Vehicles inch ahead on the Palayam-East Fort stretch
There is a sudden deluge of vehicles here. Traffic breathes heavy, roadsides are crammed, and parking lots overflow. Thiruvonam is 16 days away, but shoppers have begun calling the shots at the prime commercial hub, the Palayam-East Fort stretch.
The surge has caught both the traders and the traffic authorities off guard. Parking space is unavailable on the stretch right from the morning. Textile and jewellery showrooms, which see the maximum footfall, are struggling to accommodate customers’ vehicles. Authorities blame three such showrooms, situated close to one another near the Ayurveda College junction, for the present crisis. The administration offers no alternative. Along the arterial road, medians have been erected, footpaths laid, and the junction improved. Laudable works, but in the present context, they just choke further parking space.
The Ayurveda College-Chettikulangara road is almost off-limits as the entrance and exit of the parking lots of two shopping complexes are here. The plight of Chettikulangara-Overbridge stretch is no different as vehicles exit another textile showroom’s parking lot on this narrow road.
Once the parking lots are exhausted, four-wheelers take refuge on the sides of the Ayurveda College-old GPO and Chettikulngara-Upidamoodu roads. On Sunday, both roads had not a single slot to spare. Additional traffic police have been posted on many stretches to prevent illegal parking, the crackdown on which has been quite severe.
On the Overbridge-East Fort stretch, piling work of the Melepazhavangady flyover is playing villain. Pay-and-park lots that have come up on the railway station premises in Thampanoor, at the second entry to the station on Power House Road, Gandhi Park, near the Palayam market and behind Saphalyam Complex provide some relief.
Traffic planners say the only long-term solution to the crisis is multi-level parking lots at East Fort, Statue, Palayam, and Pattom.