The Mangalore Traffic Police’s experiment to make the city signal free has only benefited vehicle users, while the pedestrians helplessly wait several minutes, trying their best to cross busy roads safely.
In addition, most of the drivers/motorists have no patience to make way for the people to cross the road. Moreover, some of the speed breakers, which were fixed at few places after the ‘signal free experiment’, have disappeared now.
Mangalore Traffic Police did receive an applause from a section of the society for their successful experiment of a smooth flow of traffic at Hampankatta and Nanthoor. A similar experiment in Balmatta failed to attract good response.
Presently, the vehicles which are plying from Milagres to Hampankatta (Clock Tower) and vice versa have an uninterrupted fast run due to the new system. Similarly, the pedestrians on the other hand have to hesitate and rush while crossing the road even in Balmatta and Nanthoor circle. In these places, vehicle movement is continuous, and the road is never traffic free, for the pedestrian to cross the road.
It’s not only a genuine problem for every pedestrian who wants to cross road in these places, but the students of University College suffer the most. Dr. Keshav Murthy of University College, at Hampankatta said that the students always find it difficult to cross road. “When the students cross the road in a group, the vehicles do stop for them. Unfortunately, it’s not same when a single student desires to cross”, he said.
Poornima K, a commerce student, observed that the vehicles go fast and crossing road is prone to accidents. “Although, the drivers know that we are waiting to cross the road, they don’t stop”, she said.
University principal Sathyanarayana Mallipatna expressed his anguish at the inaction of the authorities. He said, “Our students protested, submitted a memorandum to the mayor and to the traffic police, however they have not taken any action”, he said.
“The authorities should fix speed breakers, so that the public can cross the road, when the vehicles slow down. Besides, I have asked the police to place ‘no parking’ board at the right side of the college entrance, so that it does not block vehicle movement”, he added.
However, Keshav Murthy felt that speed breakers will not solve the problem. He insisted that setting up of a ‘walking fly-over’ would be a better solution for the public to safely cross the road. “It’s a need of the hour. The officials should not wait for a major accident to take place, to take action”, he added.
On Monday, the public were struggling to cross road at Hampankatta (near Canara Jewellers), opposite to Wenlock hospital, University College and Clock Towers. The pedestrians include students, patients visiting the hospital and railway passengers proceeding from or to, Mangalore central railway station, and the general public.
Police Commissioner R. Hithendra told newskarnataka.com that he is aware of the issue. “I have instructed the police to stop the traffic, whenever pedestrians are trying to cross the road. We are now doing it manually. Soon, we will introduce technology-based new signals in the city, and this will solve the existing problem”, he concluded.
For pictures, see http://www.newskarnataka.com/exclusive/Signal-free-traffic-poses-problem-for-the-pedestrians/