Mumbai: Too much traffic around Green Acres Academy irks local residents

Updated: Dec 24, 2018, 10:55 IST | Arita Sarkar

Green Acres Academy is on private road that was recently opened to traffic, locals fear chaos when more find about it

The problems increase during the monsoon when parents park close to the school gate so their children don’t get wet in the rain
The problems increase during the monsoon when parents park close to the school gate so their children don’t get wet in the rain

Unlike a majority of the schools in the city, the Green Acres Academy is located on a road that was opened to the general public as recently as six months ago. Though the school takes its fair share of measures to minimise traffic congestion in front of the school's entrance, local residents complain that parents of students often park in front of their society's gates while they wait for their children.

Parents worry about children crossing the road to board buses even as cars drive by disregarding the school guard. Pics/Sameer Markande
Parents worry about children crossing the road to board buses even as cars drive by disregarding the school guard. Pics/Sameer Markande

The school currently has students from class I to class VII. The administration has implemented a system wherein students who have opted for the bus service board the school buses that are parked on either side of the road at 2:45 pm. The remaining students who are picked up by their parents have to wait inside the school building and are allowed to leave only after the school buses have departed by 3:15 pm. During this time, vehicles pile up in front of the school gate and traffic moves slowly for a period of 15-20 minutes.

The narrow road which is close to housing societies
The narrow road which is close to housing societies

Parents voiced their concern about children crossing the road to board the buses even as cars drive by disregarding the school guard. The problems increase during the monsoon season when parents tend to park as close as possible to the gate to ensure their children don't get wet in the rain which adds to the traffic congestion. The school will soon extend its classes till class X and local residents feel that a higher number of students will inevitably add to the traffic problem.

The school is located on a road that connects SG Barve Marg and Ramakrishna Chemburkar Marg which allows residents of Chembur and Kurla to use Sion-Trombay Road to move towards the Eastern Freeway.

Map

Until six months ago, the road was private and blocked by a wall. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), however, demolished the wall and the road was thrown open to traffic. Local residents are now concerned that once more people start using this road, and the increasing number of students, the traffic issues will get worse.

DirectorSpeak
Aaditya Lohana,
Executive director of the school
'Our system is not very different from that followed by thousands of schools across the country. We have segregated the timings. Parents who come to pick up their children have been given a separate time which is after school buses have left. Parents park their vehicles 300-400 metres away and then walk to the school gate. Most neighbours have no concerns. But we are harassed by a self-interested group of people. We always follow laws and will continue to do so and provide the best education for the children of Chembur'

PoliceSpeak
Dr Saurabh Tripathi,
Deputy Commissioner of Police
'Parking in front of the gate is illegal and we will look into the issue. But as part of the long-term planning of the road will be taken up with local resident groups and school administration. If the school has additional students then additional parking to accommodate vehicles will also have to be arranged'

Ashwini Prabhu

Voices
Ashwini Prabhu,
A parent
'Earlier this road was closed so there were no safety concerns for the children. But now vehicles use the road when children walk towards their buses. All buses should be parked on the same side as the school gate so that kids don't have to cross the road at all.'

Vishnu Shelar

Vishnu Shelar,
A shopkeeper
'When the school begins and ends, the traffic lasts for about half an hour, but clears up quickly. But parents park their cars in front of the gates of residential buildings which is inconvenient for people in the morning when they have to leave for work.'

Hemal Shah

Hemal Shah,
A local resident
'This used to be a service road. But after our society complained to the BMC as drunkards loitered in the area, they broke the wall and it was opened up. The parents must understand that there is a traffic issue here. They should opt for school buses instead of coming to pick up their children in cars. The traffic police should mark no parking zones. There are no proper footpaths which makes it difficult for pedestrians.'

Major problems
* Parents park their vehicles in front of the gates of residential buildings near the school
* Children cross the road to board their buses
* School van drivers take a long queue of students down the road to board vehicle
* Residents are concerned of the near future when more people find that the road is open to the public

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