“Time and tide wait for none”, goes the saying projecting the vitality of time. Considering the importance of time, traffic congestions act as an obnoxious obstacle marring the efforts of people to reach their destination on time. Lucknow city, which already has the characteristic feature of the so called Nawabiyat, where delays are a norm and traffic issues are adding to the woes. Taking a patient to the hospital or dropping your kid to school right on time might give you jitters owing to the unruly traffic the city has been witnessing in the recent years. Increasing population of people and growing number of automobiles are two reasons behind the chaos, however, lack of civic sense and driving skills are making the situation worse.
What are the pitfalls?
Flawed Road design and engineering: The roads of Lucknow are poorly planned, which leaves no room for any positive impact of Government efforts on traffic congestion. The roads are narrow, mostly devoid of zebra crossings, signage, and lane markings along with dreadful potholes.
Rampant Encroachment: Shopkeepers and vendors have usurped the rights of pedestrians by encroaching on the sidewalks and roads, which then leaves little space for vehicles. With universally rampant encroachments, the city’s narrow roads have nothing to offer to the distressed commuters.
Mindless Parking: Illegal parking alongside the road impedes the traffic movement and slows it completely. With an upsurge in number of cars and inadequate parking lots in complexes or buildings, at times without any parking space at all, people on road are left completely distraught.
Blatant Violations of Traffic Rules: Getting driving license without having to undergo a proper driving test makes it easy for people to violate traffic rules. People get license easily and availability of cars and bikes on easy EMI options has further augmented the problem of congestion on roads. Safe driving is not taken seriously and commuters not only violate traffic rules but tend to compromise on the safety of pedestrians by attempting to drive according to their whims and convenience.
Weak Public Transport: The number of buses running on the various Lucknow routes is not enough to cater to the ever growing commuting needs of Lucknowites. Moreover, the sorry state of the buses makes it all the more difficult for the citizens to travel stress free. The taxis and the rickshaws, though share the load of city traffic, but their mismanaged way of operations makes it more of a problem for the commuters rather than a solution. In fact, the reckless approach of the taxi drivers and auto-rickshaw drivers has been responsible for several accidents on roads.
Lack of respect for traffic rules: People of Lucknow city are in dire need of introspection when it comes to giving importance to traffic regulations. One can easily find people mocking the rules as soon as they see no traffic cop in close sight. Taking absurd turns, overtaking, blocking roads, not letting the due person drive first, parking in the middle of roads, honking for no reason, not wearing helmets, driving on the wrong side of the road are some of the menaces Lucknowites create on roads leading to frenzied traffic.
Absence of Smart Traffic Management System: The traffic management system needs an overhauling to include not just the traffic signals but advanced technology such as sensors and cameras, messaging apps suggesting alternate routes among others to tackle the traffic glitches better.
Dysfunctional traffic signals: According to reports, out of 36 traffic signals installed, only four are working fine, which itself states the condition of traffic and the traffic woes of the city of Nawabs.
Making the traffic system work showing positive results, better planning, effectual implementation of traffic regulations and intelligent traffic controlling system needs to be in place. Lucknow has been endowed with rich legacy of culture and traditions and the unique facet of the renowned “Tehzeeb”, but the grim traffic scene is tarnishing the image of Lucknow and that needs to be taken care of seriously. For a safer, quieter, and less chaotic Lucknow, sincere efforts should pour in from all the quarters including citizens, authorities and the incumbents.