Traffic diversions and one-way stretches have meant that Anna Nagar residents spend more time on the roads than ever before, writes T. Madhavan
If travelling in Anna Nagar was tiresome earlier, it is now time-consuming as well. Numerous diversions and one-way stretches created to facilitate infrastructure projects in the area, including the Metro Rail, mean that motorists navigate a maze.
Several important roads including Shanthi Colony Road, Second Avenue, 13 Main Road, Third Avenue and 18 Main Road have been made one-way.
“Travelling on Anna Nagar roads is a harrowing experience, but unavoidable for me,” says R. Vinayak from Redhills Road. “After the diversion near 18 Main Road in Anna Nagar West, the heavy traffic flow has put lives of not only motorists but also pedestrians at risk. It has also thrown life out of gear for residents,” he adds.
At Thirumangalam junction residents have had to deal with congested roads for months on end due to the construction of a flyover and Metro Rail work.
Residents of 13 Main Road and 6 Avenue are the worst hit. The area will have heavy traffic pile-ups on any given day. Continuous honking, the dust and smoke emitted from the vehicles are irritants residents are unable to come to terms with .
Main Road, Third Avenue and 18 Main Road have been made one-way, residents say. to facilitate Metro Rail work in the areas, traffic that was already messy, has turned into a nightmare, residents said.
“The indiscriminate parking of autos and share autos on 6 Avenue, 16 and 17 Main Roads cause major inconvenience to both motorists and pedestrians. Also residents are unable to take their vehicles out or park them due to the continuous flow of traffic,” says V. Nagasundaram, secretary of Anna Nagar Welfare Association.
“Some of the footpaths have been occupied by street vendors and shop keepers. Chennai Corporation should initiate action against them,” he suggested.
P. Gopalakrishna of Anna Nagar says that during peak hours, the circle near the police booth on 13 Main Road has all types of vehicles plying on it. Pedestrians, especially senior citizens, find it difficult to cross the road. “Rarely is a policeman present near the police booth circle to regulate traffic. What is the purpose of a police booth, if there is no policeman, Main Road,” says Mr. Gopalakrishna.
Office- and school-goers complain about reaching their destinations late due to the heavy traffic every morning. C. Raja, a resident of Korattur, says: “I have to travel via 18th Main Road and 13th Main Road and use several interior roads to reach School Road, Anna Nagar, instead of taking a simple right turn from Jawaharlal Nehru Salai, which has been made one-way.”
With the road median removed near the Anna Nagar West bus depot, several motorists use it as a short-cut, risking their lives and inconveniencing other motorists. Residents demand that a zebra crossing be provided at 6 Avenue and 13 Main Road near the stretch leading to the schools.