It is vehicles from all sides at Sungam on Tiruchi Road - a junction that sees a confluence of traffic from Tiruchi Road, Puliyakulam, Nirmala College Road, and Sungam-Ukkadam bypass. With just a single traffic island at the junction and no traffic signals, traffic flow is as good as unregulated.
“A road user has no indication from where vehicles will come, leading to confusion and increasing accident risks. The need for a solution to streamline traffic in this junction has been discussed at several District Road Safety and Traffic Advisory Committee meetings for more than two years,” says K. Kathirmathiyon, secretary of Coimbatore Consumer Cause.
Traffic signals were found to be not very helpful in the past. The poor design of the traffic island only adds to the confusion at the junction. Temporary measures may not be effective. The State Highways should initiate a detailed study and suggest long-term measures such as elevated lane for unrestricted flow of traffic on the main Tiruchi Road and those joining from other roads can use the existing road. Vehicles also found it difficult to take an U-turn near the junction. The number of vehicles will only go up in the future and hence a permanent solution is required, he says.
For the police too, ensuring a smooth flow of traffic without confusion, snarls and accidents at the Sungam junction remains a distant dream. With the problem continuing to persist, despite several alterations to the traffic flow system, City Police Commissioner Amaresh Pujari ordered for a study and likely solutions.
The issue was referred to the Traffic Laboratory of the State Highways Department. A team of traffic experts from the laboratory from Chennai visited the location a couple of months ago and held discussions with the Police, Corporation and Highways officials.
The team is expected to prepare a detailed report and forward it to the Highways Department shortly, said T. Senthil Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime and Traffic).
The five-road junction also has vehicle movement from and to a by-lane alongside Sungam-Ukkadam bypass road. If traffic signals are installed, only the Tiruchi Road (on both directions) has the width to hold traffic for slightly longer durations when there is a red signal. Holding up the traffic for more than a minute on Nirmala College Road or Puliyakulam road will lead to congestion.
Two small traffic islands at the junction were re-designed during the World Classical Tamil Conference last year and were made into one. The length of the island and the resultant sharp curve has made turning difficult for large trucks.
All aspects are being taken into account and the police are waiting for the study report. The options being explored now are dividing the lengthy island into two to ensure free flow of traffic after synchronising the signals on all five directions, converting one of the smaller roads into one-way, and turning the lane along the bypass road into one way.
The police plan to explore all options, try them out for a day or two and implement the one that is most motorist-friendly and snarl-free, Mr. Senthilkumar adds.