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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Mumbai choked: Going around in circles at crowded, jammed Juhu

Mumbai city news: Congestion here can’t be blamed on bad roads, traffic management; issue is the sheer volume of vehicles

mumbai Updated: Jul 12, 2017 09:37 IST
Megha Sood
Megha Sood
Hindustan Times
(Pramod Thakur/HT PHOTO)

Juhu Circle is quintessentially Mumbai: a roundabout and fountain built to beautify this suburb had to be broken down to make way for the ever increasing number of vehicles. Did it help?

The constant jams at the circle — where five major roads converge and connect to the Western Express Highway, Juhu, Vile Parle, Versova, Lokhandwala and Andheri railway station — show it didn’t.

Home to film stars and Mumbai’s most popular beach, Juhu is a tourist attraction and witnesses heavy flow of traffic throughout the day, especially at this junction.

But, unlike other parts of Mumbai, the congestion here cannot be blamed on bad roads, lack of footpaths or poorly managed traffic.

The problem is the sheer volume of vehicles.

READ:  Chaos rules SV Road in Andheri, thanks to hawkers, potholes and no space for pedestrians

To manage this, the signals at the junction are timed to last several minutes, and the long waiting time causes traffic to build up on all roads leading to the junction.

“Owing to the increased signal timing, only a few vehicles pass through when the signal turns green. This creates a backlog as flow of traffic is continuous. The waiting time at the junction goes up by five times,” said Sudhir Badami, a traffic expert.

Indisciplined motorists add to the problem, said experts and commuters.

“Motorists don’t follow lane discipline. They drive recklessly despite the presence of traffic constables,” said Rupesh Singh, a businessman who stays in Lokhandwala .

HT found high noise levels from vehicle horns as drivers rush to prevent getting stuck at another long signal.

READ: Single lane at Khar subway leads to bottlenecks, traffic chaos

Infrequent public transport is also increasing congestion.

Rakesh Kadam 28, an IT professional, said he takes an autorickshaw to get to Juhu from Andheri station.

“If the public bus service was more frequent, fewer people would take autos,” said Kadam.

Traffic expert Ashok Datar said a traffic congestion index should be developed and updated every year.

Authorities could use this index to come up with effective solutions to the issue of congestion at Juhu Circle, Datar told HT.

First Published: Jul 12, 2017 09:37 IST

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