PUNE: Solapur Road has maximum flyovers but traffic problems continue to be the same. It clearly indicates that mere flyovers cannot solve traffic problems and proper planning is needed to tackle traffic issues.
Now, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is hoping to solve traffic problems by redesigning the road. Encroachments, lack of proper planning of existing road width, BRTS failure are creating traffic problems on this road.
Solapur Road was a State highway and now, it is included in the national highway and passes through jurisdiction of PMC and PCB. It is one of the major connecting roads to Hadapsar area.
Heavy vehicles coming from Nagar Road also add to traffic congestion on Solapur Road. The Pune-Solapur Road starts from Swargate Chowk and ends at Gadital in Hadapsar area. In une Municipal Corporationjurisdiction, the length of the road is 5.9 km.
The road from Dhobi Ghat to Bhairoba Nala Chowk (3.5 km) is passing through Pune Cantonment area.
There are five flyovers on Solapur Road. They are on Swargate Chowk, Seven Loves Chowk, Kirloskar-SRPF ground, Noble Hospital Chowk and Gadital Chowk. However, the traffic problems have not been solved. More than a decade ago, the civic body introduced BRTS services to ease the traffic situation but, it has failed to serve the purpose. Due to centralised BRTS lane, the road width has become narrow for other vehicles. PMPML don’t have enough buses to run full fledged BRTS services.
In the Development Plan (DP), the width of Solapur Road is mentioned as 60 metres. However, existing residential complexes have become obstacles in road expansion. Now, the road width is between 40 and 45 metres. From Bhairoba Nala to Fatima Nagar Chowk area, the road width is only 30 metres which creates a bottleneck.
Earlier, the PMC had designed the road with centralised BRTS dedicated lane, footpath, cycle track and service road. There are only two motor vehicle lanes other than the BRTS lane. Due to which, other motor vehicles (excluding PMPML buses) is getting less space on the road and it is creating traffic congestion.
Noble Hospital Chowk is another bottleneck. Here, the Noble Hospital flyover links Nagar Road to Solapur Road. Nagar Road traffic is bypassing through this flyover to Solapur Road. Under the flyover, there is unauthorised parking of autos and private vehicles. The service road on both sides of Noble Hospital flyover from the Nagar Road side has been encroached upon by autorickshaws and private vehicles.
Gadital flyover’s starting point has a narrow road. Service roads along flyover have been encroached upon by unauthorised vegetable traders and food stalls. As this flyover could not solve the problem, a few years ago, the PMC built another Y-Shape flyover for Saswad adjacent to the existing flyover on Solapur Road. Despite that, traffic problems at Gadital remains the same.
While speaking to Sakal Times, Dattatreya Wayase said, “We have decided to redesign Solapur Road to tackle traffic problems. We will make a centralised BRTS lane, service lane, cycle track and footpaths. Besides this, we will make parking arrangements for two and four-wheelers which are not existing right now. Other than that, there is a plan of the metro route. Both redesigning and metro will help to solve the traffic problems of Solapur Road. We have estimated that it will cost Rs 38 crore to redesign the Solapur Road.”
CHOKED CITY ROADS
Traffic issues in the city are taking gargantuan proportions with increasing population and growing use of personal vehicles. Traffic snarls have become the order of the day on arterial roads in the city. To add to the mess, issues such as encroachments, traffic indiscipline and inadequate infrastructure have only worsened the problem in the city. In this backdrop, Sakal Times is highlighting traffic issues in major city areas. In this part, our focus is on Pune—Solapur Road