(TL note: nareshov's diary)

On Bangalore’s Road Traffic

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I’ve been observing the road while I ride my old bike between my home and office (good job right?) and I’ve come to the conclusion that the autorickshaw drivers are almost always responsible for slowing down the rest on the roads. Unoccupied autos are even worse. They loiter around on the road driving in a jovial, not-really-busy way which comes to those of us who’re in a hurry as some sort of a mockery. Previously, I thought the new (and rising) breed of car driving population (many a time with just one person in the car) were the real culprits.

Bangalore is riddled with one-ways and “speedbreakers”. The one-ways are sort of understandable; they not only double the (band)width which helps in “ironing” out the traffic over a long distance, they rule out the accidents that may occur in a two-way road without a divider. The speedbreakers on the other hand, suck big time. They slow down four-wheelers (like cars) a lot. Think about all the gear-switching, the fuel consumption and most importantly, time wasted. It’s terrible.

I started hating autos more after seeing what they’re capable of. Apart from the sort of inconsiderate driving mentioned above, they’re a dangerous in a “worst-of-both-worlds” sense. Autos are three-wheelers (here in India): their width is slightly less than that of the substandard Maruti 800 and instead of a steering wheel, they have a two-wheeler-style handle. So, what this means to you on the road is, there’s this three-wheeler almost as wide as a car that’s going to invariably (if you’re used to it) or unexpectedly (if you’re new to it) perform sharp sideward movements (abrupt right or left turns) like the ones two-wheelers are capable of. Such awkward, dangerous movements are to be expected from an auto in front of you when there’s a red-signal up ahead and the vehicles in your flow are all slowing down and that auto tries to fit in (as if we’re all in a best-possible-packing competition (filesystem fragmentation reference >_>)) with the vehicles around it.

So, yeah, autorickshaw drivers are the first set of roadusers to hate. They’re way too many in the first place and safe autorickshaw drivers are just as rare as the availability hygienic fresh juice parlours in Bangalore.

Next, four-wheeler drivers who’re driving alone (come on!)

And then this is something mostly autorickshaws do, but I’ve seen two-wheelers and four-wheelers guilty of it too: Parking in the most inappropriate locations which causes traffic slowdown. Jeez. Outright stupidity or socially-inconsiderate: usually a combination of both.

Lane driving is something almost nobody respects. Some four-wheeler drivers do, but they’re rare. That short-term gain one might get by taking that abrupt turn or cutting someone else off from his course on the road drastically affects the general flow of traffic on the road. Long-term throughput is affected. I’m not going to talk about the benefits of using public transport. It’s something that should be fairly obvious (Of course, the lack of sufficient public transport isn’t an excuse to not do something about it. It’s your tax money. Oh, do you even pay taxes?)

Many a time, I’ve felt like stopping right there and blasting the offender on the spot. Alas, I’m neither that courageous nor patient nor capable of putting my message across successfully enough to actually make the person stop being a douche on the road in the future. Here’s to hoping that this blog post is going to help. Cheers!

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