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GURGAON: The part of Gurgaon now known as the Ambience area, taking the name of the eponymous mall there, has for years served as a beacon for Millennium City. Its location, at the first point of entry into Gurgaon for expressway traffic coming from Delhi, has also made it the city’s most visible landmark. Therein lies the irony. The mall and its plush contiguous real estate are easier to reach from Delhi than from Gurgaon, the expressway putting them in an awkward position for those wishing to drive there from within the city.

The approach to Ambience mall and the apartments, Ambience Lagoon and Ambience Caitriona, is at the confluence of the Jaipur-Delhi Road and the expressway, with a service lane catering to the area. A few hundred metres ahead, the Jaipur-Delhi Road turns left into Moulsari Avenue, flanking which is DLF Phase III.

Driving to the Ambience area from the HUDA sectors and parts of the city on the left of the expressway if one faces Jaipur poses a conundrum. Strangely, the area is accessible to traffic originating in Gurgaon only through the expressway. So, one must enter the high-speed corridor, join traffic on the Delhi-bound flank and drive towards the toll plaza till the U-turn and then enter the Ambience service lane.

Accessibility is even more complicated for those driving from DLF Phase-III. They must take the Delhi-Jaipur Road and drive in the direction of Shankar Chowk, take a U-turn under the flyover to reach the expressway and then drive towards the toll plaza to take the U-turn for Ambience.

The solution, say town planners, lies in an underpass below the expressway or an elevated road that takes traffic originating in Gurgaon over the expressway and onto the Ambience lane (see graphic). “The present access to Ambience Mall and other areas in its vicinity is improper and unsafe,” says Dr Sewa Ram, head of the transport planning department at the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi. “Access at the surface may not work as it may affect the traffic flow of the expressway and will result in several merging and diverging conflict points. Hence, a grade separated access should be planned,” he adds. An underpass, feels, is the most viable option.

The imminent removal of the toll plaza is likely to create problems for incoming traffic from Delhi, too. With no barrier, cars zipping down the 32-lane belly of the expressway will rush at mush higher speeds towards the Ambience exit, raising the possibility of another bottleneck as they enter the narrower road. A likely solution is signage being installed at least a kilometre before the exit, ask vehicles wishing to turn towards Ambience mall and DLF Phase-III to keep to the left.

For long off bounds for public transport, Rapid Metro has brought some relief. “We have special buses from the Micromax Moulsari Avenue station to help people reach the mall,” a senior management official at Ambience Mall said.

Experts say parking management is another vital component in the future planning of the Ambience area. “One needs to regulate parking on the Delhi-Jaipur Road, which takes up a considerable amount of space. It could also become a cause of future traffic issues in that area,” says Raj Vir Singh, former chief town Planner of Haryana. “Usage of proper signage to direct traffic from either side could also help to streamline traffic flow,” he adds.



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