Activists object to grade separator at Barve Chowk

Civic activists have debunked Pune Municipal Corporation's plan to set up a grade separator at Barve Chowk calling it unnecessary and saying that it will only add to the traffic problem rather than solve it.

"The civic body has planned a grade separator at Barve Chowk and the work is likely to commence soon. We have been writing to PMC for the past two years expressing apprehension about the project. We have been requesting for a review. However, there has been no response from them," said Prashant Inamdar, convenor of Pedestrians First.

The activists said recently the traffic police implemented a rotary plan at Barve Chowk on a trial basis. The trial run did not work out. "As per the Barve Chowk grade separator plan, a left turn towards Shivaji Putala Chowk will not be possible at for vehicles coming from Sancheti Chowk. The rotary plan has now been withdrawn in view of serious problems faced. This proves the present grade separator plan is not feasible," said Inamdar.

Another activist, Jugal Rathi said the Pune Traffic Police has also opposed the grade separator plan and asked PMC to work out an alternative plan.

"Since the Road from Barve Chowk to Nava Pul is a very important and vital link road, any alternative plan should ensure that it remains a two-way road. However, this does not appear possible, because the Shivaji Road is too narrow," he said.

Based on our study, there is no need for a grade separator at Barve Chowk, said Inamdar. "Grade separator could be considered at a junction as a last resort if there is extended halt time and a long signal cycle due to heavy traffic from all arms of the junction. This is definitely not the case at Barve Chowk as there are only two cross flows — one from Sancheti Chowk to JM Road and the other from Shivaji Putala Chowk to Shimla Office Chowk. There is sufficient halting space for vehicles between Barve Chowk and Sancheti Chowk, which means there is no need for a grade separator in this situation."

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