Tuesday, March 30, 2010

City mall-functions, traffic hit

City mall-functions, traffic hit

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With a new mall coming up in Malleswaram and nine others in the pipeline, the need for effective traffic management has once again taken centre-stage.
Experts say not enough thought is given to the location of malls which has added to the congestion in busy areas, report Sanchita Sen and Akanksha Mehrotra Skywalks and subways are needed for pedestrians at nearly 100 to 200 places in the city. But civic authorities have to take a decision on the issue and implement it.

PRAVIN SOOD Additional commissioner of police for traffic Proper bus bays should be constructed in and around these areas as buses sometimes stop at odd places causing traffic snarls.

M.N. SRIHARI, Traffic advisor to the state government and member of ABIDe Nowadays I hate going to malls because of the traffic congestion. In most malls parking space is not available on weekends. One has to drive for around 2 km looking for parking space. The authorities should address these issues first.

SHARANYA SHEKAR software engineer

Glitzy malls with their glass facades have now become a barometer of a city’s progress.
Visitors to Bengaluru are often awed by the number of malls the city has and hardly ever miss going to them, enjoying the shopping experience they provide, their entertainment arcades and an evening at the movies should they want one. But the glam and glitz of the malls come at a price. The traffic on the roads around them is often chaotic as cars queue up to enter the malls in areas that are not equipped to handle such a rush of people all at once. Also, not all malls provide adequate parking space for shoppers, forcing many to park their cars or bikes on the roadsides and worsening traffic conditions on Bengaluru’s narrow roads.

“City planners have not given enough thought to the location of malls, which have been allowed to come up in crowded localities. They are adding to the traffic congestion in these areas as a result.

How can the BBMP allow malls spread over 10,000 sq feet to come up on an 80-ft wide road?” asks an angry resident of Rajajinagar.

Prof. M N Srihari, traffic advisor to the government and member of the Agenda for Bangalore Infrastructure Development

(ABIDe), too feels that not enough thought is given to parking of vehicles and wide driveways when a mall is under construction, with the developers being more keen on using up as much space as possible for their commercial ends.
“Malls must be inspected while under construction to see if they are following the necessary guidelines on providing parking space. If they are not , they can be pulled up and instructed to do the needful. It is essential that officials of the BBMP and traffic department inspect the malls while they are under construction to check for the width of their driveways, parking space and pedestrian convenience,” he says.

But the importance of managing the traffic around them has not been lost on all malls. Some do realise that if there are traffic hold-ups on the roads in their vicinity as a result of bad planning, people could be discouraged from visiting them, leading to a dip in their business. “We try to ensure that there are no traffic hassles around the mall. At times the traffic police asks us to deploy our own staff to manage the pedestrian traffic heading for our shops and restaurants and we readily do so,” says Major Rajiv Kembhavi, corporate head, crisis handling, Forum Mall.


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