How many people find that their streets have been taken over by rush hour traffic?
There should be a sizeable number.
Just now I want to share my experience in the Abhiramapuram and Alwarpet areas of the city which have witnessed major traffic flow changes.
Changes made by the Chennai City Traffic Police to ease the flow on two main roads in this neighbourhood.
Some may approve of them; others may damn them.
But it is quite apparent that the Traffic Police are investing time and effort in this project.
One morning, as I hopped off from an autorickshaw and walked across to my office, a Sub-Inspector at the junction asked if I could spare a few minutes. Would I like to share with him feedback on the changes that had been made in the area?
We spent 20 minutes at that busy junction.
The first ten minutes were devoted to feedback, ideas and the local experience.
But the next ten minutes was one-way communication. For, this Sub-Inspector who had once attended school in this area, seemed to be stuck in a rut in the police force for apparently no fault of his. And on this Friday morning, all he wanted to do was share his lows in professional life.
“I chose to share this with you because you kept listening,” he told me.
There is little I can do for him. But his frustration is not stopping this officer from jotting down feedback on the traffic changes effected here and sharing it with his senior officers.
The positive side of the change here is that police officer Sunil Kumar, now Addl. Commissioner of Police in charge of traffic, has posted officers and men at all the junctions where changes have been effected, assigning men from Mount Road, T. Nagar and elsewhere.
This has ensured that policemen are present in the area to guide and advise motorists throughout the day. And that feedback is recorded on the streets and roads.
Small changes have been made where corrections had to be carried out. And Sunil Kumar says he is open to ideas as long as the changes benefit a large number of people.
Well, these changes will help us travel faster but a more severe problem is affecting us all.
Motorists are creating ‘bypass’ routes through residential colonies to avoid clogged main roads.
Kalakshetra Colony, Padmanabha Nagar. Mandavellipakkam, Abhiramapuram, K. K. Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Taramani, Velachery . . .
How are we going to tackle this serious development?