"The violation has led to traffic blocks on Vyttila Road," says Salim Kumar, a shopkeeper."The police have to stop motorists from taking the U-turn,” says Hermy, a shop owner.
What Vyttila Junction, the biggest junction and one of the busiest in the State, does not want is yet another addition to its already chaotic traffic.
The exit of private buses from the mobility hub to the Pettah-Vyttila Road had furthered the traffic woes. Now, the sudden and unauthorised U-turn taken by motorists from the track towards Pettah to enter the opposite track leading to the city just after the traffic signal has only worsened the situation.
“What this does is that it holds up traffic on both directions. There have been umpteen times when I got stuck at the junction despite getting the green signal just because motorists taking this ‘U-turn of convenience’ blocked my way. Many of these intruding vehicles brush past the vehicles on the right lane, leaving them with scratches,” said Dinesh Neelakantan, a commuter.
Just about everyone from autorickshaw drivers to two-wheeler and four-wheeler drivers are guilty of this violation. The presence of an autorickshaw stand just a few meters ahead of the traffic signal along the Pettah-Vyttila Road prompts autorickshaw drivers to take the U-turn though it means they pass right across the road to enter the stand much to the chagrin of motorists proceeding in the opposite direction.
The sight of autorickshaws waiting along the extreme left of the other side of the Vyttila-Pettah Road for the opportune moment to cross over diagonally to the stand is a common sight here. Shaji, an autorickshaw driver admits that autorickshaws are supposed to take the U-turn in front of the exit of the mobility hub, but justified the presence of the autorickshaw stand along such a busy stretch. “This is the ideal place for us to get trips. Besides, we put slabs over the drainage and gravelled the sideways on our own for the stand,” he said.
Salim Kumar, who has witnessed traffic violations take place on the road in front of his duty paid shop for the past 25 years, said the police had warned motorists several times against taking the U-turn. “The crossing over of vehicles right across the road in to the city-bound lane from a pay-and-park facility in the opposite direction is another reason causing traffic blocks,” he said.
Hermy, who runs a fitness tools shop, felt that it is for the police to regulate the traffic and stop motorists from taking a non-existent U-turn.
Raju, who runs a workshop, blamed it on the police for what he saw as three-lane traffic on a single lane leading to the signal on the Pettah-Vyttila Road. “In their haste to clear the traffic at the exit point of the mobility hub they allow vehicles to move along in three lanes leading to a traffic logjam at the stretch leading to the signal,” he said.