Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sky walk can cut congestion in front of school

Sky walk can cut congestion in front of school

As about 400 students cross the path and drivers fight for parking space, traffic builds up on Hennur Main Road

Amy Elizabeth Abraham. Bangalore



Lack of parking spaces at St Charles High School is causing traffic chaos twice daily on Hennur Main Road as vehicles block the way to drop off and pick up students.
Frustration mounts for motorists as schoolchildren dart across the road to meet their parents and autos and vans crowd in front of the school to deliver or collect children. The school is located at the starting point of the Lingarajpuram flyover which connects the East railway station, Frazer Town, Cox Town, and Kammanahalli to Lingarajpuram.
"I've to halt my vehicle at least 15 times on this road near the school. The traffic build-up is frustrating," said a regular commuter Vasudeva Murthy.
According to Sister Presilla, principal of the school, at least 400 students cross the road during morning and evening hours. The traffic police do not always help the children to cross the road safely. The security guard of the school can't handle the job alone.
"The school management had sent several complaints to the BBMP regarding the risk our students are facing. We also proposed the construction of a skywalk as a safe passage for our students. But the authorities have not taken any steps so far," she said.
Although a pedestrian traffic signal has been installed on the pavement, it is not functioning. There are no speed breakers too in front of the school to slow the traffic and make the crossing easier for students.
"Traffic maintenance is difficult as the road is narrow and the number of commuters using it is quite high," said traffic police inspector Geetha who is in charge of the area.
She said the traffic chaos can be resolved by widening the road and constructing a skywalk near the school.
Although the school authorities can only look after children within their compound and traffic outside is beyond their control, they can provide at least adequate parking space inside the school premises for cars, vans and autorickshaws carrying the students. Or else, the civic authorities can set a drop-off and pick-up zone near the school.
Ganesh Kumar, a parent, said he parks his vehicle inside the community ground opposite the school to avoid the traffic congestion. But he has to wait for at least 10 to 15 minutes to cross the road as auto and van drivers stand in a long line to pick up students and even quarrel over parking space with their 'me-first' attitude.
Police say they will make schools zones in the heart of the city free of congestion. They are going to act tough with parents and others who park their vehicles in front of schools blocking traffic.

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