LAHORE:A number of new U-turns constructed on two major roads i.e. Maulana Shaukat Ali Road and Madar-e-Millat Road have created bottlenecks instead of providing smooth way to the traffic.
The traffic jams at these U-turns were contributing heavily to the already deteriorated AQI of the city, which was around 291 on Monday. Smooth traffic was a key factor to be considered in fighting with the smog and it seemed that experts of Traffic Engineering and Planning Agency (TEPA) missed this important consideration while designing the new U-turns on these roads.
Maulana Shaukat Ali Road is one of the main arteries of the city, which was a crucial link between the Multan Road-Wahdat Road and PECO Road-Ferozpur Road. Karim Block Market, Jinnah Hospital, Johar Town, Faisal Town, Township, College Road, Model Town Link Road and Quaid-e-Azam Industrial Estate are some of the important spots situated on this route.
Similarly, Madr-e-Millat Road connected the Thokar Niaz Beg Chowk and Canal Bank Road with Ferozepur Road while passing through Johar Town, Wapda Town, College Road, Quaid-e-Azam Industrial Estate and Ferozepur Road.
Lahore Development Authority (LDA) was constructing a flyover at Akbar Chowk to control the traffic on this important road while TEPA was responsible for traffic engineering to ensure proper traffic management on this road recently.
It is pertinent to mention here that all the U-turns, as per private experts, were ill-planned and curved outside extraordinary, which resulted in bottleneck on the four-lane road on both sides. The experts also feared that in fogy season, accidents may occur on this road due to these extraordinary curvy U-turns.
The traffic situation has already become worst on these roads due to the ill-planned U-turns and once the LDA opens the Akbar Chowk flyover the situation will further worsen because the traffic coming on the fast lane (extreme right) has to face obstacles due to these U-turns, which may result in accidents too.
On the other hand, the roundabout of Wapda Town was reshaped, which created a traffic mess at the PIA Road junction and other U-turns of the Madr-e-Millat Road.
It is pertinent to mention here that recently TEPA was also given the task of removing parking from the roads but ironically a number of car showrooms were present on this road and the majority of them parked their for-sale cars on the side road and at some points on the main road further squeezing it. The experts recommended that these U-turns should be redesigned to ensure smooth traffic as well as to avoid accidents.
Similarly, on the Madr-e-Millat Road, illegal parking, stands of motorcycle rickshaws and different stalls including fruit carts were also present and causing hindrance in the traffic flow.
When contacted, Chief Engineer TEPA Iqrar Hussain said that U-turns at Maulana Shaukat Ali Road were designed by Nespak. Over a question about redesigning of U-turns, he said as of now, no working was in progress on redesigning.
Replying to a question that the U-turns have created bottlenecks on the road, he later replied that he has deputed Director Traffic Engineering TEPA to visit both the roads and suggest rectification for improvement of U-turns geometry, if required.