Sharp turns and encroachments on new route
A sudden change made unilaterally by the traffic police in the movement of some Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) buses has resulted in traffic going haywire in the heart of the city.
Traffic police, in consultation with TNSTC officials, had effected a change in a section of the route taken by city buses bound for Tirunagar, Tirupparankundram and Palanganatham from Simmakkal. As per the new plan, buses from Simmakkal going towards Shopping Complex Bus Stand, after Yanaikkal must go straight instead turning right into Vakkil New Street and take North Masi Street and the narrow Sambandamoorthy Street to join the old route in West Marret Street near Canara Bank Grand Central branch. The idea is to divert traffic away from North Veli Street that experiences congestion during peak hours.
The police say they were only experimenting so as to find out whether the change would result in better traffic flow. After studying the results for about a week, if the change proved difficult for motorists, the plan would be dropped.
TNSTC officials said that about 200 buses ply between Mattuthavani Integrated Bus Stand and other northern parts of the city to Tirunagar, Tirupparankundram and Palanganatham.
Not the first time
Three months ago also, this experiment was tried out. But, it drew flak from people.
Some of the TNSTC crew say the traffic police should have first removed encroachments on North Masi Street and Sambandamoorthy Street and near Canara Bank before effecting the change. Drivers find it cumbersome to negotiate a couple of sharp turns on the new stretch. Moreover, lorries that enter these streets after 11 a.m. add to the chaos.
Motorists say the police could have announced such a move through the media in advance or experimented it on a weekend when number of vehicles on roads are thin. Some of the people who were planning to get down at Setupathi School bus stop on North Veli Street on the old route said they were taken aback as the conductors did not inform them about the change.
Last year, the police had succeeded in decongesting traffic near Periyar Bus Stand, a senior police officer said, but admitted that they could have planned the new experiment in a planned manner.