Private cars add to traffic mess on Mumbai’s roads

  • Sanjana Bhalerao, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 20, 2015 22:31 IST

You are at a busy junction, your car is moving at snail’s pace, horns are blaring, auto drivers are trying to snake through the traffic and a hassled traffic policeman is whistling and frantically waving his hand to direct the vehicles.

While sitting in your car you may blame others for the mess, a mobility plan by BMC shows that private vehicles are one of the main causes for parking problems and traffic at junctions and intersections of major arterial roads.

The study shows a major rise in private vehicles and a drop in BEST buses, one of the major public transport providers. Cars and two-wheelers entering in the city have increased by 8.4% and 6.5% respectively in the past seven years.

And despite this, a parking policy aimed to discourage private vehicles has been in a limbo for the past three months.

The parking policy was stayed by the state government earlier this year following protests from residents of the island city. However, it is areas like Cuffe Parade, Churchgate, Fort, Marine Lines that have the highest number of private vehicles in the city, the study found.

In the island city, the share of private vehicles causing traffic is in the range of 48% to 66%, the highest compared to the eastern and western suburbs.

And it is not just private cars. Obstruction caused by illegally parked vehicles, autorickshaws standing near intersections for passengers, bus stops and hawkers close to junctions are also responsible for traffic congestion near junctions, the study said.

The heaviest traffic has been observed at the Sion-Bandra Link Road and the Bandra-Kurla Complex main road.

Fifty junctions were studied under the mobility plan. To understand the extent of traffic congestion, the civic body also conducted a journey speed analysis. Poor condition of roads adds to the traffic woes of citizens, the study said.

The results of the mobility plan will be fed into a software for better transport management.

“This is the second report submitted by the consultants and it will take another four months before we start implementing the suggestions in the city,” said SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner in-charge of roads department.

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