Pedestrians fear for life at ITO crossing

new delhi: in spite of an overbridge and a subway, this junction is a pedestrian’s nightmare. clocking 11,000 passenger car units (a measure of traffic density) per hour on average, the ito crossing is always busy. while car owners have to share space with private buses — which seldom obey lane rules — for pedestrians who change buses at this junction, the stream of vehicles is a formidable obstacle. says rakesh chhibber, a ca with a firm on bahadur shah zafar marg, of his harrowing experience on monday evening: ‘‘first, it’s a three-minute wait for the light to change at the ito and i have to often wait for two or three changes,’’ he says. ‘‘i need to go towards india gate but there is so much traffic turning towards mandi house that half the road is taken up by them.’’ errant driving behaviour and lack of lane discipline resulted in 44 accidents last year, of which four were fatal. vehicles at fault were mostly private buses — furiously competing for passengers — followed by two-wheelers. the victims: two-wheeler drivers and pedestrians. which is why most drivers give buses a wide berth. says rubina sehgal (26), who works for a courier company: ‘‘to catch a chartered bus back home to rajouri garden, i have to cross indraprastha marg. by 6.30 pm the traffic is so heavy that it’s a long wait before i can step onto the road,’’ she says. many car drivers complain about the faulty time allocation for traffic signals. anand ramachandram, an office assistant with a private firm, says: ‘‘the police have disallowed a right turn for those going towards bsz marg from vikas marg. you need to go straight on to ddu marg but the right turn signal is hopelessly out of date.’’ says joint commissioner of police (traffic) maxwell pereira: ‘‘the traffic at ito junction is far in excess.’’ the ito crossing is a major bus junction and is connected to two of the city’s busiest arteries: the east-west and north-south corridors. the north-south corridor further opens onto the largest dispersal rotary — the india gate roundabout, pereira says.

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