Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pedestrian woes - Magic box signals chaos

Pedestrian woes - Magic box signals chaos

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One of the busiest junctions of the city, KR Circle is having to do without traffic signals ever since the BBMP began work on building a magic box underpass here. In the resulting traffic chaos it is the pedestrians who are suffering the most.
KR Circle sees heavy traffic as vehicles going to Majestic, Vidhana Soudha and the Corporation use it frequently.

Government employees, lawyers and litigants all converge on the circle on their way to the multi-storied building, the high court and city civil courts, while holidaymakers and those bound for Lavelle road use it to get to Cubbon Park and Bal Bhavan.

Hanumappa D. Goward, a traffic policeman says the circle sees constantly heavy traffic between 8.30 am to 10pm. “Compared to other junctions in the city, traffic defies control here. As the roads are goods, drivers like to speed which makes things even more difficult ,” he says.

As traffic has been chaotic here since the work on the Rs 2.5 crore magic box underpass began, pedestrians have their hearts in their mouths every time they try to cross the road in the vicinity of the the circle. To their misfortune there is almost no let-up in traffic at any point during the day as vehicles from the Majestic are allowed to take a free left turn in front of the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE) and vehicles from Vidhana Soudha and the high court are allowed to take a free left to Corporation circle. In the absence of speed breakers and zebra crossings, pedestrians have to necessarily snatch an almost never arriving interval in the traffic flow to cross the road.

Many blame BBMP and traffic police for the situation. Says senior citizen Harish Alva,“As most of the government offices and courts are located around K R circle this sort of indifference to the situation here is unpardonable. It is unfortunate that both BBMP and traffic police did nothing for the convenience of pedestrians before starting the underpass work. Every day hundreds of senior citizens and handicapped persons come here to get their work done and have to depend on others to cross the road.” Unfortunately the three or four traffic constables present at the circle seem indifferent to the plight of pedestrians, and don’t bother to stop the oncoming traffic to help them get across the roads.

Complains Sneha Hebbar, a visually handicapped employee with a hotel near the circle, “Till we approach them, cops do nothing. It’s difficult to find them as they are not stationed at one particular spot.” But the traffic policemen claim they are trying their best to ensure smooth flow of traffic at the circle. “It is natural for development work to cause inconvenience sometimes. People have to just put up with it,” they say.


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