Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Potholes and traffic jams

Potholes and traffic jams

M.T. Shivakumar and Deepika Arwind
BANGALORE: Often road maintenance and safe traffic go hand-in-hand. Ask any regular on Mysore Road and they will tell you this arterial road is a crucial example of what not to do to a road. This road, intended to ensure an easy and safe commute for citizens, is now an ordeal for users, its condition worsening with the incessant rain.

Just between the Sirsi Circle flyover and the Kimco Junction, you can count over 260 potholes. For a road that hosts about six lakh — and growing — vehicles every day, potholes are a serious impediment to safety.

“At peak hours, negotiating the road is impossible,” says Suresh D’Costa, who is a daily commuter. “If there is rain, then one can be sure to be stuck in traffic for a minimum of one hour.”

Traffic police, however, have their own take on the situation. “Haphazardly installed road humps have been removed, signboards have been installed, zebra crossings, blinkers and other indication marks have been provided across the road. Road dividers and reflectors have been put up to ease things,” says a police official from the Chamarajpet traffic police station.

So what? argue road users. All this has reduced neither the traffic problems nor accidents.

Tumkur Road
Similarly on Tumkur Road, there has been an onslaught of serious traffic-related problems for over two years now.

Several stretches of the road have deteriorated drastically, especially during the rain.

Some of the most frequent and problematic gridlocks on this road occur on the stretch between Yeshwantpur and the Parle factory, in and around the Jalahalli Cross, Jindal factory, Madanayakanahalli, Kirloskar Hospital, near the Himalaya Drug Company, near Makali bus stop, and Kunigal Road Junction.

Old Madras Road
On roads such as Old Madras Road, the increasing traffic and deteriorating road maintenance have led to dire situations day after day especially through the rainy month of September. Between the peak hours of 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., the road continuously hosts traffic jams.

A city police official says that for the past two years no measures have been taken to improve the road.

Moving towards Ulsoor, traffic problems have soared to an all-time high. In and around the Namma Metro barricades, the conditions of the road are pitiable with large craters, and unexpected mud heaps.

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