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Absence of pedestrian crossing, lane discipline causing problems

City buses invariably drop off passengers in the middle of the road on the Clock Tower circular route

Ranganath H., who rides daily on his scooter to his office near Hamilton Circle in the city, has been facing problems with city buses on the Clock Tower loop road when they make stops for passengers to alight.

“If buses stop on the extreme left side of the road, passengers can straight away step onto the footpath. But many buses stop in the middle of the road to drop passengers off, as the road has become wide now after the removal of the median. This is not only posing problems to other vehicle users trailing city buses but also to passengers as well,” he said.

“Once getting off the buses that stop in the middle of the road, especially during the peak hours, passengers find it difficult to walk to either the left or the right side due to approaching vehicles. They have to strive to reach the safety of the footpath. And, obviously, drivers of approaching vehicles think that people standing in the middle of the road, after being dropped off by city buses, are an obstacle,” Mr. Ranganath said and added that the particular problem is more pronounced between the Clock Tower and RTO stretch.

This is a new woe of pedestrians and drivers since the Clock Tower to Clock Tower loop road was officially made one-way for traffic on September 23.

“Stopping buses in the middle of the road has exposed commuters to the risk of being hit by other approaching vehicles,” Mr. Ranganath said. “It is now necessary for the police, the district administration and bus owners to discipline city bus drivers,” he said.

Mumtaz S. is among the many daily commuters who stand in the sun near the Town Hall to catch buses. They no longer use the bus shelter adjoining the Lady Goschen Hospital as buses do not come on that lane.

The absence of markings has led to motorists switching lanes as per their wish, said autorickshaw driver Ravi. He said that there is a need to make bus drivers follow lane discipline on the stretch which is dotted by colleges, Commercial Tax, RTO and other government offices.

The problem is more acute at the Hamilton (State Bank of India) Circle where motorists coming from Azizuddin Road on the narrow stretch adjoining State Bank, drive straight towards the Police Commissioner’s Office and hinder movement of the approaching vehicles. Commuters getting off from buses on the stretch between Hamilton Circle and Rao and Rao Circle are finding it hard to cross the road and reach the fish market.

“Pedestrians, especially seniors like me, run the risk of being hit by vehicles while crossing the road,” said an elderly Vijay Bhandary. “We had problems earlier too, but now it’s aggravated,” he said.

Except for the pedestrian underpass that is under construction between Mini Vidhana Soudha and Lady Goschen Hospital, there are no facilities on the circular route for pedestrians to cross the road, he said.

Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar said that the new circular movement has been enforced to ensure smooth movement of traffic in the central part of the city. Among the problems the police have noticed include traffic jam near the Town Hall where buses violate lane discipline. “We are aware of the problems of motorists and also pedestrians. Efforts are on to address them in consultation with the city corporation, even as further road works are under way on the stretch,” Mr. Kumar told The Hindu.

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