PUNE: One of the many reasons for road traffic problems in the city is that the PMPML bus drivers do not halt the vehicles close to the bus stops. This blocks the carriageway and halts vehicular traffic. Citizens and bus commuters’ groups have highlighted the need for building proper bus bays, or painting yellow boxes for buses to halt.
Pedestrians First, an NGO working on pedestrian and road safety issues, has urged both the Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporations to provide bus bays for smooth movement of traffic.
Prashant Inamdar, convenor of Pedestrians First, said a major problem faced by bus drivers and bus commuters is that buses are unable to approach the bus stop and are forced to halt on the carriageway. Road side clutter, encroachments, and vehicles parking right up to the bus stop create severe for all road users. Commuters have to stand on the road to be able to see approaching bus, and have to board the bus in the midst of traffic with great inconvenience and also facing a risk to life. Many a times, bus drivers skip the bus stop, he said.
Inamdar, who was instrumental in helping the PMC and the traffic authorities in creating a bus bay at the bus stop near Ranade Institute on Fergusson College Road, said the experiment was successful only for a few months. This was because temporary barricades had been used at the bus bay. “Putting traffic barricades for the purpose cannot be sustained for a longer period. The bus bay is not effectively operational anymore and the gains made have now been lost,” he said.
The municipal corporations should make it a policy to provide properly designed bus bays which should have road markings with arrows and sign boards. Provision should also be made for sturdy bollards with crossbars or metal railings of suitable design before and after bus stop, up to 20 metres on entry side and 15 metres on exit side, to prevent vehicle parking. Major bus stops should be covered in the fist phase, Inamdar added.
PMP Pravasi Sangh members Jugal Rathi and Vivek Velankar said the work of creating bus bays has been pending for many years. “Creation of bus bays is the most effective solution for the safety of bus commuters with minimum cost, efforts and time. It will also be convenient for bus drivers, and for the police to take action against encroachments or obstructions. It will ensure better traffic discipline and safety,” Rathi said.
Civic authorities said they will act on the suggestions given by the organizations and the traffic police.