TAMIL NADU

One-way traffic system comes handy for traders

Not enough space:Vehicles parked haphazardly on East Veli street, leading to reduced carriage space.

Not enough space:Vehicles parked haphazardly on East Veli street, leading to reduced carriage space.  

L. Srikrishna

They park their vehicles leaving no space for shoppers' vehicles

MADURAI: With growing vehicular movement, one-way is the only way to decongest traffic, say police. But the one-way traffic system introduced on many busy stretches in the recent past appears to be useful only for some traders who park the vehicles in front of their shops, complain motorists and shoppers.

Though there are many roads which have been converted for one-way traffic, the East Veli Street leading to St. Mary's Church road intersection and Vakkil New Street are some classic examples of violation. Right under the watchful eyes of traffic policemen, private shopkeepers park their cars from as early as 9 a.m. and take them out only during lunch or while returning home at night. Some even convert the road as their private garage for more than a day or two, shoppers claim.

As a result, shoppers park their vehicles on the opposite side of the stretch, thus reducing the carriage space. It is highly dangerous to drive vehicles during peak hours, a doctor working in a hospital on Vakkil New Street says.

A school teacher in East Veli Street says that lorry drivers park their vehicles in a haphazard manner and engage in loading/unloading goods.

The East Masi Street is another road where the traffic police remain mute spectators to violations. Only during the movement of senior police officers proceeding to the office of the Commissioner of Police that the traffic police drive away motorists who park their vehicles on the roadside, a merchant near Thermutti alleges.

Select goods vehicles are permitted to be parked right on the West Masi-South Masi street junction, North Veli Street, Workshop Road, Tamil Sangam Road and carry on their activities without any interruption, shopkeepers allege.

The Corporation authorities have been collecting parking fees at many locations. Busy stretches can be identified for which parking fee can be slightly higher. It can be on an hourly basis or the shopping complex/malls can be asked to encourage valet parking facility for owner-driven cars, suggest road users. Some of the hotels on West Perumal Maistry Street are providing space for car parking thus giving space for vehicular movement on the stretch, a police officer points out.

Road digging is going on in many parts of the city. However, in no place a board has been put cautioning road users about the work. Until completion of the work, parking of vehicles should not be permitted on the stretch, a member of Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry says.

Commissioner of Police P. Balasubramanian told The Hindu that additional policemen would be deployed on busy points and appealed to motorists to cooperate with the police.

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