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Mumbai choked: Bandra’s Linking Road leads you to traffic chaos

Mumbai city news: Hawkers rule footpaths, shoppers spill onto roads packed with autorickshaws and cars

mumbai Updated: Jul 14, 2017 10:29 IST
Farhan Shaikh
(Satish Bate/HT Photo)

If you want to find shops that sell clothes, bags and shoes cheap, go to Bandra’s Linking Road. If you want spend hours stuck in a jam, go to Bandra’s Linking Road.

Linking Road is a shopper’s paradise and a motorist’s nightmare. Here, hawkers rule the footpaths, while pedestrians spill on to roads crowded by autorickshaw drivers and vehicles parked in no-parking zones.

Experts said the stretch from the junction at National College towards the KFC restaurant junction sees the worst snarls, as it has the most number of hawkers.

The problem begins outside the National college junction, where vehicles turning towards Waterfield Road cause traffic to slow down.

The congestion builds up on both these roads.

While there are two outlets for vehicles to disperse, it still isn’t enough to cater to the large number of cars and autorickshaws flocking the area every day.

READ: The constant fight for space at Bandra’s un-Lucky junction

The flow of traffic is further slowed down by shoppers who stop their vehicles in the middle of the road to alight.

Most of them also end up parking their vehicles near street shops, sometimes blocking an entire lane. This reduces the space for vehicles.

A traffic police constable said, “With little space, drivers start breaking lane discipline and try to overtake each other and blocking the roads.”

HT found cars parked right under no-parking zones on the stretch towards Khar.

So, even while the roads are in good condition, traffic movement is slow.

READ: Chaos rules SV Road in Andheri, thanks to hawkers, potholes and no space for pedestrians

Experts also pointed out that for a stretch with so much pedestrian activity, little has been done to ensure their

safety. There are no designated spaces for pedestrians to cross at any of the junctions.

What could clear the mess? Transport expert Ashok Datar told HT making Linking Road and SV Road one-ways could help.

“The two roads are close to each other. If Linking Road allows only northbound traffic, and SV Road, southbound traffic, it could reduce the load on the road,” he said.

“Authorities also have to think of improving pedestrian facilities and providing more public transport so that fewer people use their vehicles,” Datar said.