Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Bangalore driving behavior

Am noticing subtle changes in Bangalore driving behavior. Well there have to be changes in behavior considering the major hmm, roadblocks out here. Bangalore traffic is learning.

Lately I have seen them drive in 3 single files. In other words, lane discipline. Not a new concept, but it being voluntarily followed out here - now that’s new. Seriously, earlier, driving meant winging your way into any possible gap available, to move ahead. It meant if you are lucky, you would save time. Else, get stranded and stall others as well. Now everyone moves ahead. Slowly but surely. Until few months back, there was this typical Bangalore behavior of no-honking. People had no problem spending extra minutes at a signal, simply because the guy ahead was slow at starting his bike. Over the last few years, when the few minutes at various signal have begun to add upto half an hour or more, in every commute, people have realized that every second counts. If that guy likes to spend his night on road, he may very well go ahead with that; but we don’t want to. So what’s the next best thing to do ? Honk. Honk him out of the way.

Likewise the other major speed breakers are the slow moving vehicle driving ahead of us. They single-handedly stall/delay an entire part of the city.

While there is growth and learning in people, there is hardly any trace of it in the administration. For that matter, they seem to be unlearning all lessons in commitments, discipline and helpfulness. The most pathetic example of this are the two crucial incomplete flyovers. They now resemble excavation sites. People have patiently borne with the ugly sight as well as the inconvenience of regular all-day traffic jams. For nearly 2 years. And while it is still nowhere near completion, the work has stopped. Total standstill. Government has revoked the contract because they didn’t finish it on time. While the contractors slapped a case and a stay order. So till this dispute is resolved, we will have to live with prime roads in dug-up state. This is seriously pathetic. It more than 2 months now. And as usual there is an acceptance of the fact. Indeed, now people have learnt to get over the adversities created by administration. Debris are being cleared to squeeze in as much space as possible. I guess Bangaloreans will continue to be patient for some more time !

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