2010 Wish List For Pune Traffic
It is that time of the year…the time for making resolutions and wish lists. While I am not making any for myself, I sure have a wish list for Pune Traffic. Call me a pessimist, but would be thrilled to see even a small number of these fulfilled 🙂
1. Complete Ongoing Projects: How about seeing the completion of long held projects? One example is Baner Road, which it seems is running as a ‘5-year plan’ 🙂 Also, a general observation – many traffic infrastructure projects are never ‘fully’ completed. Many are luckier than Baner Road, but still have that last 5% work pending forever!
2. More One-ways: One-ways work….Period. Laxmi Road, M.G. Road are great examples of this for decades. The much anticipated JM Road/FC Road one-way system finally happened in 2009. Yes, there will always be opposing voices…but look at the overall city context. A person living on FC Road might have be inconvenienced (e.g. having to drive 100 m more to get to his house…) and could voice displeasure against the one-way. But 100 people travelling from Kothrud to Pune Station are getting huge benefits! More one-way projects should be considered in 2010. The top one on my personal wish list is Prabhat Road/Bhandarkar Road one-way system.
3. Fix Stuff That Worked Before: Is this too much to expect? At the very least, infrastructure (especially signals) that worked before should work after any new project! Two glaring examples are the signals at Baner Phata/ITI Road in Aundh and Senapati Bapat Road/Ganeshkhind Road intersections. These signals worked perfectly fine until 3 years back. Now when the traffic has grown over 3 times in the past 3 years, these signals are dead…silent witnesses to the chaos around them!
4. Road Markings: Hope it’s not too much to ask for road markings/lanes/crossings/etc. to be clearly marked. Yes, I know – Pune drivers (especially those on two wheelers) don’t believe in them and many other things; yet these markings do make a modest difference 🙂
5. Pedestrians: How about some attention to the poor pedestrians? Good (well placed and well painted) Zebra Crossings are a good start. Traffic Lights at crossings, even better! And keeping Footpaths clear of anything other than Pedestrians, well…maybe I am asking for too much again 🙂
6. Helmets/Seat-Belts/Airbags: Let 2010 be the year where the brave 2-wheeler riders of Pune, finally see the ‘light’ and start ‘voluntarily’ adopting helmets! Failing which, hope they understand – they might end up seeing a light from a ‘heavenly’ place 🙂 And seatbelts being used in cars.
And yes, I know airbags are not yet mandatory in Indian Cars. But a sincere request to many who can afford to pay a little more when buying a car. Buy one with airbags! And how about not using mobile phones while driving?
7. Work Begins In Earnest On Highway Projects: The good news of 2009 was the approval of Pune-Solapur Road and Pune Satara Road 6-Laning Projects, along with the allotment of the construction contracts. Hope the work starts in earnest towards the planned 2011 completion. And it would be great if some more progress gets done on finalization of the Easterly Bypass and the Outer Ring Road for Pune.
8. Cycles – Pune was the bicycle capital of the world for many years. Now this great eco-friendly invention is dying here L Efforts to resurrect it are sporadic. For starters, would be great to see the Cycle Tracks (that, believe it or not, do exist at some places!) are translated into an actual reality.
9. Better utilization of the BRTS Lanes – I am not going to comment on whether BRTS is a good idea or not. Entire blogs could be dedicated for that 🙂 However, now that those BRTS Lanes are a reality, how about implementing and utilizing them more effectively? I understand the need for dedicated lanes during rush hours (when the busses ply with high frequency). But, how about considering some changes during non-peak hours? Hope some sensible middle-ground is achieved in 2010!
10. And last but not the least – Would be great to see all the existing traffic rules being enforced in 2010!