National Geographic Photo of the Day

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Road Rant

Around the time Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam (our alumnus) had come over to MIT campus, Anna University, they had been re-laying the road outside. Since we couldn’t bring our vehicles in then, we had to leave them outside college till lunch time. I came back to find a dent on my Accent (no the rhyme is unintended). This was amazing considering that I really couldn’t have parked it more to the side of the road; the only remaining parking place was the pavement itself. I would very much like to meet the guy who hit his bike or other stupid vehicle upon the car that day; perhaps I could give him a few dents myself.

Of course there’s the other extreme – people who park wherever they want, whenever they want, however they want. Sadly, this indeed constitutes the majority of the public in Chennai. Parking in front of someone else’s gate is thought to be justified by the comment “Naan Road le thaane park pannirken” (I’ve parked it on the road only). The irony is that parking on the road is in itself admitting to a crime. Courtesy has gone out the window, with every IT bugger and his uncle buying a car without first knowing the common courtesies of the road. With the Nano coming out by the end of the year, it’ll be hell on earth with these small cars choking the already inadequate infrastructure. Thank God for the flyover at Kathipara junction, else I’d be stuck in a 1 hour jam each day on the way to college.

Double parking is commonplace everywhere in the city, no wonder the traffic gets stuck even on wide roads. When big businesses open their doors, they must first ensure that they have parking space wherein the phrase “parking space” isn’t synonymous with the footpath and the road. Spencer’s Plaza is an excellent example of very well distributed parking. Whereas Citi Center only contributes to side roads all filled with Cars parked inconsiderately on either side.

When it comes to actual driving, no one really seems to know of lanes. It bugs me when people go really really slow in the right lane, and it seems most people here find it rather tiring to move their fingers an inch towards the indicator lever when changing lanes. Its just “Oh there’s a gap, now let me cut in front of the other guy already in the lane”.

Not to mention signals. As far as Indian driving goes, you’re an idiot if you wait at a red light. Waiting a minute won’t exactly kill you, will it? Doesn’t anyone know to drive properly; is it that hard to follow the rules of the road???

Rear View Mirrors should be made optional in our country – it sure would save a lot of money. Obviously, either no one looks at them or they’re folded shut or they’re angled to give a view of the driver’s own handsome face!

And this habit of immediately going around the outside of the right lane the moment there’s a traffic jam. It only aggravates things, why can’t everyone just wait in line and hence ensure the smooth flow of traffic. We talk the talk when asked why foreign roads are much better, but we sure don’t walk the walk. The basic attribute lacking in an Indian road user - whether pedestrian or vehicular – is discipline.


Post a Comment