We lack traffic
H. Kishie Singh
The traffic signs put up on Jan Marg about 20 years ago are ignored by all
you go south on Jan Marg, it's a pleasure to drive on a wide,
smoothly-carpeted road. The speed limit is 65 kmph, too fast for
a city road, even Chandigarh. The recognised highway speed is 75
kmph. It may have been practical a decade ago but not today,
with a seven-fold increase in vehicular traffic on the same
roads. Strange that no one has paid attention to this extremely
important aspect of traffic management. The traffic signs put up
on Jan Marg about 20 years ago are ignored by allómotorists,
the police, the administration and the Engineering Department.
The reason is
quite simple. No one has an inkling about building roads or
traffic management. Otherwise why would they be demolishing
roundabouts one day and deciding to re-build them the next day.
Reason? Lack of knowledge about the functions of a roundabout.
In most parts of the world, the roundabout is accepted as a near
perfect road traffic management functionary. Chandigarh is still
to make up its mind. In spite of all the foreign trips our
officials make, no one has brought any knowledge home. Traffic
is haywire; the law of the jungle prevails.
The other day I
was driving south on Jan Marg within the speed limit ó 65 kmph.
Matka Chowk has a wide open roundabout, and in the absence of
traffic, it is easy to touch 60 kmph. That is what I did. As I
joined Jan Marg again, a bus was coming on the wrong side of the
road with great speed headed straight for me. Not his fault. His
side of Jan Marg was being carpeted. So he decided to change
lanes and head against traffic. There should be some sort of
warning for motorists. These finer points of traffic management
are ignored and this endangers lives.
Yet the whole
point of traffic management is to make roads safer. Slip roads,
as the name implies, allows traffic to slip out when traffic
lights are red, thereby cutting down on the vehicle build-up.
But engineers have created traffic lights at some of the slip
roads. Result? Vehicle build-up at a red light. The slip road
has become counter-productive and is a waste of money. It has
not helped ease traffic congestion at all. Another glaring
example of traffic mismanagement.
If you exit from
the Taj Hotel and head for Matka Chowk, you will join Madhya
Marg. If you have refuelled at Bhagat Singh petrol station, you
exit and head for Matka Chowk. Both roads come together and join
Madhya Marg. That's where a road sign has been installed. It
says no traffic allowed ahead. It's a good thing Chandigarh
drivers pay no attention to road signs. If they did, there would
be chaos at Matka Chowk. The whole point of good and responsible
driving is to observe traffic rules. This we don't do. Sorry to
say but drivers in the city are an irresponsible lot and the
powers that be are of no help.