Jersey barriers make exit 18 on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway a corridor of chaos
Exit 18 on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, which leads to Udyog Vihar and Cyber City, has become a hub of confusion and snarls due to the ill-thought-out placement of jersey barriers. The authorities constantly shift the barriers here — by either blocking the exit at Atlas Chowk and opening the one near Shyam Chowk, or vice versa — to manage traffic volume.
The uncertainty of which exit (both nearly 700m apart) would be open for traffic confuses commuters, leading to congestion and minor accidents. Sometimes, motorists have to drive all the way up to Rajokri Flyover in Delhi and then head back towards Gurugram — a 4-km-long detour.
“Even though I was born and brought up in Gurugram, exit 18 still confuses me. The authorities keep tinkering with the Atlas Chowk and Shyam Chowk exits. Hence, as a thumb rule, I am prepared to take a left at Atlas Chowk, because even if it is closed, I can take the exit at Shyam Chowk, which is located ahead,” Ankit Sarwalia, a resident of Sector 50, said.
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials said the shifting of jersey barriers is “temporary” until the traffic police can figure out the best possible combination for vehicular movement. They added that only minor accidents have taken place due to the confusion over the exit, while conceding that they can fix the issue permanently only when the traffic police gives them the nod.
“The moving of jersey barriers is being temporarily carried out by the traffic police, with the assistance of Millennium City Expressway Private Limited (MCEPL). The traffic police is trying multiple arrangements in regard to jersey barriers with the support of the MCEPL to manage traffic in the best possible way. If an arrangement is successful, the same can be made permanent by the NHAI,” Ashok Sharma, project director of the NHAI, said.
Hira Singh, ACP (highways), had said earlier that jersey barriers had been introduced on the expressway to eliminate snarls.
“Jersey barriers have been placed along several points on the expressway to reduce snarls primarily being caused due to the convergence of traffic from the expressway and its service lanes. The traffic police have identified congested points on the expressway and used jersey barriers to curb the possibilities of snarls,” Singh said.
Singh could not be reached for further comment on the constant changes in regard to the jersey barriers.
Even though the traffic police struggle to figure out the best possible combination for jersey barriers, residents remain inconvenienced due to snarls at these points.
“When the exit opposite Shyam Chowk is closed, traffic crawls in the area, as confused motorists who are unaware of the constant changes try to figure out the best possible way to reach their destination. They stop to ask other motorists how to proceed, causing vehicles behind them to stop, and leading to jams,” Shaurya Sinha, a resident of Cyber City, said.
(This is the third part of the HT series which will examine four stretches in Gurugram where jersey barriers have worsened the problems of motorists instead of solving them.)