BMC to decongest Bandra’s Linking Road, will make space for pedestrians & motorists
Over the last decade, Bandra has transcended from a regular suburban neighbourhood to one of the most upmarket places to live in the city.
But despite the sky high rents, the street shopping culture still thrives in the suburb thanks to Linking Road and its hundreds of vendors, some of whom have been in business for almost two decades now.
The lane, which is most frequented by women, boasts of everything from dresses, shoes and accessories. What makes the experience even more enticing are the bargain opportunities, something most shoppers are attracted to.
However, owing to the limited space and exceeding number of shoppers, the lane has become tricky to manage or commute through over the years.
In a bid to change that, the BMC passed a proposal forwarded by the H-West ward, which calls for changing the alignment of at least 97 stalls on the road.
Currently, all stalls face the road, which leads shoppers to walk close to the moving traffic. During evening peak hours, the crowd takes up a majority of the road creating traffic snarls and resulting in excessive honking. The traffic woes worsen when BEST buses have to pass through.
Bandra MLA Ashish Shelar had also raised the issue of pedestrian safety and traffic snarls with Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta earlier.
The BMC is therefore mulling over either rearranging the stalls or creating more space. The plan also calls for standardizing the height and width of each stall, which will make them easier to arrange and enable optimal use of space.
Once executed, the crowded stretch will get drastically de-congested in the next six months.
“If the BMC comes up with a solution that is feasible, we will be more than happy to abide by it. The lack of walking space makes things difficult for shoppers and us. Almost everyday we see a pedestrian and a motorist get into an argument over the lack of space on the road,” said Amin Shaikh, a vendor from Linking Road.