Mumbai: Andheri residents breathe sigh of relief as traffic congestion due to cafe likely to ease
mid-day impact » This paper's Dec 21 report about how a recently opened coffee house in the area was causing regular traffic congestion on Lokhandwala's back road due to haphazard parking by those visiting the cafe
Residents of Andheri's Lokhandwala and the adjoining Oshiwara are most likely to get an unhindered stretch to drive on the back road. After mid-day reported on December 21 how a recently opened cafe - Love & Latte - on the back road's south end had been causing frequent traffic snarls on the stretch due to haphazard parking by the coffee house's patrons, the area's residents association body and the DN Nagar Traffic Division have come together to solve the problem as best as possible.
After members of the Lokhandwala-Oshiwara Citizens Association (LOCA) met officers, traffic cops have been regularly setting up plastic barricades outside the café to prevent people from parking.
From smooth to choked
Explaining the problem in detail, residents said people visiting the café would park their vehicles angularly, which would not only narrow the width of the road for motorists at the junction, but also caused bottlenecks and bumper-to-bumper traffic on an otherwise smooth stretch. Also, people parking their cars in such a manner at the spot were fined a measly Rs 200, hardly a deterrent considering they were about to go in and spend hundreds more for coffee. Towing vans in the area too were few in number and couldn't accommodate the sheer number of cars parked wrongly. Furthermore, the cars had to be towed all the way to either Versova or DN Nagar, making the turnaround time for each trip even higher.
Traffic police have started putting up barricades outside the cafe on the back road to curb haphazard parking
'No parking' the solution
"The traffic department has temporarily arranged plastic barricades and are barricading the area every evening; they are also putting up the metal barricade, used during nakabandi, for periods," said Dhaval Shah, founder of LOCA. "When traffic policemen visit the spot and find any vehicle parked angularly, they use their MTP app and immediately fine the owner. However, the permanent solution is to get a notification from the traffic department to make that zone 'no parking', so that it's completely free of vehicles.
"We also want commercial establishments to act with some responsibility towards the area in which they operate and not force resident organisations to step in every time to solve a mess they created, by not keeping watchmen outside their shops to regulate their patrons' parking."
Water activist Amla Ruia speaks to mid-day