads with separate provision made for two-wheelers. In Ulsoor, parking space on Old Madras Road is to be shifted and the mini lorry stand in Murphy Town shifted to provide parking for two-wheelers. This is bound to help in the long run.

Less welcome may be the move to make certain long stretches of Old Madras Road one-way. The road is wide enough to handle two-way traffic, many people feel. Ulsoor Bazar Street is now mostly a one-way road and further restrictions can pose difficulties to the devotees visiting the Someshwara Temple. Perhaps, the police will make alternative arrangements during festivals. The temple is several centuries old.

Restricting parking on Indiranagar 100-foot Road seems to be a carefully planned exercise at first glance, but this road is rather long and the needs of the local businesses as also that of the employees of the many IT firms which have come up in this area have to be taken into account.

The city police, who often come in for vociferous criticism, appear to have done their homework fairly well this time. The Police Commissioner, S. Mariswamy, has gone on record saying that any modifications required in the traffic regulations will be considered, taking note of what the citizens want.