Pedestrians First,a city-based organisation that takes up traffic and transport-related issues,has demanded a policy on traffic restrictions for public transport.
PMPML bus movement on Shivaji Road and Tilak Road was banned by police after 5.30 pm due to dahi handi celebrations on Thursday. Both these roads are important for PMPML bus routes. The sudden restriction imposed on bus movement on these routes without advance notice caused serious problem for commuters. PMPML buses have to always face such restrictions during festivals, said Prashant Inamdar,covener,Pedestrians First.
Situations where public transport is restricted on roads sends out a wrong message and encourages people to opt for private transport. This trend is proving disastrous for the city with steep rise in private vehicles on roads, he said in a letter to police commissioner,joint police commissioner,deputy commissioner of police (traffic),PMC chief and PMPML administration.
At times,we agree restrictions on vehicle movement are required. However,it is necessary that police devise appropriate policies to give priority to public transport, he said.
Pedestrians First has suggested: Police should grant permission for any event or procession only on the condition that it should be restricted to one side of the road.
There should be at least one dedicaed lane for buses. Additional lane,if available,can be used for other traffic.
Restrictions on bus movement should be implemented only when there is no other alternative.
Inamdar said police should discuss proposed restrictions on bus movement with PMPML three days in advance and finalise the plan taking into consideration their suggestions.
This will give sufficient time to PMPML to work out alternative routes, added Inamdar.