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Old 4th April 2008, 22:16   #16
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Default Why this obsession for speed?

In general our highways including the GQ are badly planned.
  • There are too many unmarked U-turns near/inside villages. Even at most of these places if a truck/bus has to make a U-turn, they have to make the turn from the outermost lane to the outermost lane, cutting across all the traffic. This makes it extremely dangerous to speeding vehicles which generally use the innermost lanes. They will be heading straight into a turning bus or truck or one that has turned half the way and has stopped. And then you will have all other kinds of creatures and vehicles (like a bullock cart) passing through these.
  • Villagers may decide to add their own U-turns. Posing even a greater threat. Sometimes they leave the concrete blocks right on the fast lane.
  • You will find vehicles travelling in the opposite direction (either through the fast lane or through the slower lane, depending on the habit of a place) trying to reach a U-turn or a Petrol pump or a small arterial road.
  • The up and down lanes are next to each other with a small divider (both in width and height) in between. Wherever the width of the divider is more, they have planted flowering plants/small trees. You can find people and animals clambering over these. Some actually jump over the dividers and stand in the fast lane right next to the divider, often with a cycle in hand. And where there are plants/trees, somebody (human or animal) is likely to step out of these right onto the fast lane, leaving the driver with very little reaction time.
  • There are no service lanes around villages isolating and protecting the highways. No designated parking lanes/areas again along these highways. All the arterial roads will be joining the highways directly and many of them perpendicular to the highways.
  • You have shops and other commercial establishments (including way side hotels and tea-shops) right next to the road.
  • The turns of the highways can be quite sharp and not designed for the speed specified along a particular stretch. Vehicles lose control and jump over the dividers. They crash into the vehicles in the other lane.
One can go on enumerating many more of such flaws in our highways. Now consider the freeways and interstate highways of the US. They are much better designed, but still the average highway speed limit hovers around 65/70 mph (104/112 kmph). And in general people travel about 5 to 10 mph above the speed limit.

Considering these facts, IMO, no highway (except Mumbai-Pune expressway which is barricaded all along) in India is safe to be driven above 80 kmph at its best stretches. So having a speed limit of 45-50 kmph near populated areas is quite o.k. And then consider that many of us drive even on these highways at 120-150 kmph. I would call it suicidal. But we still do that. There are decades more to go before we will have safer and more speed friendly roads.
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Old 5th April 2008, 09:36   #17
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Actually, most stretches from Banglore to Pune have decent visibility, are fenced around inhabited areas with specific crossing points for people. The lanes are, for the most part, well marked and very visible at night. The curves, embankments are quite decent. I would imagine its similar for most of the GQ.

Highways like the Mysore road aren't there yet. They've been 4 laned, but not really designed, and have the flaws mentioned earlier. You must be on your guard forever and honk a hell lot while near inhabitation. On these highways, around towns, 45-60kmph are indeed the speeds, but the usually marked limit is 30!
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Old 6th April 2008, 20:00   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenx View Post
Highways like the Mysore road aren't there yet. They've been 4 laned, but not really designed, and have the flaws mentioned earlier.
That's the point. Mysore road is an upgrade, not a proper highway. NICE road will be if it is ready in our lifetime. Without bypasses for towns like Mandya, Ramnagar, Chennapatna etc., plus various other smaller towns/villages, there is no chance of it becoming one.

If the police are only doing this at crowded / unsafe portions of the highway, one can agree. Not if they stand in the middle of the Maddur-Mandya stretch and enforce the 50km limit!

It is true that the pent-up frustration of navigating Mysore road, inside city makes people over speed once they hit a vacant stretch.

Ignoring legalities, no highway is immune to the long list given by pjbiju. Recently on Mysore highway one Sumo went over divider and crashed into another vehicle, killing somone (I believe the son of a prominent officer)
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