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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Baner in dire need of better traffic management

Wireless Colony residents have been bearing the brunt of haphazard parking and serpentine traffic since the inception of the two malls in the area

pune Updated: Aug 09, 2017 14:10 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
The portable traffic signal installed on Baner Road near Syngenta corner to control traffic.
The portable traffic signal installed on Baner Road near Syngenta corner to control traffic. (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

The weekend traffic on the Mahadaji Shinde Road proved to be a menace to many of the societies near by, especially to the wireless colony residence. This colony in question is sandwiched between two malls viz. The Westend mall and Reliance mall. Ever since the mall opened up, the residents have been bearing the brunt of haphazard parking and serpentine traffic. Finally, the residents held a meeting with Advocate Madhukar Musale and Corporator Archana Madhukar Musale to discuss the citizens problems. 

This meeting was also to convey the various development works done by the corporator in the last four to five months in the Aundh - Bopodi Ward. 

Wireless Colony Area Forum members and other Societies on D P Road, New D P Road, Ambedkar chowk to Medipoint Hospital Road and societies around McDonald were present in large number for the meeting. 

Wireless Colony Area Forum president Ramesh Sheopuri, chairman of Wireless colony Anil Dev, Arun Bhapkar, Avinash Nilakanth, chairman Vinodkumar Vora of Kumar Classics, Rahul Deshpande of Kumar Prerana, Amrut Shivtare of Mangesh Society, Ranjeet Kher of Twin Towers, Nitin Rane of Kubera Gulshan besides members of other societies. 

The traffic congestion and encroachment on Mahadaji Shinde Road and other road were the main issues raised by citizens. 

The traffic congestion issue at the McDonald chowk in Aundh was brought to the notice of the traffic commissioner DCP Ashok Morale, DCP Rajendra Bhamre and police inspector Ghogare, who were present for the meeting by Advocate Madhukar Musale and corporator Archana Musale.

During the meeting, it was decided that Suma Shilp group (West End Mall) will deploy two traffic wardens at this point during traffic hours. Traffic police will be on patrol, as maximum business is done by the Westend mall and they need to help in reducing the traffic situation. 

DCP Ashok Morale said, “We were invited to see the situation by the Wireless colony and corporator Musale and issues such as parking which caused traffic snarls, and created a big mayhem for the residents. The other issue discussed was encroachments on the pavement which led to residents walking on the road but this issue needs to be tackled by PMC.” 

But Ramesh Sheopuri is concerned about the traffic situation for he feels that a lot of senior citizens live in this area. “We have been opposing this mall even before its construction. We had envisioned this traffic problem even then. Now it has come to such an extent that it is difficult to even cross the road,” he said. He also doesn’t seem happy about deploying traffic wardens to help ease the traffic. 

Santosh Jain, head of security of Westend Mall, in fact is pleased with the way the traffic has been handled over the last weekend. He says, “We have already completed one week. We have deployed three wardens from Westend mall. They are trained wardens to control the traffic and they work from 3 pm to 9 pm (six hours a day) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Besides, whenever there is a traffic jam, they will be there to control it as many times as needed.” 

According to Rupesh Junawane, member of Aundh Vikas Mandal, it was a great initiative and the same should be implemented on the entire Mahadaji Shinde road stretch, along with all Merchants Association, to manage smooth traffic.

Portable signal to regulate vehicle flow

A brainchild of DCP Traffic Ashok Morale, a permanent signal may soon find a spot on the road that comes from Balewadi Highstreet (from Syngenta (Amar Paradigm) building) and meets the main Baner road, which has been identified as an accident prone region by the traffic police department.

“We have received many complaints that vehicles coming from the highway arrive at a high speed and have limited visibility of the incoming traffic from high-street lane,” said DCP Traffic.

“A signal at this point will help the drivers coordinate and avoid risks. It will also slow down the highway vehicles and help reduce traffic pile up at the next signal,” he added.

To test the effectiveness of signal at this point, a portable signal has been installed temporarily. The police had asked for a feedback from the residents about the mobile signal,which will help the traffic police take a decision and make further recommendations towards the incorporation of a permanent signal. 133 residents replied to the feedback positively.

Some of the feedbacks said that the signal has come as great relief not just to residents of Baner and the employees around that area, but also to the traffic going to and from the Mumbai-Bangalore highway.

Some of the residents even made suggestions on its positioning like, “It should be placed at the farther end of the gap in the divider. Right now, it is placed at the end where people take a right or U-turn and it will not be seen”, added the police.

Some were thankful to the police, “I thank DCP Morale and his traffic police team for listening to the pleas of the Baner Balewadi Resident’s Association (BBRA) and the Safe Baner Foundation, among others,” said David DSouza, former senior journalist and Baner resident.

Some were also sceptical about the plan. “I went and saw the signal which doesn’t seem to be in existence as people are completely ignoring it. A proper big signal is necessary with the presence of police throughout the day,” said Rakesh Shinde.

But according to Priya Deshpande, “The signal worked perfectly and people followed it” while Muknd Mulay said, “I am staying opposite the signal and it’s working fine. People follow it in the morning and the evening”.

The Baner portable signal will control and regularise traffic besides helping side lane vehicles to have more systematic space.

This portable signal works on solar with a circle time of maximum 1.30 to 2 minutes cycle per red light, added the police.

First Published: Aug 09, 2017 14:09 IST

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