Experts raise concerns over one-ways

Mayor Prashant Jagtap’s plan to create more oneways to reduce congestion may have a negative impact, warned road safety experts, who believe the city bosses have a vehicle-centric approach rather than a pedestrianfriendly approach.

In the last week of July , the mayor had said: “We are working on a model of trafficless city . Many mayors across the world discussed this concept during an international conference in Iran recently . Based on it, a feasibility study would be carried out soon to convert all major two-ways in Pune into oneways.“

“It’s a wrong approach because the roads will become far more unsafe for pedestrians,“ said Rajendra Sidhaye, chairman of the Save Pune Traffic Movement.Such a move also makes buses take longer and circular routes. “This is a vehiclecentric view, instead of people-centric view. It is against the spirit of National Urban Transport Policy and the Comprehensive Mobility Plan of Pune,“ Sidhaye added.

Sujit Patwardhan, founder of Parisar, an environmental NGO working for sustainable transport, said, “Seven years back, ther FC Road was made into a one-way . Today, the traffic problems ha ve become much more critical.“

Patwardhan said that political leaders continue to offer ad hoc solutions without really taking the trouble to understand the root cause of the problem which seems to get worse by the year despite new roads, widenings and flyovers built during the last few decades. “One-ways will be unsafe for pedestrians, cyclists and extremely inconvenient for public transport buses,“ he said.

Prashant Inamdar, con Prashant Inamdar, con vener of Pedestrians First, a NGO working for sustainable transport, said that oneways increase accidents. In an email sent to mayor Prashant Jagtap, municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar and police commissioner Rashmi Shukla, Inamdar said that one-ways will cause overspeeding by vehicles due to wide unidirectional roads, poor lane discipline and crisscrossing vehicle movement. Pedestrians will be the worst sufferers as crossing the road will become difficult and dangerous due to overspeeding. Senior citizens and children will be the worst affected, he said.

“It has been seven years since the JM and FC roads were made one-way , but the PMC and the traffic police have not been able to put in place even the basic infrastructural requirements,“ Inamdar said.

Source : TOI