Thursday, May 28, 2009

Traffic woes

Much has been said and almost nothing done about the traffic woes in Cochin. As someone who uses public transport frequently, I have always found it irritating that I have to wait inside the bus for half an hour or more than that to pass a stretch of maybe less than 500 m. One thought that has always come across my mind is to get off the bus, forego the passenger fare that I paid, and walk to my destination. But, thanks to the pathetic situation of pavements(if there are) and reckless drivers I refrain from doing so. Much of this problem has been aggravated by the presence of numerous private vehicles. I do not get the point of using a personal vehicle, if the average speed that you can drive at is a mere 10-20 km/hr, or even less than that. Car pooling and such measures have always been suggested, but it doesnt work out most of the time, because of a lack of voluntary nature.

What is the other alternative then? Enforcing. When something is imposed on you, you always follow it.Because there is no question of what if I don't or why should I. It is always you should, because the law says so. That is the only choice you have. Well, now how would that fit into solving traffic problems and providing comfortable travel? Radical as it may sound, what we can do is impose a traffic free road. And it is not like it hasn't been done before. Many roads in New York City have successfully implemented the same.

It enables a safe atmosphere. And in a way, it also acts as a solution to the problem of pollution as well. Furthermore, such systems always cater to the need for a public space. It satiates the people's desire for a public space, where they can relax, engage in fun filled activities and so on. The presence of such a public space can even boost the economy in the particular area. Well, solving traffic problems to boosting the local economy. Doesn't sound bad, does it? But what must not be forgotten is that such a process should integrate itself to the rest of the city. It cannot be executed in isolation, as it would backfire, increasing the traffic by manifolds elsewhere.

Tailpiece: A Radio Jockey seemed to have a better solution to the aforementioned delay problem. To quote her, " If you face the problem of getting late due to traffic, try starting your journey well in advance!!"

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