Nine minutes. That was the time taken to cover the stretch from the light point at Transport chowk to the Tribune roundabout. On the Christmas day, when there was a rush of cars to the Elante Mall causing traffic congestion, Chandigarh Newsline drove across the lanes around the entire roundabout to know does it actually offer a bottleneck to construct a flyover which will cost Rs 184 crore.
The main bottleneck at this point was the road from Sector 29 towards Transport light point. It took 30 minutes to cross the entire stretch.
The journey began at 2.01 pm after taking the slip road from the Transport light point towards Tribune roundabout. Luckily, the traffic signal was green and at an easy speed of 45 kilometre per hour, it was a smooth ride till the next light point. At 2.04 pm came the next light point on the same stretch which falls in front of Centra Mall. After a wait of 20 seconds, this point was crossed at 2.06 pm.
Then came the main light point right at the roundabout, at the road separating Industrial area Phase 1 and the Tribune office where the halt was made at 2.07 pm and the signal was crossed at 2.09 pm. Before taking a right turn from that roundabout towards Sector 31, there was another traffic light just after few metres and it was crossed at 2.10 pm. It took another two minutes to reach the next roundabout and the halt was at 2.12 pm as there was another red light and the signal turned green at 2.13 pm.
If there was any delay in the entire one-side trip, it was due to the frequency of traffic lights.
Then the Hallomajra point was covered, which was considered to be another bottleneck as the traffic is coming from the Zirakpur area towards Chandigarh.
After reaching the Hallomajra light point at 2.16 pm, it took only three minutes to cross the area from Industrial area Phase 1 side and take the roundabout and reach the light point again upto the roundabout in front of Hotel Turquoise Industrial area
The main bottleneck on Wednesday was the point in front of sectors 28 and 29 light point-where the traffic was going towards Panchkula. At the first light point at 2.22 pm, it took 12 minutes to cross one point and then the next light point from 2.34 pm to 2.57 pm. Thereafter the traffic congestion was eased out.
Architect Pallav Mukherjee who made a presentation before the administration during the Monday’s public hearing, said that just “an electrician can solve the problem of Tribune chowk in few minutes by pulling off the red lights.”
“It should take an electrician about 2-3 minutes to disconnect or cut the wires of the exit side signals on the roundabout.There is no need for highly paid consultants from Mumbai or New York,” he said.
Mukherjee added that commuters get stuck in the roundabout due to the traffic lights.
“People wishing to go to Panchkula have to do a U-turn at the Tribune Chowk. They have to stop atleast twice after entering the roundabout. That builds up a sizeable tail which affects the remaining vehicles which have to go straight, and thus creates a jam (or a mini jam) right inside the traffic roundabout. The same problem is faced at almost every chowk on the Dakshin Marg. Only the Transport Chowk has solved that problem – by letting traffic released from one side go all three directions,” Mukherjee explained.
He added, “If the system works perfectly well at the Transport Chowk, then no excuse should be allowed for not doing it on other chowks. The Transport Chowk has almost as equal traffic density as the Tribune Chowk.”
According to the architects, the slip road from the Industrial Area II should be allowed to carry left hand side going traffic initially, to let the people get used to the idea of the free left turn. Later, the joint of the slip road could be pushed back to let the main road traffic get a chance to slide into the left hand side lane for the free left turn,” he suggested
At the public hearing, there were people who told the Adviser, that it did not take them more than four minutes to cross the area for which they were spending Rs 184 crore.
“Tribune roundabout is not problematic at all. Other roundabouts have more vehicle density. It is due to the traffic lights at roundabout which create a grid lock,” Vinod Vashisht, president of Government Houses Residents Welfare Association, Sector 22.
The administration has been pushing the Tribune flyover despite objections from planning department. It is the pet project of MP Kirron Kher. There were scores of objections against the flyover even as the administration claiming that there was a “public demand” to build it.
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