Downtown

No free left, please!

Traffic police have placed barricades at the Lattice Bridge Road-Sardar Patel Road intersection to prevent vehicles from taking a free left turn. Photo: M. Karunakaran   | Photo Credit: M_Karunakaran

Following a fast accident last month in which a 25-year-old youth came under the wheels of a MTC bus below the Adyar Bridge, the traffic police have placed barricades at the intersection between Lattice Bridge Road and Sardar Patel Road.

The barricades are aimed at getting motorists coming from Thiruvanmiyur and heading to Sardar Patel Road to slow down and not to take the free left turn.

Pedestrians welcome this arrangement, and hope that it will be a long-term one.

They also want the police department to analyse other important intersections where no checks are in place at “free-left” sections (see box).

“Sometimes, we are forced to remove such barricades if there is a VIP movement,” said a traffic police at the junction.

Uninterrupted left turns, police say, can decongest a junction to a great extent but it should not be at the cost of pedestrians’ safety.

The Lattice Bridge Road-Sardar Patel Road intersection has a pedestrian signal and a pedestrian crossing but it is common to see motorists and pedestrians flouting rules while crossing the busy intersection.

“Howsoever busy a junction is, free-left turns should not be allowed. More than free movement of vehicles, it is a question of pedestrians’ safety. The police should be sensitised about this,” said K.P. Subramanian, traffic engineer.

Free left turns can be allowed where roads are wide. However, Tidel Park junction on Rajiv Gandhi Salai is an example of a section where free left turn does not work.  

“There is a free left turn and I take it. But I think, this junction leading to Thiruvanmiyur should not have a free left turn. A pile of vehicles heading to Sholinganallur and other areas block access to vehicles waiting to take a left turn. Also, the junction has no pedestrian signal, annd pedestrians have to be very careful,” says K. Rajitha, who commutes on the stretch regularly.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 3:56:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/residents-say-free-left-turns-can-endanger-the-safety-of-pedestrians/article7746991.ece

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