City stuck in severe gridlock
City commuters suffered badly yesterday due to a severe traffic gridlock following a holiday-like empty street during Sunday's daylong hartal.
BNP, the main opposition party, enforced the countrywide hartal demanding that the caretaker system must stay intact for holding of parliamentary election.
Though traffic congestion is a daily phenomenon in the city its severity worsened yesterday thanks to the sudden onrush of all kinds of vehicles that remained stranded the previous day.
The gridlock in most city thoroughfares started in the morning and continued till noon.
Mofiz-Uddin Ahmed, deputy commissioner (traffic) of west zone, said all the vehicles hit the streets after a three-day break (two weekend days and a hartal day) yesterday morning creating such a huge tailback.
The situation was unbearable particularly in Banani area because of the closure of the right hand turn to Banani road-11 from Mohakhali, he added.
Sobhan Murshid, who went to Agargaon from Dhanmondi by bicycle around 9:00am, witnessed a traffic gridlock all the way up to the passport office.
Shahed Khan, a daily commuter, said it took him two hours to get to Farmgate from Uttara while it usually takes one to one and a half hours.
He added that it took him an hour to reach Jahangir Gate of Dhaka Cantonment from Chairmanbari of Banani, which is a five-minute drive by car.
According to the traffic department, around 66 educational institutions and half a dozen level crossings contribute to the gridlock on the busy Airport Road in Uttara Model Town every day.
Rashidul Aziz, a Moghbazar resident, said he had to wait for 15 minutes to cross Sonargaon intersection, as the Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue was packed with cars.
Responding to the justification for gradually blocking right turns in different areas of the city, Ahmed said it facilitates a faster flow for the north-south traffic.
The north-south flow constitutes the city's major traffic volume.
Blocking right-turns is also intended to discourage the east-west traffics from taking the north-south roads.
The right turns seriously disrupt the heavy flow of north-south traffic, the police official said, adding that the east-west traffic will naturally choose an alternative to avoid north-south roads if the right turns are denied.