In the second part of a series on traffic bottlenecks in the city, we zoom in on two key stretches — in Velachery and Tidel Park — where the existing traffic chaos seems all set to get worse in the absence of effective steps to tackle the situation
Waiting for traffic to move a few feet and counting the number of signals that have passed is nothing new to motorists who regularly use the Tidel Park junction.
The volume of traffic on the IT corridor is huge. Around 50,000 vehicles use this road on weekdays. The duration of rush hour traffic on this stretch has extended to three hours each in the mornings and evenings.
“Hundreds of buses and cabs belonging to IT companies take this road at around the same time. This defeats any attempt to manage the traffic,” said a private security personnel, who provides assistance to traffic police.
Residents and employees of firms on the IT Corridor have been waiting for at least two years for the government to implement measures that will provide some relief. The choice is between flyovers at junctions including Tidel Park, Sholinganallur and Lifeline Hospital junction in Perungudi and a bus rapid transport system.
India Awake for Transparency, an NGO, has suggested a proposal whereby Lattice Bridge Road and Rajiv Gandhi Salai be made one –ways and a right turn be allowed at Madhya Kailash junction.
According to S Chandrasekar of the organisation, traffic could be allowed on LB Road from Adyar side and on OMR from the SRP Tools side on the south. By this, traffic signals can be removed in the area. “A new circular bus route connecting areas that are within these one-way roads can be introduced to help commuters. That way, the sanctity of the one-ways can be maintained. In this solution, the new bridge connecting Indira Nagar and OMR could be put to proper use,” he explained.
Gita, a resident of Jeevarathinam Nagar in Adyar, welcomed the idea of a one-way on LB Road. “ This would prevent this important road from becoming choked with traffic,” she said.
Over 1.10 lakh vehicles cross the Thiruvanmiyur junction everyday and 40 per cent of this traffic does not have an origin or destination in the project area. A traffic expert said that the one-way was a good idea but care must be taken to ensure bus passengers are not put to hardship. “Earlier the police did introduce a one-way system in and around the Adyar depot but that was wound up in a few days,” he said.
As there are no connecting roads to the East Coast Road that run parallel to Rajiv Gandhi Salai, motorists heading towards Adyar, Thiruvanmiyur, Besant Nagar and R.A. Puram are forced to take the OMR upto the Tidel Park junction and the Thiruvanmiyur junction. “Three link roads have been proposed; if they come up quickly, a portion of the traffic will be diverted to the ECR,” said G. Anandan, a resident of Navalur.
However, for those heading towards Tambaram, Porur and Guindy sides, the Sholinganallur- Medavakkam Road, Thoraipakkam Link Road and MGR Salai come in handy. Karthikraja Ayyanar, who till recently worked in an IT company in Sholinganallur, said that earlier, he used to take the Tidel Park junction but changed his route via the Thoraipakkam Link Road to Guindy to cut down on travel.
Many residents only try to avoid getting stuck in traffic. S. Sathiyanarayanan of MARS Welf`are Association, Thoraipakkam said his sons who work at Santhome and Nungambakkam prefer to leave home before the rush hour traffic begins. “We live just off the Thoraipakkam radial road and have to cross two toll plazas to reach Thiruvanmiyur,” he said.