Will East-West roads solve traffic woes?

Traffic experts feel that the need of the hour is to iron out the issues plaguing current roads before embarking on new East-West connecting corridors

While the state government is contemplating constructing a comprehensive network of roads connecting eastern part of the city to the western,  experts believe that the need of the hour is to resolve the current traffic woes and widen the existing corridors.

The work in progress at the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR). Experts feel the government should first resolve the current issues and widen the existing corridors and then embark on its ambitious plans

"The state government has bungled the development process of east-west roads like the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) and the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR)," said AV Shenoy, a transport expert.

While work on SCLR has been delayed due to shifting of religious structures and constant opposition from slum dwellers at the construction site, motorists ply on a technically incomplete JVLR, as work on sidewalls and streetlights is pending.

Apart from these two link roads, the Andheri-Ghatkopar Link Road via Chakala and the Mulund-Goregaon Link Road via Sanjay Gandhi National Park are also incomplete.

"The road over bridges (ROBs) and other roads connecting east to west have been delayed by years now and
were planned only on paper. With traffic on present roads going up with each passing day, commuters are wasting time and energy in travelling," said Jitendra Gupta, a member of Citizen Transport Committee.

Adding to commuters' misery are the ROBs that run over railway tracks. Confusing diversions and stoppages soon after coming down from an ROB has aggravated commuting woes.

For instance, at Goregaon, the approach road from link road gets narrower near the ROB that takes vehicles towards Western Express Highway (WEH), thus leading to ugly traffic snarls.

With work on Metro rail underway, the Andheri-Ghatkopar road is chock-a-block with vehicles. The situation gets chaotic during morning and evening peak hours.

"It's the growing number of vehicles that is responsible for the ugly traffic jams. We try to manage vehicles near ROBs in such a way that traffic is cleared as quickly as possible," said a senior traffic cop.

Ambitious plan
Eastern Freeway 
Sewri-Worli Sea Link 
Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (from Sewri to Kharkopar, Rave) 
Inner ring roads connecting Kaman, Bhiwandi, Panvel and Dronagiri

More roads ahead

The state government wants to develop 1,740 km of road by 2030 
It plans to execute the proposal via ring roads, freeways and a connected network of highways
Of the total network of highways, nearly 539 km will be newly developed, while the existing 782 km of arterial road will be upgraded or extended
In addition, 420-km long arterial corridors and links will be constructed

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