Emergency parking bays on Expressway, says MSRDC

Wire-rope dividers may make an entry to defeat head-on collisions.

Emergency parking bays would soon come up on the Pune-Lonavala stretch of the accident-prone Pune-Mumbai Expressway, Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) officials on Wednesday said after a meeting on enhancing highway safety.

The bays would prevent parking of vehicles on service lanes that opens them to the risk of being hit by speeding vehicles. Another safety move being contemplated is use of Brifen wire dividers to prevent head-on collision of vehicles jumping the median and entering the opposite lane.

The meeting called by chairman of the Maharashtra Public Accounts Committee (PAC), MLA Girish Bapat, was attended by MSRDC officials, IRB Infrastructure representatives, and Expressway police.

Bapat also visited several accident prone spots on the E-way.

Responding to concerns raised by Bapat and other public representatives, MSRDC officials said they would soon locate spots on the Pune-Lonavala stretch where emergency parking bays can be set up.

Bapat pointed out that absence of parking bays forced travellers to park vehicles on lanes leading to accidents and crashes. Bapat suggested the authorities to acquire plots of land every 2-3 kms to set up parking bays separated from the road.

To prevent speeding vehicles from jumping the divider and crashing into vehicles in the opposite lane, the MSRDC is planning to use Brifen wire median on the Expressway instead of metal beam crash barriers in use now, MSRDC and IRB officials said adding that such ropes are being used on a highway stretch near Nashik.

"These ropes are economical as compared to the metal beam barriers and more effective. These ropes are not manufactured in India. We are planning to import them. On an experimental basis, we are planning to install the ropes on a 3-km stretch to gauge their effectiveness," said MSRDC officials.

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