The 5.5-km Netaji Subhash Marg, with Subhash Chowk and Huda City Centre Metro station at its two ends, is the never centre of the millennium city. The six-lane road leads to some important commercial centres and hospitals such as Unitech Cyber Park and Medanta- The Medicity, before joining the Sohna Road.
Unitech Business Park, HSBC bank, Unitech Cyber Park, Vivanta- By Taj, Sikshantar School, Greenwoods Plaza and Airport apartment are some of the other landmarks on the road.
When this road clogs, Gurgaon comes to a standstill.
At Huda City Centre Z-Chowk, vehicles are stuck up to half an hour at the signal. A huge volume of cars from Unitech Cyber Park is a major reason for the snarl at this junction.
Also, since the crossing is wide, unscientific timing of the traffic signal turns it into a bottleneck.
The haphazard parking of autorickshaws around the Metro station also hinder vehicular flow. Despite a designated lane for parking and regular drives to fine offenders, the auto drivers tend to use most of the road space. “We have tried to control the auto drivers but they are soon back on the roads. People also need to cooperate but they seem to like the mess. Despite a prepaid auto booth outside the Metro station, commuters board autorickshaws that are parked on the road. This is despite knowing that prepaid autos are safer and cost lesser,” said Bharti Arora, joint commissioner of police (traffic), Gurgaon.
Move down further and the service lanes of Netaji Subhash Marg are choked with traffic, especially near the HSBC Bank, Raj Restaurant and the Sector 44-45 intersection.
This is again due to illegal parking and cars plying on the service lanes to avoid the traffic on the main road.
Near Unitech Cyber Park, cabs are parked on the main road and service lanes all day. According to traffic police estimates, about 10,000- 12,000 vehicles leave the office complex every evening.
“One can always find cabs parked at the main entry of Unitech Cyber Park and along the main road. This is the primary reason for the jams in front of the office complex. In the evening, the problem worsens and there are no police personnel to manage the traffic,” said Sunil Sukhija, road safety officer ( RSO) and president of the Greenwood City (H Block) residents’ welfare association ( RWA). He suggests that traffic signals need to be installed at intersections on this road for smooth traffic flow.
Road safety expert Binoy Mascarenhas of Embarq- India says there is lack of proper pedestrian refuge areas on the medians of this road.
Other problems include unnecessarily large junction islands, long slip lanes, missing stretches of footpaths, unmarked cycle tracks and no crossover facilities.
Based on the hourly volume of vehicles, traffic experts recommend that traffic barricades should be installed during non-peak hours to slow down vehicles.
“In order to control speed, traffic calming elements should be introduced. Also, pedestrian refuge on the median need to be created as designated pedestrian crossing zones,” Mascarenhas’ stated in his report.
The prescribed speed limit on Netaji Subhash Marg is 50kmph. However, the survey team observed that the average speed at each location is over 60kmph, which could lead to accidents.
Controlling speed at intersections is another important measure that needs to be adopted on priority.
This can be done by narrowing the lanes near intersections or constructing wider medians and footpaths so that the drivers know that there is an intersection ahead.
Another way to reduce speed is to reduce the width of the road and increase space for pedestrians and slow- moving vehicles such as bikes and cycle rickshaws.
This will not require to reduce the number of lanes but, only the width of each lane. This will help control speed and increase road capacity by accommodating pedestrians and slowmoving vehicles. This will also help decrease the number of accidents caused by mixing of traffic.
Further, near Subhash Chowk, vehicles move in different directions. The junction needs a traffic signal to control the large traffic volume.
Experts also said that the traffic police need to clear one bottleneck at a time to ensure all issues on Netaji Subhash Marg are resolved. The Haryana Urban Development Authority ( Huda) can work on road engineering.