Cities

Four snapshots of wrong-way driving in Chennai

We are turning the searchlight on a few more sections of arterial roads where wrong-way driving seems to be continuing unabated.

Many motorists (mainly motorcyclists) coming from MMDA Colony traffic signal on Jawaharlal Nehru Main Road, drive in the wrong direction, towards Koyambedu. The wrong-way driving happens over a distance of 100 metres, and causes considerable chaos.

The reason motorists drive in this manner from the traffic signal, which is located near SAF quarters, is to reach neighbourhoods in Arumbakkam, located on the opposite side of the SAF quarters, quickly. If they followed the rule book, they have to drive up to the Koyambedu flyover, which marks a distance of around one km from SAF signal, and take a ‘U’ turn to reach Arumbakkam. The have to take this long route because flyover work is under way in front of CMBT, Koyambedu.

As this section of J.N. Main Road is wide and not usually congested, motorists indulge in wrong-way driving boldly.

On West Sivan Koil Street, a one-way street, one can often witness a demonstration of geisterfahrer, with motorists, especially motorcyclists, hurrying towards J.N. Main Road,

The reason for wrong-way driving here is that motorists coming from the interior lanes between Kamala theatre and P.T. Rajan Salai in K.K. Nagar cannot take a right turn from West Sivan Koil Street to reach Arcot Road and then J.N. Main Road at Vadapalani junction.

The distance between the intersection of Arcot Road and West Sivan Koil Street and the Vadapalani junction is less than 50 metres, but motorists are not allowed to take a ‘right’ turn, because letting them do so can easily lead to traffic snarls on this section. So, motorists coming from these interior roads have to go up to the bus terminus at Vadapalani, which is around 500 metres away, take a ‘U’ turn to reach the Vadapalani junction.

As there are often no traffic police personnel on this narrow stretch, which is part of a key MTC route, motorists feel emboldened to engage in wrong-way driving.

On Fourth Main Road in Ashok Pillar, some motorists drive in the wrong direction, as they seek to reach the Fourth Avenue Main Road–J.N. Main Road intersection and then the Vadapalani Junction.

This case of WWD on Fourth Avenue Main Road in Ashok Nagar results from the fact that motorists have to take a detour, covering Ashok Pillar junction–Udayam theatre complex and Police Training College (all these landmarks on the one-way route), before reaching the Fourth Avenue Main Road – J.N. Main Road intersection and proceed towards Vadapalani junction. The detour involves a one-kilometre drive.

Though there is permanent traffic police presence at the Fourth Avenue Main Road–J.N. Main Road intersection, motorists sneak behind the vehicles that halt at the signal to cross the J.N. Main Road.

On a section of Mount – Poonamallee Main Road, motorists engage in WWD towards Porur Junction, from DLF IT Park in Ramapuram to reach the opposite side on the Mount-Poonamallee Main Road and then proceed towards Porur junction.

The section of the road near DLF IT Park is narrow, with the carriageway being taken up by parked vehicles, usually vans ferrying staff at the IT park; and as a result, motorists coming from Ramapuram, which is located opposite the IT park, proceed on the wrong lane of the stretch until they reach the nearest vehicular crossing, where they cross the stretch and proceed towards Porur junction.

As traffic police personnel are busy regulating traffic at the narrow DLF IT Park intersection, motorists quietly take the wrong lane making use of the widened Mount – Poonamallee Main Road from Ramapuram to reach Porur junction.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 7:49:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/snapshots-of-wrong-way-driving-in-chennai/article27013444.ece

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