That was the question on the minds of motorists struggling to reach the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road on the first working day after inauguration, as lack of directions or signboards made the task near impossible
The newly inaugurated Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) failed the test miserably in its first encounter with week day traffic yesterday.
Commuters complained that the signboards were too small to read from a distance, leading to confusion and traffic snarls. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
The major issue, missing signage for directing motorists towards the SCLR, as pointed out in mid-day report on Saturday, marred the journey for most of the motorists using it. Though the authorities took note of the report and did install boards, they failed to serve the purpose due to their small size.
Motorists experienced chaos on the Kurla-Kalina Flyover as well as the Kapadia Nagar Junction. Several drivers complained that it took around 40 minutes to cover the half-kilometre stretch
This led to confusion among motorists, who were yet again spotted relying on locals and traffic cops for directions. What compounded their woes was a traffic jam on the westbound stretch of the SCLR, between Kalina-Kurla flyover and Kapadia nagar junction on CST Road.
Traffic at Buddha Colony in Kurla (W). Pics/Datta Kumbhar, Sayed Sameer Abedi
Plenty of problems
Those coming from south Mumbai via the Eastern Express Highway (EEH) were struggling to locate the SCLR due to the absence of signboards.
To overcome the problem, traffic department deployed nearly six traffic constables at important junctions to guide motorists towards the SCLR.
Similar chaos was observed at the EEH’s Chembur flyover end and the start of SCLR’s Chedda Nagar Junction. Motorists were in a quandary over whether to continue on the highway or turn on to the SCLR for western suburbs. Motorists taking the EEH to reach the SCLR have a couple of options.
They can either take the route that is still accessible from Amar Mahal Junction, as told by the traffic cops, or pass the junction to take the upper deck of the SCLR.
The major hurdle motorists faced was that they had to halt to read the small signboards and then turn for Tilak Nagar and Nehru Nagar or take the upper deck that directly opens at Kurla junction and connects to the CST Road which finally leads to the WEH at Santacruz.
The SCLR’s lower deck has a massive junction that takes motorists to Nehru Nagar and Tilak Nagar. However, several vehicles were seen plying on the flyover with their drivers assuming that it goes straight to these two places. But the flyover has numerous entry and exit points to reach these locations.
It was observed that traffic flow towards Chembur from Santacruz via the CST Road was moving smoothly, except on the stretch between Kalina and Kurla- Kalina flyover, which experienced a jam due to illegal parking and shops. It took 30 to 40 minutes for motorists travelling towards Chembur to cover the distance of just half a kilometre.
Worst affected was the stretch towards Santacruz from Chembur — as vehicles were seen moving at a snail’s pace from Halav pul up to Kapadia Nagar Junction on the CST Road. Motorists were caught in traffic jams due to haphazardly parked vehicles and encroachment by scrap dealers whose shops were located next to the road.
What they said
MMRDA chief UPS Madan, “We are aware of the traffic jams on CST Road, which is inconveniencing motorists using the SCLR. But we have already informed the traffic department and the BMC to clear the encroachment on the road and illegal parking if any, as it is their job to do so.”
When questioned about the signboards, he said, “We will be discussing it with the traffic department and based on their suggestions signboards will be installed at necessary locations so that motorists using the SCLR don’t have any problem in reaching their desired destinations.”
Transport expert Jitendra Gupta said, “Due to improper and inadequate signboards, motorists wanting to reach Kurla-LTT Terminus via the SCLR end up taking the upper deck of the flyover. This increases chances of accident as many motorists apply immediate breaks, increasing the chances of them being knocked down by the vehicle behind theirs.”
A traffic constable at Amar Mahal Junction said, “Before 100 metres of any diversion, there should be a visible signboard so that motorists don’t get confused.”
Mankhurd to Santacruz
Due to lack of signboards, I got confused after taking the SCLR. I halted the vehicle at a junction on the lower deck of the flyover to ask a traffic constable for directions to Santacruz. I was travelling from Mankhurd.
Navi Mumbai to airport
I faced a lot of difficulties in reaching the SCLR. It wasn’t clear where the SCLR starts on the EEH, as there are very few signboards. When I was on the SCLR, my driver missed the upper deck of the flyover and we reached LTT.
MCLR to Chembur
I was travelling via Mankhurd-Chembur Link Road and wanted to go to Chembur. But due to lack of signboards near Chedda Nagar on EEH I took the Amar Mahal Junction flyover going towards the SCLR by mistake.