Sunday, Dec 07, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
Among road users, pedestrians and those who regularly travel by autorickshaws were the most affected. The former criticised the system and said the introduction of the system had made crossing roads a task. People who depend on autorickshaws pointed out that they would now have to take a longer route to their destinations and shell out a higher fare.
The system caused confusion among office-goers who use vehicles. Motorists from Kasturba Road who wanted to turn to Cubbon Road had to go round Visvesvaraya Towers and take a right at a junction of Infantry Road near Central Excise Buildings. Earlier, they took a right turn at Minsk Square and joined the traffic moving towards Cubbon Road. There were snarls at Ringwood Circle where six roads meet, at the GPO Circle and Coffee Board Circle, and at the junction of Balabrooie. Work, including asphalting, was going on the road from Raj Bhavan Circle to Ringwood Circle, and this contributed to the problem. The system exasperated motorists, and some of them were found speeding and driving in a rash manner. But policemen turned a blind eye. Drivers of BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) buses, who used to complain of slow movement of vehicles in Central Bangalore, had virtual freeways thanks to the one-way system.
Defending the introduction of the system, senior police officials told The Hindu that it would not only ease traffic congestion but also reduce the travel time for motorists. They said the removal of signals would help motorists their destinations faster. Vehicles moving at higher speeds would cause less pollution, they added.
Officials said the system would cause confusion initially. But once motorists became familiar with the new routes, traffic would be smooth. More signboards were being put up on roads and road improvement projects would be taken up, they added. However, they agreed that the faster movement of vehicles and lack of signals would cause inconvenience to pedestrians. According to them, installation of boards to limit the speed to 40 km. an hour would solve the problem of pedestrians.
The Commissioner of Police, Bangalore, S. Mariswamy, said the city police planned to import vehicle-mounted and hand-held speed guns to check speeding. Breath analysers would be used in the campaign against drunken driving. He said plans had been drawn up for ensuring smooth traffic on J.C. Road at the junction of Town Hall and Chanamma Park roads.
The new plans, however, did not enthuse senior citizens, who felt that the one-way system was outdated.
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