Why do we need Save Pune Traffic Movement when there also are other groups?
The traffic problem is a multi-dimensional problem and hence needs to be tackled on multiple fronts. Yes, there are other organizations working on it.
There is a group that focuses on providing a sustainable & affordable public transport system, which will reduce traffic congestion as well as will help the city develop a certain character. They advocate certain policies, and try to convince people at the helm of our city to adopt those policies. Another group is focused on ensuring that the roads are of good quality, do not develop potholes every monsoon... and on solving any related issues. Yet another organization focuses on issues faced by pedestrians.
There could be other such groups too, and some very knowledgeable & dedicated folks are working with them.
Yet, the public transport system, roads are only some parts (though very important ones), of the whole unruly elephant called the traffic system that needs to be tamed (transformed).
Did you come across that story in which some blind people were asked to feel and describe an elephant? The one who touched the elephant's leg described it as a pillar. Another one who touched its tail described it as a rope and so on…
First and foremost, SPTM recognizes the need recognize the traffic problem in its entirety and the need for all the concerned governing authorities as well as citizens to work as a team to drive the transformation.
Second, SPTM recognizes that the strategy of individuals or small groups chasing the governing authorities to get something done has failed. Even one time actions by large number of citizens only create a storm in a tea-cup, and makes nothing better than a good news item.
Hence the need for a "grassroots" movement on a sustained long term basis. We need unity of very large number of citizens with an ongoing action. This alone can create a demand for a change, for a long term vision and comprehensive action as per a plan to reach that vision.
SPTM creates this unity of large number of citizens, not just by wishful thinking, but by a small, positive, visible action - to follow all traffic rules!
Fortunately, Pune does have thousands of such people. We need to unite them in a visible manner. The SPTM sticker does that job. If there are thousands of such stickers on the streets, all concerned officials will see our unity every day. When you get in an argument with an idiot on the road, there will be another SPTM member nearby to take your side!
That's why every Punekar who follows traffic rules should join SPTM - at least as a supporter if not as an active member. And that's also why all such Punekars should proudly sport a sticker that ties them in a common thread.
Hence, through this positive action, thousands or lakhs of us can directly contribute to improving traffic and at the same time, we also indirectly support hundreds of SPTM volunteers, who additionally participate in actions to improve "grassroots" level things mentioned below, as per their liking & time-energy they can put in. Hundreds of these citizens need to pester PMC & other officials; and thousands of us need to support them.
What are these "grassroots" level actions? These are the several issues which remain unaddressed, despite actions by other organizations focused on specifc issues, such as:
Lights at many signals are fused. Lights meant for pedestrians are virtually nonexistent throughtout the city.
- You don't see a no right/ left turn sign before taking a turn, but you see a "no entry" sign after entering a 1-way street the wrong way!
- We need to inclucate better road sense among our children.
- And of course, traffic rules are not at all enforced. People who follow them take a detour while violators get to enjoy "shortcuts"!
... etc etc etc.
To Summarize, SPTM is needed to:
- Create a "grassroots" movement where very large number of citizens contribute directly through a small, positive action of following all traffic rules.
- Indirectly support hundreds of SPTM volunteers, who drive "grassroot" actions by working with governing authorities or specific SPTM projects such as project Kavach for schools.
- Indirectly support other organizations such as PTTF, who focus on specific mega issues such as public transport system.
- Create a sustained demand and drive the transformation of traffic.
By now, we trust you have realized why SPTM is not a "group": The 'M' stands for Movement.
Let's drive the transformation! Come, join hands with us!