Danger at Doveton junction
Doveton junction is a liminal space that involves three major localities: Vepery, Purasawakkam and Perambur. Vehicular traffic barrels into Doveton junction from Purasawakkam High Road, Perambur Barracks Road, Ritherdon Road, Jeremiah Road and Hunters Road. Despite processing a huge volume of vehicular traffic, the junction has been allowed to function without the aid of traffic signals. Traffic signals are found but they are comparable to props films to create the illusion of a particular environment, an ambience. These signals offer only an illusion of automatic, digital regulation.
According to regular road users at the junction, years have elapsed since these signals went on a “sabbatical”. Vepery traffic police has a booth, but manual regulation is hardly up to the unruliness the junction throws up during rush hour. There are many schools in the vicinity, and hundreds of students navigate the junction, and it definitely needs a functional automatic, digital signalling system.
A junction in Mylapore where every wheel rushes in
The point where Venketesha Agraharam Road, South Mada Street and RK Mutt Road meet is a flurry of confusion.
Just ahead of this junction, Venkatesa Agraharam Road is a hairdo neatly parted in the middle. A barricade splits the road down the spine directing traffic towards the left on one side, and on the other allowing traffic to flow in from RK Mutt Road and South Mada Street.
A board forbids the right turn, an injunction that is often ignored with impunity. As Venkatesa Agraharam Road has the famous Sai Baba temple, there are hours when the traffic movement into and out of the road is huge. During such times, when motorists from the road take the unauthorised right turn into RK Mutt Road, there is usually a disruptive clog.
Similarly, South Mada Street is allowed to only disgorge traffic into the junction, not quaff anything from it. The one-way rule is often violated.
Though these violations contribute to the chaos, the major issue with this junction lies elsewhere — in its inner recess. Without traffic signals, motorists are left to their own devices, allowed to decide when to plough in and when to wait. At any given time, ploughing in is the dominant decision, and close calls are a regular feature of motoring at this junction.
Traffic police personnel regulate traffic at rush hour. The risk of accidents unfortunately is not restricted to those hours in the morning and evening when the junction is choc-a-block with machines. There is greater risk when the junction is freed of this congestion, as vehicles rush in freely, and due to the lack of signals, like ships without a rudder.
Traffic regulation should cover more hours, and the rule book should be thrown hard at violators (those motorists from Venkatesha Agraharam Road who turn right at the junction and those who enter South Mada Street from the junction), and that might instil some fear and ensure some road discipline. However, the best solution this junction can have is traffic signals.