THIS is apropos the news report ‘Burnes Road to remain traffic-free in evenings’ (Jan 7). The city administration has announced to keep the food district ‘traffic-free’ in the evenings to provide a better environment to the people at the eateries in the vicinity.

This means that vehicular traffic from Fresco Chowk to Court Road will be closed from 7pm onwards, and traffic coming from Arambagh will be diverted to M.A. Jinnah Road and People’s Square. It is one of the city’s busiest areas and works as a junction to the roads leading to Sharah-i-Liaquat and M.A. Jinnah Road.

From Jamia Cloth Market to Merewether Tower, the M.A. Jinnah Road is a one-way facility and the traffic coming from Merewether Tower has to come on Sharah-i-Liaquat, which, again, is a one-way road. From the Burnes Road-Shahrah-i-Liaquat crossing, known as Fresco Chowk, the traffic proceeds to M.A. Jinnah Road.

Similarly, the traffic moves to Regal Chowk and towards the Empress Market, which is again a bustling area. This intersection also leads to I.I. Chundrigar Road, which is another crowded area.

With the Burnes Road getting converted into a food street, there will be chaos and mayhem on an already messed-up traffic route. Besides, there are colleges, hospitals, institutions, courts, government offices, banks’ head offices in and around the area. Making a food street at Burnes Road will badly affect citizens’ commuting, especially of the senior citizens and children, to their desired destinations.

Already the route of Capri Cinema till the Quaid’s mausoleum on M.A. Jinnah Road is lying dug up for many years and the traffic situation is at its worst in the surroundings. Owing to this, the vehicular traffic has no way out, but to divert to other roads and even the streets to reach the city centre.

One has to plan at least 30 minutes ahead of time to reach the downtown and the central business district. Besides, it gives the commuters a scare to ply on these roads, especially in the peak hours. If Burnes Road area is made a food street, there will be full-blown chaos in the city, which is already facing water, sewerage, electricity and unruly traffic issues.

Therefore, Burnes Road area should not be converted into a food street in order to ease the traffic flow and to ensure better movement of people in the vicinity.

M. Asif
Karachi

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2021

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