K.N. Murali Sankar
VIJAYAWADA: Driver of a speeding car, emerging from Madhu Chowk and heading towards Siddhartha College, was swerved suddenly to avert an accident when a motorcyclist from Sivalayam Road ventured to cross the Jammichettu centre to enter the Chennupati Petrol Bunk Road on Wednesday morning.
"Minor road accidents are a common sight here. Smashing of windowpanes of cars and auto-rickshaws, injuries to motorcyclists are not new to us," says K. Venkateswara Rao, an electrician who runs a shop adjacent to the Jammichettu centre junction. The reason: Huge island built around the `Jammi chettu' (tree) restricting the free flow of traffic.
The thoroughfare passing through this junction connects the two arterial roads - Karl Marx Road and Mahatma Gandhi Road - of the city.
Tough time for cop
It's a trying time for the traffic constable managing the traffic flow at this junction owing to the scant respect for rules by road users. Coupled with that is the problem of congestion caused by the `islands' which do not seem to serve any purpose. Traffic often gets chocked especially during the peak hours at this junction which forms part of the popular `No.5 Route'. RTC buses from Auto Nagar to Vidyadharapuram and Housing Board Colony pass through the junction.
Schools and colleges around the centre - P.B. Siddhartha College at Siddhartha Nagar, Boyapati Sivaramayya Municipal Corporation School, and M.K. Gandhi High School on the petrol bunk road and Nalanda College at Madhu Chowk - make the centre very busy in the morning and evening hours.
As there is no designated bus stop, buses coming from Autonagar stop near the centre forcing the vehicle drivers behind to constantly honk. Since the road is too narrow, there is no space for overtaking either. Vehicles heading towards Sidhartha College from Madhu Chowk, however, pass through freely, provided no other vehicle cuts into their way.
Driving in wrong direction is another problem, which is, of course, common to many roads in the city. The road divider doesn't have any gap in between from the junction to Siddharth College. Therefore, motorcyclists usually try to take a wrong direction to turn into lanes in between.
"Only precaution these violators take is to check whether the constable is there on duty before breaking the road rule," observed traffic constable K. Gowri Sankar Babu. He felt that installation of traffic signals would lead to confusion among vehicle drivers.
"Setting up blinkers may help drivers to reduce the speed of their vehicles at this junction ," he said.