The Delhi Public Works Department (PWD) has drawn up a plan to decongest the perpetually choked Press Enclave Marg in south Delhi, officials said on Monday, adding that the proposal that includes creating more U-turns along of the section, narrowing the central margin and clearing the road of encroachments
The plan, which also proposes removing the traffic signal at Mandir Marg T-junction, has been sent to PWD Minister Atishi for approval, officials said. “The proposal aims to make more space available near the central shoulder and reduce vehicle stops… We hope this will reduce the length of queues at traffic lights. We have also carried out a study for the layout of the space, so that we can eliminate encroachments without acquiring land. The proposal is yet to be approved,” said a PWD official, who asked not to be named.
Experts, however, expressed concern and said adding more U-turns on the narrow stretch would create more problems than it would solve.
The busy Press Enclave Marg, which connects Sri Aurobindo Marg and Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, has been a traffic chaos for years, struggling to cope with the huge volume of traffic on the narrow 3.7 kilometer stretch. The street is flanked by three shopping malls (MGF Metropolitan, Select Citywalk and DLF Avenue), the Max Superspeciality Hospital meters away and the Hauz Rani neighborhood and market on the opposite side.
Encroachments and illegally parked cars on the stretch significantly consume the already thin stretch and often leave vehicles with only one lane to travel on.
Atishi announced on September 12 that the road will be beautified following the lines of work carried out for the G20 Summit.
According to the plan, those driving from the hospital towards Mandir Marg will have to go straight towards the shopping malls, make a U-turn about 50-100m before the existing traffic light and then turn left. At the same time, those driving from the malls towards the hospital cannot go straight: they will have to turn left onto Mandir Marg, make a U-turn and then turn left back onto Press Enclave Road.
Similarly, those driving from Mandir Marg towards shopping malls will have to turn left towards the hospital and then make a U-turn.
The official cited above said land may need to be acquired in some places, such as illegal parking spaces. However, the agency is working on ways to maximize the available land without acquiring more area.
The official said the department will also undertake beautification work, including repairing pavements and drainage line, painting pavements and improving signage, improving lighting, pruning trees on the sides and center shoulder, and removing spots of waste disposal.
In August, PWD conducted a survey to redesign Press Enclave Marg. The study noted that the highway suffers a very high volume of traffic during peak hours, mainly due to unauthorized parking and encroachments. Peak hour traffic on the highway is almost 9,000 passenger car units (PCU) in the morning and 10,000 PCU in the evening. Unlike other stretches, traffic volume is high even during weekends due to shopping malls, officials said. Meanwhile, experts said the road redesign should address congestion as well as pedestrian friendliness.
“In high-density areas like Press Enclave Marg, removing traffic lights can be a good idea to reduce congestion. However, it should be tested before deleting it permanently. In front of the hospital, six lanes suddenly converge into four lanes, increasing the traffic jam. This should be solved by widening the road. Also, with a number of hospitals, shopping malls and sessions court, there is a very high volume of pedestrians on this stretch which needs to be addressed with good quality infrastructure and level crossing facilities,” said Professor S Velmurugan, Chief Scientist. and traffic chief. Engineering and Safety Division, Central Institute of Road Research.
Advait Jani, senior manager of cities and transport at WRI India, said removing traffic signals does not necessarily solve congestion problems. “Signalless crossings are not as simple as turning off signals, restricting right turns and making vehicles make U-turns. It is important to ensure that road geometry and U-turn lanes are taken into account. , that access to pedestrian crossings is not restricted and that the U-turn itself does not become a point of congestion and conflict,” Jani said. .
Meanwhile, residents struggled to remove unauthorized parking and encroachments along the stretch. “Unauthorized parking is a big problem as there are hospitals, shopping malls and other commercial establishments, and visitors park along the streets. The entire street is invaded by shops near Hauz Rani and all their products are displayed on the street with no space to walk. The remaining trails are broken and unmaintained. They have to fix this first,” said Ajay Jasra, president of Press Enclave (RWA).