Saturday, August 07, 2010

Mean medians: City on road to danger

Mean medians: City on road to danger
Bengaluru,


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Bengaluru may be known as India’s tech capital, but when it comes to road safety authorities don’t seem to care. Unscien- tific road medi- ans, absence of reflectors, and poor visibility at night has resulted in near death experi- ences for many motorists.

While the civic authorities pass the buck to each other, citi- zens live life dangerously, reports Amit S.

Upadhye

Road safety audits must be made mandatory for all roads under construction in the city. This will help minimise accidents and ensure safety of commuters.
Ashish Verma, assistant professor, IISc By next week BBMP will take up median work in Ashok Nagar and Cubbon Park traffic limits. Medians between Metro pillars on MG Road will also come up soon.

Senior Traffic Officer Most medians in the city are not pedestrian-friendly and the police must make sure that there are enough gaps for pedestrians to cross the road.

H.S. Sudhira, urban planner

As if potholes on the roads are not bad enough, motorists and bikers often have a near death experience with broken medians that lie strewn across them in some areas.
And no one, least of all BBMP, seems to care.

On an average, one car in two days climbs up the median on Hosur Road in the absence of reflectors.

But this is only one of the city’s many death traps.

Stone slabs used for the medians are placed helterskelter on several roads after two-wheeler riders have moved them out of the way to get across them easier.

The slabs are left by the side of the median waiting for an unsuspecting motorist to climb over them, particularly in fast moving traffic late in the evenings. The situation gets only riskier in poor visibility during the monsoon, when the city gets its share of heavy rain.

Medians with grills are equally a hazard on some roads as the grills are left protruding after the median has been hit accidentally by commuters. You only need to go past Nimhans and the ITC Gardenia hotel to see for yourself how dangerous this can be as the roads here are lined with neglected medians, that neither the police nor BBMP have bothered to repair.

Says R.K. Mishra, an urban planner: “Pedestrians

often cross the medians that are not designed scientifically on some roads, risking their lives and hampering traffic. We must have medians which discourage pedestrians from doing this. The higher the median the better as people cannot jump over it," he says. Thankfully some roads in the city -Race Course Road and some on its outskirts -are now switching to international standard medians that are much safer, but even this does not seem to always help as people still manage to cross them and disrupt traffic. Urban planner Mahesh Kumar firmly places the responsibility of maintaining medians on both BBMP and the traffic police.
"The slabs which are removed by motorists must be replaced immediately so that traffic is not affected.
Commuters who are responsible must be penalised to stop them from causing a nuisance on the roads," he adds.

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