Traffic, traffic, traffic.....

If you think I am like any other Bangalorean who is cribbing at traffic jams, then let me say I am not. I am just trying to present my experience of driving on one particular day in Bangalore. No doubt, there are some reasons behind these traffic jams which can make any normal man insane and curse each and everyone on the road and off it. There are our so called goody-goody buses who can literally stop anywhere and everywhere. According to my observation, these bus-stands are located very next to a traffic signal. Moment the bus crosses the signal, it stops creating havoc to the vehicles following it. Result, a traffic jam, before the vehicles can actually move, the signal would change and the people in other directions don't even have the patience till these people move out of the junction, they try to get in the narrow gaps between these vehicles and then start yelling at each other!!!
On one such particular day, I take out my car and realise the main road near my house is dug up. All the traffic is diverted to a narrow road where at max 2 cars can pass with a little more caution. Ok, fine... I start driving in that alternate road. There comes a crossing where I see a construction truck with all the load and I stop the vehicle promptly. A maruthi guy behind me honks and honks, showing me signs to move. Thinking a no-daring woman driver, this guy happily tries to surpass me and go, only to realise after coming next to me is that he can't go!!! Now even the truck can't go!!! There was a major traffic jam. One more intelligent person from the other side, tries to go beyond truck just to land his tyre in gutter. What if they were to wait for just 5 min to let the truck pass!!!

After successfully taking my car out of sucha mess, I drive for some more time and had to apply brake instantly. There was no signal, but there were some men crossing the road, slowly and elegantly, turning their face at us, as if they are in some beauty contest and we are the judges. I guess, we were supposed to put handbrakes, take out our pen and paper, rate each and every man for the elegance in walk, the degree of rotation of their face towards us, the time taken by them to cross past each car. Then I realised my mistake, I was wrong thinking roads are meant for vehicles!!! They are meant for people who take their sweet own time to cross at which ever place they want, only when they have mercy on the poor-souls on earth(read WE), they let us take a millimeter distance, before another contestant jumps into the road!!!!

After all such wonderful experiences of the day, I start back to my home in the evening and realise there is a traffic jam again!!!! One guy has come in the wrong side of the one way!!! Ok, that guy has realised and he wants to go back. Just like "rudalis", there are some people who wait for such incidents. A guy comes from nowhere and starts yelling at that guy. He was shouting as if something incorrigible has happened and left him pennyless. He was sitting and chatting with his fellows just a moment below. This jam certainly has nothing to do with him, but I don't know what prompted him to take the leadership. Most of the times, these people just let some frustation out which they couldn't have done otherwise. Thank god, that car guy was cool and he took the reverse in no time and went on his way, giving no ears to that man who still continued to shout!!!


All these incidents left me thinking!!! No doubt there are some situations where we can do nothing for this traffic monster, but there are many many incidents where we, being repsonible citizens can contribute just by being a little more patient and considerate to fellow drive mates. A small wait to let the other go will pay you off by not causing any traffic jam and delay. Following rules like following the lanes, signals, speed limits can make our lives much better. If we don't, then we have no other option left to say Bangalore traffic sucks, conviniently forgetting the fact that in one time or the other we too contributed to this traffic monster to grow.

Traffic is no entity until we take our vehicles out!!! Though we can not eliminate it we can minimise it for sure!!! Now you are the right person to decide what to choose :o)

9 comments:

  1. Akshatha......another interesting article which is very practical and being experienced day2day...pretty nicely articulated.......

    TrafficOnBangaloreRoad ROCKS and it ROCKS bigggggg-time (not just ordinary but heavy-metal-ROCK :o) ..........

    No wonder this is the one and only reason that scared away couple of my friends in relocating to Blr....

    Though i am used to it now, i feel quite surprised by the fact that it takes me never less than a hour and a half to two (one-way) during office hours travelling everyday from mot-cvr to jayangar-9th blk which is say around 18 kms...........spending almost 50 to 60 hrs every month only in travelling frm home to offc n back........again not to forget the wonderful rainy days where it takes much more time........it took more than 2 and half hours on a memorable-friday eve when it rained heavily and most part of the roads blocked......(again thanks to the drainage system too)........

    Huh!! "But what on earth makes me continue this and not relocate to a home near to the offc" is a question that remains unanswered (atleast for few more days) neways :o)

    Believe it or not the average speed of traffic in bangalore used to be 16 km/hr not so long ago and it now has come down to 10-12 km/hr.

