Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Traffic snarls worsen

Traffic snarls worsen
Bangalore, Dec 14, DHNS:

Chaos that prevailed on the Richmond Circle flyover following the removal of the much maligned signal, spread to the intersection beneath it on Monday when a new driving pattern became operational.


As a result of the widespread confusion over the weekend, much of the traffic that originally flowed over the flyover was redirected to the intersection beneath it. This attempt to bring about order triggered fresh problems, as the flyover, intended originally for one-way traffic has been divided in order to allow traffic flow in both directions. Consequently, the narrower traffic paths on either side of the divider can accommodate two-wheelers, but traffic flow becomes problematic when large vehicles try to pass each other.

No clear demarcation

It is not a smooth sailing beneath the flyover either, as traffic from Langford Road which used to flow through the flyover to enter Mission Road, is now forced to cross the already congested Double Road as a result of the redirection. The increase in traffic over this stretch of road is causing gridlock as there are no clearly marked lanes.

Autorickshaw driver Manjunath, a regular on this stretch of road, said the new system had led to confusion. “Added to traffic woes, people are confused about which way they can go, and they are all asking for directions. That results in further hold-ups.”

“This section has always been slow and congested, but now the waiting time between signals is ridiculous,” Dev, a commuter said. If life for motorists became more difficult, it was worse for pedestrians. “It’s impossible to cross until the police gives the signal to stop,” said Kumar, a pedestrian. “Even when the signal is given, there are so many vehicles that it makes me nervous to try and reach the other side of the road.”

Several other pedestrians remained stranded for several minutes on islands between oncoming vehicles. “There is some increased traffic and confusion, but that is normal when implementing a new driving pattern. It will ease within a few days,” a police constable directing traffic on K H Double Road said.

How the situation will ease is unclear as there is no provision to redirect this increased diagonal flow of traffic elsewhere and no immediate plans to widen this section of road. Manual regulation of the increased flow of traffic by traffic police men appears to be inevitable.

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