Unclog Mumbai: Do masters in better administration

  • Sanjana Bhalerao, Mumbai
  • Updated: Dec 11, 2015 00:31 IST
The first step could be deploying a traffic constable outside the station to discipline autorickshaw drivers and curb haphazard parking on roads. (Satish Bate/HT photo)

Unruly motorists, reckless autorickshaw drivers, congested station roads and buses – the problems at Borivli station are no different from any other station. But there is one factor which makes it a tad better. While most stations will have to work on developing the infrastructure, in case of Borivli, all we need is to put the infrastructure that is already in place to use by getting multiple authorities to manage and coordinate the area better, say experts.

Read more: Unclog Mumbai: No theory to this chaos at Borivli station

According to experts, there should be no traffic congestion in an area that boasts of five foot overbridges, two subways, one skywalk and a spacious entrance, apart from an autorickshaw stand.

The first step could be deploying a traffic constable outside the station to discipline autorickshaw drivers and curb haphazard parking on roads. Along with unruly autorickshaw and bus drivers, pedestrians and motorists should also be made aware of traffic rules and be encouraged to use the available pedestrian infrastructure such as subways and skywalks.

“If the authorities maintain the existing pedestrian infrastructure such as subways and skywalks well, commuters will use it, thus reducing pedestrian traffic on the station road,” said Rishi Aggarwal, transport expert.

The authorities could also connect the skywalk to all five FOBs. Currently, only one FOB is connected to the skywalk, and so is hardly used by commuters.

The east side, which is less crowded compared to the west, is also battling BEST buses parked in the middle of the road, roads with varying width, unruly drivers and footpaths in bad condition. If measures are not taken in time, the area might soon resemble the chaotic west, claim experts.

“Roads on the east are in a better condition and are spacious too. There are four lanes, so if we segregate them as one or two for autorickshaws and the other for AC buses, the traffic snarls could be reduced considerably. There should be zero tolerance to illegally parked vehicles, which eat into the space and create chaos,” said Vivek Pai, transport expert.

The authorities also need to find a way to tackle the hawker menace, say experts. “The footpath is practically invisible because of encroachment. So pedestrians have to come on to the roads. Pedestrians, coupled with buses and autorickshaws, lead to traffic snarls during peak hours. We could shift pedestrians to markets. Implementation of the hawkers’ policy is need of the hour. Just evicting them, after which they return to the spot anyway, is of no use,” said Aggarwal.


Create space for movers and parkers

Experts feel the authorities could survey the number and type of private vehicles frequenting the station area and create parking facilities accordingly. Except to the east of the station, there is no parking facility to the west. This leads to haphazard parking of vehicles to the west side, thus leading to traffic snarls on the station road.

Make it walkers’, not hawkers’ pride

Hawkers have occupied all lanes and footpaths outside the station. Experts feel those places that already resemble a market should be converted into a pedestrian- and hawkers’-only zone. The hawkers from other areas should be moved to these zones. This will help clear up the other areas and reduce the traffic congestion in the vicinity.

Pave the way for walkers

For efficient dispersal of commuters, the area has two subways and a skywalk, but their condition is appalling. Experts suggest the immediate removal of hawkers from skywalks and subway entrances, and installation of escalators on the skywalks could attract pedestrians. It also needs to be maintained well. Experts want all rail overbridges to be connected to the skywalk, so they can easily exit the station area. Once the pedestrian movement becomes organised, handling traffic snarls in the area will become much easier.

Tell them (BEST) where to stop

Several BEST buses parked on Kasturba Road, outside the exit of the station to the east, affect the traffic flow from the western express highway to the station during peak hours. Creating bus stops on the cross lanes between Kasturba Marg and MG Road could help. There is ample railway land lying vacant to the east. Coordination between the traffic and railway authorities could solve most of the problems.

Get cop for auto-matic traffic dispersal

Despite a separate autorickshaw stand towards the west, autorickshaw drivers can be seen blocking the Swami Vivekanand Road outside the station. Experts feel the presence of a traffic constable could bring unruly drivers under control.

Split (all roads) wide open

All the three major roads outside the station — SV Road on the west and MG Road and Kasturba Road on the east – have inconsistent road widths, leading to bottlenecks. Experts feel widening all roads after clearing encroachments would be of help.

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