The road leading to Tejgaon from Gulshan-1 intersection is heavily congested with cars around 3:00pm yesterday. Photo: Rashed Shumon
Since the capacity of the main road through Gulshan has not increased at par with the area's residential nature turning more commercial, long tailbacks have become a common scene on the north and south sides of Gulshan-1 intersection.
During office hours, in the morning and the afternoon, the tailbacks cover the entire span from Gulshan Jam-e-mosque on the south to the intersection, with a similar scenario on the other side of the road that leads towards Gulshan 2.
Shahana Islam, resident of Gulshan -1, had to spend 20 minutes to go from Road-138 to the intersection on Monday afternoon, a distance of 5 minutes on foot.
"Both sides of the road were blocked with traffic. So my car could not cross and take a right turn to go towards the intersection," she said, adding she dreads going out of her house because of the congestion.
Mahbub Alam Talukder, traffic police inspector at the intersection, said traffic from three lanes in Hatirjheel and the Tejgaon-Gulshan Link Road converge at the entry of Gulshan-1 road near the Shooting Club and most of these vehicles take the road leading towards the roundabout.
The two-lane road to Gulshan-1 intersection cannot cope with the heavy traffic load and that's why long snarls-up are created, he added.
Former director of Accident Research Institute of BUET, Prof Md Samsul Hoque said a 2010 study by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) found that the number of vehicles plying through the Gulshan-1 intersection was double its capacity.
That Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkhya (Rajuk) is allowing high-rise buildings without any traffic impact assessment (TIA) at the area is also responsible for the traffic congestion, he observed.
He suggested an integrated corridor with an underpass or overpass at the intersection to improve the traffic situation.
Even then, it will not be sustainable if Rajuk does not stop allowing the construction of high-rise buildings in the area without the TIA assessment, he said, holding this assessment a must in case of the entire city to reach a sustainable solution to traffic congestion.
Illegal parking of vehicles on the Gulshan Avenue adds to the menace by taking up a considerable portion of the already narrow road.
"Most of the commercial buildings do not have parking spaces. On the other hand, buildings with parking space can accommodate only 8-10 vehicles. But it is not sufficient as each building houses a multiple number of offices," said Talukder.
Even vehicles on the road running east–west from Badda to Mohakhali get affected by the north-south traffic.
"Since the pressure is more on the north and south directions we sometimes keep the red signal on the east and west longer," he said.
Then again, movement of vehicles on east-west directions is hampered as public buses running along that route stop haphazardly to pick up and drop off passengers.
Though cases are filed, according to Talukder, against 8-10 vehicles every day for violating traffic rules, this is hardly changing the traffic situation and the mindset of the errant drivers.