Residents of Malad have long been the hardest hit by the traffic rumble in the area. Kaustabh Labde, a resident of Malad, makes it a point of honor to get around on two wheels. “Even then, it takes me almost 15 minutes longer than usual to cross the 500-meter Malad section of the Western Urban Road, heading south,” Labde said, while discussing the issues people are facing. who travel frequently on the stretch face.
By car, he says, the wait is even longer. It takes between half an hour and 45 minutes. The main reasons for this major suffocation, according to Labde, are the narrow sky bridges at Pushpa Park and Pathanwadi, the bus station buses that stop on the highway during rush hour, and ongoing metro works.
The situation worsens on the six-lane highway when the two air bridges at Pushpa Park and Pathanwadi narrow further to three lanes. “As the Pushpa Park airlift has only three lanes, traffic starts to build up nearby. Once you cross it, the same happens at the Pathanwadi airlift,” Labde said.
Sameer Khapre, who travels from Bhayander to Andheri, has similar opinions to share. “Sometimes the traffic is so slow that we cannot exceed a speed of 10 km / h. In the evening, a lane for northbound traffic opens up for southbound vehicles, further reducing the speed,” said Khapre.
While southbound vehicles see traffic crawling between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., northbound commuters face it at 6 p.m. “This is largely due to the metro works that have started,” said Mohit Sheth, who uses this route to get around. Northbound commuters have one less lane due to metro construction.
Near the Pathanwadi Bridge are some gas station buses which made the area a stopover. “Although they start to stop from 6 am, the pinch is felt after 8 am, when traffic starts to pick up,” said Rakesh Khatri, a rickshaw driver. Some commuters said the automatic queues also made traffic problems worse.
Traffic problems on the Malad section of the Western Urban Road are an example of poor planning. Airlifts for commuters to avoid signals should have been wider. There should also be enough traffic personnel to ensure that the distant station buses stop away from the freeway.