Bengaluru: When the nodal Cubbon Road was closed in 2011, many senior citizens like Nagabhushan had not failed to notice the unusually lean traffic during his morning walks. However when the road was thrown open for traffic again last year, Nagabhushan realised that his morning walk would no longer going to be the same. “It’s the speed and rash driving that worries us most of the times,” he said.
According to the walkers, the Cubbon Road is a key link for cabbies and other commuters coming from Trinity Circle and Dickenson Road and going towards International Airport Road. “We see cabbies speeding in all odd hours and especially in the morning, they are negligent towards pedestrians. They assume nobody walks on the road. Many senior citizens, especially women, come to Cubbon Park around 5 am when it’s still dark. They are the most exposed to road accidents,” Mr Nagabhushan added.
“This is also the reason why we have had six deaths in three years,” noted S. Umesh, another walker and president of Cubbon Park Walkers’ Association.
He says, “The Cubbon Road is a crucial junction as vehicles from three roads join towards GPO office. But the road has no pedestrian crossing or even pelican signals. Even traffic lights are not turned on in the morning hours nor do we see traffic cops present on roads. Despite many requests, our plea for better road safety has fallen on deaf ears.”
Meanwhile, Usha Rajanath, another walker, stresses that there is a need to install CCTV cameras at the entrances and crucial points around the park in order to beef up security on the park premises.
“Installing more cameras will not only capture traffic violations, it will also instill fear among those driving recklessly. Also, since there are many women at the park duirng dusk, it is good to have better security. And most importantly, not many security guards are present in the park in the morning hours. There is an urgent need to monitor walkers’ safety around the park premises,” she said.
The Walkers’ Association has urged that the present security agency should not be given the tender again since the agency belonging to Chinu Ram has miserably failed to maintain security in the park.
Not received any plaint, but will look into it: C.K Baba, DCP East (Traffic)
There are complaints about lack of road safety for walkers in the morning hours. Has this come to your notice?
We have not received any official complaints nor has there been any communication to us on the problems faced by morning walkers. However, traffic cops are on duty by 7 am and we are doing our best to ensure that people’s safety is not jeopardised. Our prime concern is people’s safety and if there is a need for additional men on the job, we will look into it.
Some walkers have raised complaints that traffic lights are not turned on and pelican signals are also not installed. Isn’t there a need for this at this crucial junction?
Ever since the Cubbon Road has been thrown open for traffic, the vehicle movement has been high. It’s a busy stretch. Best efforts will be put to ensure that whatever is necessary for pedestrian safety is implemented.
Your tips for morning walkers, especially senior citizens?
Not just senior citizens, any pedestrian should remember that we are all responsible for our life. Traffic cops may not always be present everywhere round the clock. Pedestrians should exercise control over their lives and any walker is free to approach us and give his suggestion and feedback.