One of the busiest in the city, the Tirupparankundram Road witnesses heavy traffic right from early morning to late night hours.
Several points on the TPK Road are prone to accidents. One such spot is the landing of the bridge near Madura College. This is an awkward intersection where vehicles going towards Periyar bus stand take the bridge from either side. On one side of the road is the Madura College. On the opposite side is Tamil Nadu Polytechnic College. With the presence of two big educational institutions here, there is chaos at the spot, particularly during peak hours.
Police personnel point out a key issue: vehicles coming from Subramaniapuram and Solai Alagupuram through Polytechnic Main Road and other adjacent roads try to take the bridge from the wrong side to go towards Periyar bus stand. A traffic policeman on duty there said, “They can very well take the service roads laid on either side by taking an ‘U’ turn under the bridge, go along Madura College ground side with ease and merge with the Periyar bus stand-bound traffic. But, instead, people wait near the bridge landing on the wrong side, brave the speeding vehicles coming down the bridge and squeeze themselves into the gaps in traffic flow.
Stating that it becomes risky since vehicles come down the bridge at a high speed, he said, “When we are on duty, we discourage this movement. However, we cannot be here all the time.”
To add to this confusion are vehicles coming from Tirupparankundram side and entering Subramaniapuram. S. Sivakumar, a share autorickshaw driver, said vehicles have to cross the road to enter the opposite side. “It becomes chaotic during peak hours when the classes start or end since many students cross the road as well,” he said.
However, people say it is inconvenient to take ‘U’ turn under the bridge. “The first one with shorter clearance is unpaved. Though the second has paved road, two-wheelers and hawkers park their vehicles there. So this passage cannot handle the traffic if all the vehicles start using it,” says A. Manikandan, a carpenter in Nalla Muthu Pillai Colony near the bridge.
Police personnel point out that the recent placement of barricades for about few metres to ensure lane discipline has helped in reducing the chaos. “At least now, we are able to make the vehicles coming from Tirupparankundram side to go under the bridge to go towards Subramaniapuram,” the police personnel said, adding that vehicles getting on the bridge from the wrong side has also reduced.
People, on the other hand, expect laying of proper roads and clearing of encroachments under the bridge for ease of use.