Home to jewellery stores, food malls, and shopping centres, Laxmi Road is a shopper’s paradise. However, for pedestrians and car owners, it is nothing short of a nightmare and it only worsens, as families come out to shop for Gudi Padwa. mid-day visited the area and found that it was congested, giving pedestrians almost no place to walk.
No place to walk: Cars, bikes, buses and pedestrians struggle to find place to walk on the busy Laxmi Road. Pic/Mohan Patil
There was bumper-to-bumper traffic from Belbaug Chowk to Shagun Chowk making it difficult for pedestrians to make their way through the area.
When inspecting the reason for the snarls, it was noticed that several motorists had haphazardly parked their cars across the roads.
Also, cars were found parked in ‘no parking zones’ and also on footpaths, giving little space to pedestrians to walk.
This forces pedestrians to walk on the roads, only worsening the traffic situation,” said Prashant Inamdar, convenor of Pedestrian First organisation, adding, “As a result of this, we demand that cars be banned on Laxmi Road between 5 pm to 9 pm for two weeks, the festival period. It is imperative that authorities take this bold action in the best interests of the pedestrians.”
Sharad Mishra, a pedestrian also voiced similar sentiments.
“It is very difficult to walk on Laxmi Road, owing to the hawkers and cars. If the area was converted into a walking plaza it would be very beneficial to the common man.”
Savita Mate, another citizen, added, “As festivals draw closer, it is obvious that women will rush to Laxmi Road for shopping. But it is so disappointing to see the traffic mess. Two-wheelers go crazy, buses are speeding, and to top all that cars are illegally parked. We want free space to walk and the police should take some action.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police Vishwas Pandhare told mid-day, “Four-wheelers cannot be banned on Laxmi Road. However, in order to avoid congestion, cars can be parked at the PMC parking lots. Additionally, we have deployed 10 traffic constables to manage the cars. We appeal to citizens that during festivals they should try to refrain from using their cars.”