Meant to provide safe passage for cycles, rumble strips derail traffic

Rumble strips

Pilot project Chaos at Sector 30-20-19-27 roundabout; authorities say the first-of-its-kind experiment will be modified.

The pilot project to prevent non-motorised vehicles (cycles, rickshaws, etc) from integrating with the rest of the traffic at roundabouts seems to have gone awry. Over the past few days, a number of teething troubles are being encountered at the Sector 30-20-19-27 roundabout where the pilot project was initiated. Police as well as engineering wing claim that the system is under observation and modifications will be made as per requirement.

The city has cycle tracks in most of the sectors on both sides of the road. These tracks, which were part of Le Corbusier's plan for Chandigarh, were essentially built for non-motorised slow-moving traffic. However, a problem that is being faced is that the cycle tracks are not connected with each other. Due to this, the slow-moving traffic has to integrate with the rest of the traffic at the roundabouts.

Around 40 cyclists have died in the past two years after meeting with accidents, a majority at roundabouts. Following this, a proposal was mooted for providing a safe passage for the cyclists without having to negotiate with the other vehicles.

As per the proposal, around 100 metres before the roundabout a gap has been created in the median. Roads have been connected with the cycle tracks in such a manner that the non-motorised vehicles cross through the median and reach the other side where another cycle track is present. A little before the gap in the median, rumble strips have been constructed to slow down the fast-moving traffic and provide safe passage to non-motorised vehicles to pass.

Since the system has been put in place, several problems have been encountered. The cyclists and rickshaw pullers are coming in the way of fast-moving traffic as they cross the road through the median. The sudden appearance of these non-motorised vehicles on the roads and the rumble strips brings the other traffic to a screeching halt. This has caused accidents in the past few days.

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