Life on city roads isn’t easy – and not just because of the massive rise in the number of vehicles or the crazy traffic diversions. Defunct traffic signals, coupled with a shortage of policemen to regulate the flow of traffic, are the main cause for some of the problems plaguing motorists at several busy junctions in the city.
Egmore is a big headache for motorists when it comes to traffic signals that don’t work. Casa Major Road, which has a hospital, a school and a college witnesses frequent traffic jams, while motorists have a tough time crossing Greams Road. Two traffic signals on the road haven’t been working for quite some time, making it particularly difficult for those who take the road to reach one of the bylanes – either Greams lane or the roads leading to a private hospital.
“Traffic sometime piles up at the beginning of Greams Road. You have to be extra careful when you take the bylanes as vehicles crossing the stretch don’t stop for you to get across the road to the lane,” says Ravi, who has to use the bylanes to get to Nungambakkam to work every day. With a couple of hospitals in the area, commuters are concerned that ambulances might not make it always on time. “If traffic signals work, people will slowdown and ambulances can pass without a hitch,” says Mohan, who works at a shop on Greams Road.
At the other end of Egmore, at the circle, a set of rusted signals greet commuters each time they cross the area. Roads leading to the Egmore Museum, the Egmore Station, Mount Road and Poonamallee High Road join at this circle and this is a headache to cross, says commuters. “Though all vehicles slow down when they get to the circle, traffic signals will help immensely. It takes a lot of time and careful driving to get through that area. It’s even worse during peak hours,” says Shyam, a resident of Chintadripet. “Traffic cops do regulate the flow of traffic sometimes, but with signals we can save manpower right?” he adds.
Incidentally, the junction is just a stone’s throw away from the city police commissioner’s old office. The five roads leading from the circle too do not have working signals, residents and commuters claim.
“Signals in arterial roads like Kamarajar Salai, Anna Salai, Arcot Road and Poonamallee High Road are always well-maintained and are replaced promptly. But we don’t know what keeps the cops from doing the same in other places,” rues Vasu, an IT company employee.