Important junctions and crossings in Bengaluru lack traffic signals, causing confusion. Citizens complain they have to wait long before crossing roads.
Major junctions like Carmelaram, Sarjapur Road, Harlur junction, Kumbalgodu crossing and Anil Kumar Circle on Sen Marg Road do not have traffic signals. Pedestrians have to wait long before getting to cross the roads.
Traffic jams have also increased due to the absence of traffic signals. According to a 2016 report of The Hindu, “In 2014, the traffic police did not commission even a single new traffic light. In 2015, just 10 locations — Bellandur Outer Ring, Mysuru Road toll gate, Devanahalli, Geetanjali Junction, among other choke points — got new signals.”
M.S. Prakash, sub-inspector at the Bengaluru Traffic Management Centre, informed The Observer: “It has been some time now since we are looking after the traffic signal issue. It is one of the most important aspects of the Bangalore Traffic Improvement Project. We see a lot of problems and complaints filed on social media about the lack of and improper traffic signals around the city. Installation of the traffic signals is a long process. It involves approval and funding. We expect the situation to improve in the next couple of years.”
Pedestrians risk their lives every time they crossroads. They don’t understand when to cross. Traffic constables find it tough to handle busy crossings without traffic signals.
“I have to cross Sarjapur Road regularly crossing for my work. Every day the traffic situation is chaotic. We have to wait for long hours,” said Fayaz.
K. Srinivasa Murthy, a traffic police officer, said: “Signals make the handling of traffic easy for us. Their absence means we have to handle the entire pressure of the traffic. Vehicles often do not notice us and jump the crossing. This causes a lot of risks.”
Apoorv Somaya, a citizen who uses Anil Kumar Circle, said: “This crossing has a traffic signal on one side. I don’t know why authorities dis not install a signal on the other side. It is a pretty busy crossing.”
Traffic expert M.N. Sreehari informed The Observer: “Lack of traffic signals not only causes traffic congestion and road accidents; it poses a great threat to pedestrians. There are places where we have to allot more traffic personnel due to the lack of traffic signals. These days we have signals that work on solar power and then there are also automatic signals.”
According to data of Bangalore Traffic Police, the number of cases involving jumping of traffic signals in 2019 is 9.23 lakh.
According to an article in the Bangalore Mirror, “Residents of Harlur and Carmelaram might not be moving around in circles any longer. HSR Traffic police have recommended traffic signals at both the junctions as residents had complained that they have to travel a long distance just to take a U-turn.”
According to the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, “Under the Persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation) Act, 1995, the government must provide for auditory signals, engraving on the zebra crossings, slopes in pavements for easy access of wheelchair, and warning signals at appropriate places.”