Traffic crawls, courtesy trucks

Staff Reporter

Their entry is prohibited in the city after 11 a.m. But, by that time damage is done.

Thiruvananthapuram: The rush hour transit of trucks through congested urban roads is a major cause for traffic snarls in the city. A traffic police notification prohibits the entry of heavy goods vehicles into the city from 11 a.m. onwards. The notification has remained largely on paper, chiefly because traffic enforcers have shown scarce initiative in implementing the order.

Heavy vehicles, including multi-axle trucks, take short cuts to Karamana and Chalai market through the congested Eenchakkal-East Fort-Manacaud route. These vehicles often block the road at East Fort and Manacaud, causing traffic to move at a snail’s pace on the M.G. Road.

A traffic expert at the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) said that the entry restriction, starting at 11 a.m., is highly inadequate. Rush hour traffic in the city starts by 9 a.m. By the time the entry restriction comes into force, a considerable number of goods vehicles would have entered the city.

Parking troubles

Many truck drivers park their vehicles in a haphazard manner near commercial areas to unload cargo during peak hours. Lorries carrying perishable goods, hay and pottery also move un-challenged at a slow pace through city roads during rush hours. The traffic volume in the city already exceeds its road space by 200 per cent.

Haphazard parking of vehicles in front of commercial buildings, shopping malls and cinema theatres also contribute to the worsening traffic situation in the city. At several major junctions, road space has been appropriated for parking of taxi cars, private vehicles and auto-rickshaws.

Lack of designated parking lots is a major reason for traffic congestion. In several multi-storeyed commercial complexes in the city, the area shown as parking space in the building plan has been leased out for shops and restaurants. The basement space of some textile shops in the city, shown as parking space in the building plan, is being used as warehouses and showrooms.

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