Not only has the recently opened Eastern Freeway made the commute between eastern suburbs and south Mumbai smoother, according to the traffic police, it has also decongested major roads along its route.
The Mumbai traffic police said some of the major roads — Dr Ambedkar road, P D’Mello road and the Eastern Express Highway (EEH) — saw 20 to 30% less traffic on Monday due to the freeway.
Brijesh Singh, additional police commissioner (traffic), said: “We have started carrying out traffic studies on the freeway. We have found that about 30% of vehicular traffic on Dr Ambedkar road and P D’Mello road has been diverted on the freeway. However, it will take us another 15 days to find out the actual share of vehicular traffic reduced on these roads due to the freeway.”
Sources in the traffic department said heavy rains during the past few days could also be a reason for less traffic on these roads on Monday.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has also initiated a study to determine the traffic count on the freeway.
MMRDA commissioner UPS Madan said: “We are going to count the number of vehicles taking the freeway for a week. Special equipment will be used for the study.”
MMRDA sources said the authority may take the help of the traffic police for the study.
Transport expert Ashok Datar said: “We transport experts have started monitoring traffic on the freeway and other major roads. The actual impact of the freeway will be seen only after a week.”
On the flip side, although vehicles run smoothly on the freeway, they can be seen bottlenecked at Orange Gate and Panjarpol Square where the freeway opens. To reduce traffic congestion at Orange Gate, the traffic police have decided to ban parking on the stretch of P D’Mello road from Orange Gate to Carnac Bunder.