    And lets wait and watch the metro-rail work to add to this glory....already the dedicated-auto-lanes on mg-road are taken over and the railings laid to occupy the complete elevated-pavement plus this lane for the metro-rail project, leaving only half the road that goes from mg-rd to ulsoor.......once the project kicks off and is fully into action most of the traffic-routes will be modified either making oneways / closing some roads altogether.......

    Ofcourse this is all inevitable and there is absolutely no doubt that once the metro-rail is ready for public the city is gonna look much much better and hopefully the roads n the rails will take up joint-efforts in solving the blr-traffic problems.......Metro-rails is already a proven solution in cities like delhi.......

    Routes like e-city are still worse i heard.........once the city gets completely wi-max'd apart from "working from home" and "working from office" there is a new term "working from bus" that will become famous and am sure more hours will get spent in this than the other 2 :o)

    The roads and the traffic-system is so beautiful in western countries ofcourse only the population-growth and corruption in india are the first things that will come to mind......

    There is no doubt that though we keep cursing the govt / road-departments most of the time and keep questioning ourselves why the heck do i pay so much of taxes, is it for these bful roller-coaster rides that we experience :o)
    but nothing wrong in accepting the fact that we are part of this game too and pls be prepared to take the blame.....

    Atleast the positive point abt blr-traffic is that ppl atleast respect signals and have some traffic sense thats not completely missed out whereas in hyd and chennai the scenario is still worse as per what i experienced where even the traffic signals are not respected........

    On one not-so-fine evening, suck at a signal for more than 10 mins i was wondering (since the blr-traffic signal is the best place where u get time to think of any damn thing on earth :o).....there are so many cars including mine that take-up so much of space on the road, but imagine each of these cars being 4 or 5 seaters there is one and only one person travelling in each, how good it would be wrt reducing the no. of cars on road by 4 to 5 if there are 4 to 5 ppl in each car........
    Car-pooling is really one wful solution........in cities like LosAngeles this is encouraged by maintaining a separate dedicated lane for the cars tht are pool'd.....though this concept is started in blore,i think this needs to go on a big-scale....

    Whatever be the reasons and whoever is the culprit for this issue, the w'ful theme of my favourite movie RangDeBasanti "There are 2 kindsa ppl in this society,
    one that blames the system for all the failures and wrong-things that are happenning around and the second that takes up the responsibility to fix them up" (Ofcourse i belong to the 1st category :o) (This message that appeared in sunday-times sometime back has inspired Rakesh Mehra to make this movie RDB which is now being translated in english with the title "Paint it Yellow")........

    Oops dint check the time, its too late and if i don't hit the bed now, can't start early to offc and am sure will get stuck in the traffic-again :o)

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  2. Great analysis of this problem.

    We need to come up with innovative methods to solve this problem. Being a copy-paste expert, I won't come up with anything innovative of my own and piggyback on your analysis

    Main problem that you have correctly figured out is "I am Angad (Ramayan Wala) move me if you can" brand of bus drivers.

    As you have already identified this brand of bus drivers are the primary cause of traffic jam in Bangalore. These folks drive whimsically, flying one moment and stopping in the middle of the road the very next moment are one of But bring your ear and let me share a secret with you, these folks are actually aliens and they have been trained to drive UFOs (Unmobile Frequently-flying Objects). We hear UFOs landing in weird locations like rice fields, house compounds etc, but tell me, have you ever heard of a UFO landing in a parking space? Out of the 150 million square feet of parking space on this planet why cant't these damn aliens ever land in one. Why do they have to always spoil rice fields of ramlal kaka or george chacha? Answer to this question would tell you the reason why these drivers cannot manage to find a reasonable parking space to stop their vehicle. These poor folks have never been trained to park their UFOs properly.

    So this covers the source of the problem but now what can we do to solve this problem. There are couple of ideas which are crossing my mind at this moment.
    (a) First one is bit weird, all those who have been subjected to "HOMEWORK NAHIN KARA!!!! HAATH UPAR KARKE BENCH PAR KHADE HO JAON" will know what I am going to suggest. Yes! All marks for guessing the right answer. My suggestion is to give some sort of punishment to these folks. What could be better punishment for these UFO drivers than making them drive those DL UFOs through the narrow streets of Vivek Nagar, GM Palya etc. DL UFOs are buses which are double in length of normal vehicles with two chasis connected to each other. Whenever I used to see those double length buses being driven in Bangalore traffic, I used to feel total sympathy with the driver of that bus and used to wonder that the poor guy must have done something really bad to get this punishment transfer. If driving DL UFOs doesn't cure them we can make them drive TL UFOs (Triple Length UFOs) by adding one more chasis.

