Road rules go for a toss at the busy Anna Salai-Walajah Road junction in Chennai
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The junction has adequate safety features yet people ignore them

March 03, 2024 12:04 pm | Updated March 04, 2024 02:51 pm IST - CHENNAI

 The peace of an early day on the stretch belies the chaos at the Anna Salai- Wallajah Road junction during peak hours.

 The peace of an early day on the stretch belies the chaos at the Anna Salai- Wallajah Road junction during peak hours. | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

The Anna Salai-Walajah Road junction turns chaotic at peak hours. At non-peak hours, two-wheelers and pedestrians and occasionally four-wheelers violate road rules without compunction. It is the meeting point for vehicles coming from and going to Walajah Road, which leads to the eastern end of Triplicane, the University of Madras, and the government offices at Ezhilagam.

Well-served

The location is well-served by Metro Rail on the one side and the Mass Rapid Transport System on the other side at Chintadripet, less than half-a-km away. As an arterial road, Anna Salai has buses from all areas and suburbs passing through. Traffic is heavy as many vehicles heading to the Ritchie Street, which is home to electronic goods, pass through this junction. During the lockdown, the Corporation and the police launched an initiative to keep vehicles out of the Ritchie Street by-lanes by providing parking slots on Anna Salai. Yet, the traffic is chaotic. A couple of years ago, to reduce commute time, the traffic police suspended the signal at the junction and pushed the right turn from Anna Salai towards Pallavan Salai by a few metres.

While most motorists adhere to the rule, there are always quite a few who drive through the traffic and turn where there is no U-turn. The barricades make riding on a two-wheeler difficult, especially when MTC buses take the unwieldy turn into Anna Salai from Walajah Road. The traffic from Blackers Road joins the vehicle stream on Anna Salai to move to Walajah Road or to Anna Salai to reach the southern parts of the city. Pedestrians rarely use the three-way subway that has been spruced up. They dart across the road, edging out vehicles.

Wait time reduced

A traffic police officer said the realigning of turns had reduced the wait time at signals. “People wait only for one or two minutes as against 5 or 6 minutes earlier,” he said. The installation of traffic regulation observation zones, as done at the Anna Nagar roundabout, would not help as the contactless cameras only capture the number plates and not the persons riding/driving the vehicles. “Many times, the vehicle is owned by someone and is used by another person. We ticket the owner for violations based on the registration plate. Some vehicles have 30-40 violations and the fine is not paid either,” he said.

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