Extension of road median catches motorists on wrong side

The extension of the road median on the city stretch of the Tiruchi-Dindigul National Highway between the newly built junction road over bridge (ROB) and Ponnagar in the city has been causing much traffic confusion in the locality as several motorists are caught unawares and forced to drive on the wrong side.

Ever since the construction of the multi-level ROB began, motorists heading towards the Tiruchi-Dindigul highway from Periya Milaguparai have been going via the service lane on the right side. The practice continued even after a service lane was built on the left side.

A majority of motorists coming from Periya Milaguparai preferred to go via the right side while those coming from the Railway Junction side used the left side of the service lane to reach the highway.

Over the past few days, motorists using the right side of the service lane have been unable to reach the highway near the ROB due to extension of the road median between the bridge and the starting point of the highway from Ponnagar.

Consequently, motorists have to drive a few metres further up on the wrong side before joining the highway through an opening provided on the median. “There has been a lot of confusion over the past few days. Rash driving by some only compounds the problem,” says C. Balasubramanian, Honorary President, District Exnora.

A senior official of the Highways Department pointed out that as per the design of the ROB, vehicles entering the city from Dindigul highway are not supposed to go over the bridge. They have to use the service lanes to go to Railway Junction or Periya Milaguparai. The road median has been extended as a safety measure as accidents could happen in its absence.

He pointed out that motorists are supposed to use only the service lane on the left side. The problem arises only because vehicles are being allowed to go on the right side of a traffic island, used as a godown by Highways Department, which leads to the service lane on the right side of the Dindigul highway. All vehicles should go only to the left of the traffic island to reach the service lane on the left side of the highway, he said.

However, this regulation could be done only by the traffic police. “It is essential that a few traffic cops are posted at the spot to regulate the traffic. Signboards can also be placed at the spot to direct vehicles the proper way,” Mr .Balasubramanian said.

Encroachments

Some residents also point out that the service lane on the left side was narrow and heavy vehicles face difficulty in negotiating the stretch. “Besides, quite a few eateries and vendors are functioning along the service lane here constricting the road space further. They have to be removed so as to ensure the safety of motorists,”said C. Bharat Raj, a resident of Ponnagar.

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