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Recently, I had to visit a bank in Sector 9 market in Faridabad so i decided to drive down. When i reached the bank, there was a young guy who had parked his car (white colored Hyundai Accent) right in front of the bank and was about to get out of his car. I rolled down my window and beckoned him to move his car. He gestured back to me telling there was enough space for a car to pass. He locked his car and nonchalantly moved inside the bank leaving space only for a car to pass.
There is ample space in that area for car parking. One can see 5-6 cars parked properly. But this guy wanted to park right in front of the bank because it was convenient for him and probably because he would have ended up walking 20 steps had he parked his car in the right place.
I took this photo after coming out of bank. By that time, another driver had conveniently parked his car (White Indica) behind this white colored Hyundai Accent to make it worse.
The arrows indicate the direction from where i approached the bank.
When we chose to park our car in a convenient place, do we give it a thought that this may be inconvenient for others and that it may not be right place to park?
Do you also do it? Is it right? Do you want kids to follow and learn the same from you?
Think about it!
It’s funny that in our country people say that we don’t just drive on the left of the road, we drive on what is left of the road. Once you leave comforts of your home and prepare yourself for an adventurous endeavor, called driving, there are lots of problems waiting for you- Road rage, unnecessary honking, violation of traffic rules without any regard to safety etc.
I strongly believe that most of the problems of a country are inter-related to each other. You start to mend one matter and you would unknowingly resolve another. On the flip side, problems which are inter-related are more difficult to solve.
Last but not the least, we can’t solve the problem unless we know what the problem is.
Typically, while we are on road, we could face following issues:
- Drivers not following traffic rules. It’s common to drive on the wrong side of road!
- Stray animals on roads
- Broken roads, potholes
- Jay walking (people wrongly crossing the road)
- Open defecation by the side of the road (why does it trouble you? It’s not happening on the road. Right?)
- Road Rage
- Racing/Rash driving
- Unpainted speed-breakers
- Littering on roads (We are a free country! Throw garbage wherever you want. Roll down the window and throw out!)
- Sign boards covered with election manifestos or politician’s photographs
- Missing/wrong sign boards on important junctions/diversions
- All kinds of vehicles ranging from heavy utility vehicles to riskshaws to bicycles to animal-driven carts on highway roads
- Parking on roads resulting in obstruction of traffic flow
- Traffic lights not working/ Absence of traffic lights on important junctions
- Eve teasing
- Slow response in clearing traffic jams resulting due to vehicles which break down (especially heavy vehicles)
- Under-age driving
- Slow/no response in handing accidents
- Roads not well-lit at night
- Water-logging on roads during rainy season causing break-down of vehicles followed by traffic jams
- No footpath to walk on for pedestrians
- No care for differently-abled
Anything else you think i have missed out?
The answer to reducing/managing traffic on road must lie in the origination of it: why is there so much of traffic on road? Why do we step on to a road?
- To commute to work
- To visit Government offices for paying utility bills, to get Government related work done (marriage certificate, birth certificate, court cases, registration of new house/business/piece of land, pension, driving license, arms license, petrol pump license, voter id card, pan card, adhaar id, paying challans, filing returns, collect dues from Governement, work related to state and central banks and God knows what all)
- To pay other private bills like mobile/broadband bills, credit card bills and visiting private offices like banks
- Your work involves being on the road (sales, service, marketing, delivery, advertising/journalism related jobs)
- Leisure travel
- To meet family/friends
- To go to sacred places for worshipping
- To visit places like malls, hotels, restaurants, stadiums, parks, cinema halls, bookstores, hospitals, hotels, grocery stores, local markets, car/bike showrooms, railway station, airport, bus station
- To manage traffic- you are traffic police
- The road is your job- you are a rikshaw-puller, bus driver, taxi driver, three-wheeler driver, vegetable/food vendor
- Pedestrians (if there are no footpaths to walk on)
- I can go on and on….
What is in your list that’s not covered above?
I commute to work by bus everyday and almost everyday while i sit through the journey, i look at the traffic (or chaos?) outside and wonder if situation will ever change. Mahatma Gandhi said,’ Be the change you wish to see in the world‘ and hence this blog is a step towards being a change in some way, albeit small. All of you who drive through or sit through the traffic in developing countries would be able to relate with my posts.
I intend to publish this blog to highlight problems that i see and ideas that pop in my head to resolve these problems.
I am a human being and i may also commit mistakes while driving. Thus, in my opinion it is important that before i question others, i must question myself. I must drive as per the rules before i state the problems.
Last but not the least, let’s be positive and be fair to all.
शुभ यात्रा/Happy journey!