There are suggestions that all the heavy vehicular traffic that passes through main arteries of Karachi be diverted to the Lyari Expressway relieving the pressure on the main thoroughfares of Karachi.

On the face of it seems like a good idea but will certainly pose challenges for the ordinary people commuting through the Lyari Expressway and specially those who have moved to the various housing colonies that have sprung up on the superhighway, and they commute daily to downtown Karachi from their residences.

So far the traffic load is bearable, but once all the heavy vehicles are diverted to the Lyari Expressway it will be a totally new ball game.

It is not just the number of heavy vehicles that will be on the expressway but their frequent confrontations with authorities, which presently blocks Mauripur Road on a regular basis.

As someone who commuted from Clifton to SITE every day for more than twenty years I can recall with some unease the number of times Mauripur Road was closed down due to some grievance of the heavy load truck drivers who would calmly just park their vehicles to jam this road, and it was not just wasted time but also the danger of losing your valuables when sitting in this sea of heavy vehicular traffic.

Depending on the intensity of the traffic jam there would be sooner or later the arrival of armed gangs who would relieve passengers of stuck up cars of their mobiles and wallets. It was so bad that most of us kept a second-hand mobile phone just for these mobile snatchers to save our data from these hoodlums.

I know that the young energetic Mayor of Karachi Murtaza Wahab is trying his best to reduce traffic congestion for the people of Karachi.

May I suggest that apart from diverting heavy traffic to Lyari Expressway he considers other steps that could be equally effective. The most important step that can be taken on a city-wide basis is to follow traffic rules that in other countries of the world have solved traffic congestion problems automatically.

The most important is observance of traffic rules, such as the driving of slow vehicles on the far left-hand side of the road. Right now if you step out and observe traffic on any main road you will see that it is proceeding on a snail’s pace and the reason is that few slow vehicles are in every lane impeding the progress of fast vehicles who in frustration are honking or flashing their lights but to no avail. There are even motorcyclists in the fast lane.

In the past there have been much publicized campaigns to rope in these motorcyclists and the traffic police have created clearly marked lanes for motorcyclists only, but the situation has remained the same because after some days as the campaign cools off we are back to square one and slow vehicles including motorcyclists are also all over the road blocking traffic.

Have you not noticed that over the years, Karachi roads have become much wider. From single lane to 4 and 5-lane traffic is now in place, but the traffic congestion is the same. The reason simply is that the people who were blocking two lanes are now merrily driving on 4 lanes with the same speed, thus clogging the streets.

Well-thought-out steps like using Lyari Expressway or other similar endeavours will certainly help, but what we really need is not just new directions for the flow of traffic but the guidance of traffic in flow.

The traffic police can play a much higher role in easing traffic if they were to put their head down and implement traffic laws, regulations and directions with a will and determination. Standing around street corners, handing out chalans is just a part of their job, but their main role should be to streamline traffic in an orderly method and ensuring that all traffic laws are enforced.

I am sure that if they ensure our streets are used as per the law and no one is allowed to occupy spaces they are not entitled to occupy we will suddenly find that our streets are actually much bigger and wider than we imagined, and we do not need to shift traffic from one area to another to ease congestion or bring relief to the people of this metropolitan city.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

QOSHE - Diverting traffic - Zia Ul Islam Zuberi
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Diverting traffic

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11.05.2024

There are suggestions that all the heavy vehicular traffic that passes through main arteries of Karachi be diverted to the Lyari Expressway relieving the pressure on the main thoroughfares of Karachi.

On the face of it seems like a good idea but will certainly pose challenges for the ordinary people commuting through the Lyari Expressway and specially those who have moved to the various housing colonies that have sprung up on the superhighway, and they commute daily to downtown Karachi from their residences.

So far the traffic load is bearable, but once all the heavy vehicles are diverted to the Lyari Expressway it will be a totally new ball game.

It is not just the number of heavy vehicles that will be on the expressway but their frequent confrontations with authorities, which presently blocks Mauripur Road on a regular basis.

As someone who commuted from Clifton to SITE every day for more than twenty years I can recall with some unease the number of times Mauripur Road was closed down due to some grievance of the........

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