Traffic Snarl

On Sunday evening, we were making our way back from Bhavana’s parents home in Santa Cruz to our home at Kemp’s Corner. The distance is about 15 kms. It takes us about 35-40 minutes on a normal day to cover that distance. On Sunday, it took us over two hours.

The first hurdle came when we thought we’d take the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. We had taken it in the morning en route to the suburbs and that was a breeze. That evening, unfortunately, a few million others seemed to have the same idea! It was 20 minutes before we got ourselves out of the mess and back to where we were at Mahim. (Sunday was the last day of the free rides on the sea link.)

And then, there was a completely inexplicable traffic jam near Worli Naka that took ensured that we took about 45 minutes to navigate 1 km. And it wasn’t even raining — just a ligh persistent drizzle.

It was like sitting in a cage for that extra hour. One couldn’t even just get out and walk (Abhishek was sleeping). Can we (the government) do some things differently?

Traffic is not going to improve in Mumbai. But at least, we could use some technology to get people to make the right decisions. It is very frustrating not to know which road to take. This is an information problem (after it is a stupid-urban-planning-decisions-made-over-thirty-years problem), and perhaps we can at least start deploying those in Mumbai.

12 thoughts on “Traffic Snarl

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  2. Personally, I believe there are two issues:

    1. Actually build the roads correctly.
    2. Use technology to help people select the fastest route

    On point #1, it’s frustrating to hear officials give the same old excuse “monsoons wreck havoc”…Apparently, the rest of the world has figured this seemingly tricky problem but we have not. It’s the use of sub-par materials and bad design (i.e. the use of T-junctions). Why would you t-junction the Worli side into the middle of the seaface? Yes, people will say coastal regulatory issues, whatever it’s all an excuse.

    2. Once the roads are actually in order, then using technology for route optimization is possible. Or maybe the traffic will flow smoothly and really won’t need any technological devices!

    There was an excellent article in the WSJ about India’s road:

    India’s Road Builder Plans ‘Huge’ Upgrade

  3. This is what N3 web should address.

    FM radio can do the same trick….but two-wheelers will be left out.

  4. I feel it’s an increasing problem of every growing city of India. I’ve heard people talking that Delhi’s infrastructure has improved a lot in recent past. I agree, there are more flyovers then you can imagine. At the same time the fact is there are more traffic jams/parking issues then you can imagine. Another fact is that Delhi has more cars then Mumbai, kolkatta put together (sorry I don’t have any facts to prove it).

    In b’lore I’ve seen traffic grow in past 7 years and trust me its worse. It sometimes takes 45 mins for me to just get into the office building from the main turn which is nearly 100 mts away from office. Reason, a flyover co-joins the road and next to my office is a bus stop, further down is one of the most popularly known Shopping mall called ‘Forum’ which adds on to the road misery. It gets worse when an ambulance has to pass that area, the patient inside it is completely on auto rickshaw driver’s mercy as when everyone makes way for the ambulance including the two-wheelers BANG comes in the auto guy, covering the space and pointing a finger to the ambulance driver.
    I believe there a need to re-model the road infrastructure itself and improve the public transport system making it available 24/7, 365 days. Let people literally rely on buses and trains instead of taking their own cars on daily basis for work. This will cut down on global warming as well as one’s personal budget of fueling the vehicle.

    One more thing – Make a law for all two wheeler making companies to stop putting horns in the bikes/scooters. A horn in a bike is the most annoying thing and people just keep HONKING thinking the guy ahead of them is sleeping on the road and he will never know when the road is empty and when to move. Or they HONK thinking it will do some magic and create a red carpet for them to pass all the traffic and reach to their respective destinations in no time.

  5. Pingback: Traffic (I know nothing new ;-)..) « Hemant’s Blog

  6. Reminds me of couple of hours we spent in traffic jam going to New Yorkfrom two different routes: George Washington Bridge and Tappanzee Bridge.

    Any way, we felt it was worth going thru it after we landed on Oak Tree Road in Edison, NJ.
    Have you been there? If yes, please write about that street, our Mini India!!

    Same story trying to reach Atlanta Airport, Getting out of Boston on Masspike (Rt.90)

    Part of the life living in big cities…..

  7. Think Singapore model.

    We should invest in improving public transport than making affordable cars.

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