Mumbai choked:The constant fight for space at Bandra’s un-Lucky junctionUpdated: Jul 19, 2017 10:31 IST
Bandra’s Lucky Junction is an unfortunate crossroad.
Here, hundreds of autorickshaws and pedestrians from the Bandra station road meet cars driving in from Hill Road and the arterial SV Road that connects the suburbs to the city.
It’s a constant fight for space during the peak hours (8am-1pm, 5.30pm-10pm).
And, while the junction is always manned by traffic personnel, problems persist on one of Mumbai’s busiest roads.
The first problem is the little used skywalk at the junction. Pedestrians, put off by the climb, prefer to cross despite the rush of vehicles on both sides of SV Road, adding to the congestions.
The second issue, paver blocks. At the junction, the road is partially made of paver blocks that are easily displaced by heavy traffic.
This slows down cars and the effect is seen beyond the Bandra lake on the southbound stretch and up to the Western Express Highway junction on the opposite side.
And finally, the problem of honking motorists.
Constables at the junction said this noise made their job difficult.
“We cannot take action against drivers who honk needlessly because that would mean stopping traffic. This is not practical. Our priority is to keep the traffic moving,” one constable said.
HT checked sound levels at the junction and found it was 77 decibels.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), prolonged exposure to noise levels above 70dB can lead to hearing loss.
What could help? Afreen Maple, 22, said, “If there was an underground subway for pedestrians, things would change for the better. The CCTV cameras have pushed motorists to follow the rules the rules.”
“If you solve problems at Lucky junction alone, we will only end up diverting the jam to another spot. Also, roads need to be designed making pedestrians the priority. Signal timings keeping in mind the patience levels of pedestrians will also help. Unless this is done, the problem of motorists honking at pedestrians will continue,” said Dhawal Ashar, urban transport expert, World Resources Institute.