    (b) Second suggestion that I have is quite normal but bit risky. I have heard that thse UFO drivers have a tendency to run over any objects that performs a group dance before them. We can use this tendency of their's as their weekness and make them move faster at traffic signals.

    Algorithm for this process goes something like this :-
    (i) Signal turns green
    (ii) UFO crosses the signal and stops just after the signal.
    (iii) You stop your vehicle and rush out of it.
    (iv) Run towards the front of the culprit UFO.
    (v) By this time you would be joined by other noble souls, all of you form a group and stand in formation before the UFO
    (vi) And now let your dancing talents come to forth and do a Macarena (If like me you consider Anu Malik as alien you would know why I suggested Macarena)
    (vii) Alien will spot you and rush your vehicle towards you.
    (viii) You jump out of its way and rush back to your car.

    If step (viii) worries you then please don't have any worries. This step needs special talent and for this you would be trained by guys who are experienced husbands, brave folks who have developed outstanding evading talents by practicing daily evasion of any object hurled at them by their loving wives.

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  3. Hey Akshatha, the section about the contestants and the beauty-contest and judges, rating them.... is so funny yaar.....

    donno how u got this idea and correlation, but visualising it makes me laugh non-stop.......

    it was reminding me of this blog every moment someone was crossing my car on my way back home today :o)

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  4. Lovely background..tis is ultimate one...jus like spy++ for .Net

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  5. Akshatha, I felt narration little bit boring, may be I am displeasd of ppl shouting traffic traffic ……..in B’lore or ur previous articles have set more expectations…
    Comments from couple of folks are lengthier than article itself, including mine I guess…. :-).Just kidding. Anyway got some info from them too…abt RDB birth....
    At least I want to or trying to be part 2 type of ppl…
    When I landed up in B’lore I had also same experience abt traffic…But then I visited Chennai- Worst than B’lore…Then had been to pune…Atleast in B’lore u won’t get dust as bonus, but in pune that too near the main bus stop( I think it is swor-gate), had real bad experience…I thought that anywhere in India traffic is like your shadow…
    But had experienced traffic jam of more than hour on highway traveling from Texas Stadium in Texas to Fortworth though density of US is very very low compared to India……So I believe traffic is everywhere just we need to be patient than blaming and help govt to resolve this global issue…
    I don’t find any reason to go for car in metro’s than two wheelers unless pooling is followed or have family :-)
    One bad part is that no one speaks abt what is good in B'lore than blaming the infrastructure..??? :-)
    The rate at which B'lore is growing is amazing...Just see the arrival rate of ppl to B'lore.Next 2 bombay or before that ? I don't think in India any city with such a rapid growth would have sustained the situation..All metros are developed since centuries...Hyderabad is also picking up but not at the same rate....

    One more thing Akshatha ur VishwaKutumbi philosophy is little bit contradictory to section of contestants on roads ?

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  6. Missed to write it...
    What I said in the previous comment (abt traffic) was in response to general blaming abt B'lore traffic but not in reply to ur article..Just shared my views.
    In fact Ur quote -
    "Traffic is no entity until we take our vehicles out!!! Though we can not eliminate it we can minimise it for sure!!! Now you are the right person to decide what to choose "

    definitely means a lot...Kudos !!!!!!!

    Waiting for ur next article...:-)

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  7. Akshatha, are u stuck in some other JAM, not giving enough work to your hand! YOur posts are being awaited FOR! [:)]

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  8. @All,

    Thanks for reading... & sorry for the delay in reponding.

    @Vijay & Prabhu Bhaktha,
    Funny way to look at things. Good, you guys made my post funnier.

    @Prabhu Aryan
    Thanks da :o)

    @Kanti,
    Oh is it??? I will try to make it more interesting and pleasing next time. Regarding the govt and stuff like that, I am the last person who would wait for someone to come and straighten up the things, be it govt or someone else. I do my share whether some one does it or not. :o) About people's comment being lengthier than my blog, I respect, I respect the time and patience they showed at my blog. Thanks guys :o)

    @Raj,
    There is a new post Raj, check and tell me your opinions :o)

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  9. Hello there. I am from Bangalore Mirror, I found this post really interesting and I wanted to know if I could use this post for 'Blog Talk' section in our paper. Please do let me know if you are okay with it, my email address is nt.balanarayan@gmail.com

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