Mumbai choked: Poor traffic management turns Bandra’s Hill road into hell road
Mumbai city news: Like so many areas in Mumbai, it’s another story of too little space, too many people and crumbling infrastructure.mumbai Updated: Jul 05, 2017 09:30 IST
Clothes, food and fashion — Hill Road is Bandra’s most happening street. Or is it?
Hundreds of shoppers and the cars and autorickshaws that drop them there are all packed into one narrow road that doesn’t even have a concrete divider.
Like so many areas in Mumbai, it’s another story of too little space, too many people and crumbling infrastructure.
Let’s start with the road itself. The two lanes from Lucky junction towards St Andrews Church has concrete roads on one side, paver blocks on the other.
While the entire stretch is not a slow-moving traffic spot, two areas – outside the Marks and Spencer store and near St. Andrews church – are constantly jammed.
Then, the problem of parking. While the whole stretch is a no-parking zone, motorists still park cars outside restaurant and shops — or worse, stop in the middle of the road for shoppers to alight.
This reporter saw a traffic constable taking photographs of illegally parked cars with his e-challan device. Spotting the constable, drivers run towards their cars and move it before the constable can take a photo. “That’s all it takes and that’s all I need,” the constable told HT.
Hill Road has little space for pedestrians. As footpaths are occupied by hawkers, pedestrians walk on roads, leisurely, as they window-shop. They up most of the road, slowing down the traffic on the stretch. There is a pedestrian crossing, but it is not marked clearly.
But the worst of the problems identified was a huge gap in the concrete divider on this stretch (see pic).
In the last week of June, the traffic division closed the gap with yellow plastic barricades. While this stopped vehicles from turning at wrong spots, it did not stop bikers, hawkers and pedestrians from moving sections of the barricades to cross the road.
Better facilities for pedestrians and shoppers would solve a large part of the problem, said experts.