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Old 25th October 2008, 08:56   #1
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Default Recipe for a Traffic Jam

Recipe for a Heavy traffic Jam that can last for an entire evening and night:
2 Hrs of heavy downpour - should be the true definition of a deluge
A few Kms of choked / non existent storm water drains
A 50 km long Human Chain for a cause(??)
Insane drivers
Ideal time for the Best (Worst!!!) effect - Festival time esp Friday evening that precedes the festival.

Well that was what Chennai saw yesterday (24/10/08) evening. Traffic in the city came to near non existence. Water level on some major roads was alarming. People had to trudge long distances or wait for hours together to hitch a ride. Owners driving their cars had worser experiences. Here are some samples (normal Peak Hour traffic time in brackets)

1. 2 hrs from Kodambakkam to Koyambedu (30 mins)
2. 5.5 hrs from Kelambakkam to Koyambedu (1.5 hrs)
3. 2 hrs from Guindy to Adyar (45 mins)
4. 3 Hrs from Guindy to Parry's via Adyar (1 hr)
5. 2 Hrs from Guindy to Velachery (30 mins)

The above are figures from the experiences of self and my team members.

My Indigo XL almost stalled in the flood waters when insensitive TNSTC bus drivers drove into the flood at speeds that created a mini tsunami of sorts.
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Old 25th October 2008, 11:06   #2
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Moral Of the story "Use public transport when it rains heavily"
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Old 25th October 2008, 11:10   #3
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Festive season is also a big root cause for traffic jams especially in the evenings.
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Old 25th October 2008, 18:06   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MuzzledMoose View Post
Moral Of the story "Use public transport when it rains heavily"
Will that make it quicker when done individually, or when collectively. The politicians should give people good and quick public transport, instead of sermonising.
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Old 25th October 2008, 18:48   #5
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The situation is the same in cochin too. I'm stuck in the mother of all jams right now! almost finished browsing the whole forum now! Lol
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Old 26th October 2008, 10:29   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MuzzledMoose View Post
Moral Of the story "Use public transport when it rains heavily"
MzzledMoose that wouldn't have helped either. Some of my team members had to wait for more than hour to get a bus that came bursting at its seams . Public transport was worst hit. I stay right across from the CMBT (Chennai Moffussil Bus Terminus) and noticed that the traffic snarl continued well into the wee hours of Saturday. I have also taken pix of the situation that resumed on Saturday morning. Will post them soon.
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Old 26th October 2008, 11:11   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnaganathan View Post
Recipe for a Heavy traffic Jam that can last for an entire evening and night:
2 Hrs of heavy downpour - should be the true definition of a deluge
A few Kms of choked / non existent storm water drains
A 50 km long Human Chain for a cause(??)
Insane drivers
Ideal time for the Best (Worst!!!) effect - Festival time esp Friday evening that precedes the festival.

Well that was what Chennai saw yesterday (24/10/08) evening. Traffic in the city came to near non existence. Water level on some major roads was alarming. People had to trudge long distances or wait for hours together to hitch a ride. Owners driving their cars had worser experiences. Here are some samples (normal Peak Hour traffic time in brackets)

1. 2 hrs from Kodambakkam to Koyambedu (30 mins)
2. 5.5 hrs from Kelambakkam to Koyambedu (1.5 hrs)
3. 2 hrs from Guindy to Adyar (45 mins)
4. 3 Hrs from Guindy to Parry's via Adyar (1 hr)
5. 2 Hrs from Guindy to Velachery (30 mins)

The above are figures from the experiences of self and my team members.

My Indigo XL almost stalled in the flood waters when insensitive TNSTC bus drivers drove into the flood at speeds that created a mini tsunami of sorts.
The 100 ft road during the rains, or even during regular evenings is TERRIBLE. Mainly because of the number of traffic signals on such a big road, and the road side shops that litter the sides like weeds!
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Old 28th October 2008, 16:19   #8
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I was surprised no one had a thread on this. Then a search revealed this. Luckily before I could start a new thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnaganathan
MzzledMoose that wouldn't have helped either. Some of my team members had to wait for more than hour to get a bus that came bursting at its seams
Well, depends on what kind of PTS you are referring to. Chennai has an efficient electric train / suburban train / MRTS network, which was the only mode of transportation that moved on Black Friday. And that is what came to my rescue. Almost came close to missing my train to Kerala, till some quick thinking and the MRTS saved my day.

24-Oct Fri 5PM : I leave from office (Thoraipakkam) as is my practice on most Fridays when I travel to Kerala. Normally, I would reach home around 6PM and after a bit of packing/freshening-up, I ride to Chennai Central, leave my bike there for the weekend and catch my 8PM train to Kerala.

Not having read the day's newspaper, I had no idea about any human-chain or stuff. I knew that rains would drive traffic a little crazy, but nothing in my wildest imagination prepared me for what I was to encounter.

5:20PM : In around 20 mins, I had reached the signal opposite TIDEL park. The IT corridor looked invitingly empty and I was impatiently waiting for the signal to turn green. It does and I drive on, imagining a lovely 2km drive on great tarmac, till the road joins the Sardar Patel road at Madhya Kailash.

But even before I could cover 1km of the road, I see cars waiting on all 4 lanes of the road. I am surprised to see a traffic jam at that time of the day, but attribute it to the rains. And assume that in a few minutes, it will clear up and I will be on my way home.

But, it becomes 5mins, 10 mins and then half-an-hour. And even after 1 full hour, I would have inched only some 200 metres forward. Finally it is 7PM and I have only reached the place on IT corridor where we take a left to S.P.Road. There is no way on earth I can get home (my ticket and passport-id used for online booking, are in my bag at home) and then from there get to Central in 1 hour to catch my train. My wife already called many times and I told her that it looks like I would miss the train.

I toy mentally with the idea of driving to Kerala. While I love driving, it does not sound good to drive 15-16 hours 1-way for a 3-day vacation. My mind is already processing alternate options like trying for another train on same day, trying for next day's train etc etc.

And that is when an idea strikes me. Why not take a U-turn, drop the car at the MRTS station parking for 3 days and catch the MRTS to Central ? Should take me only 15mins. From there, catch the electric train to Nungambakkam, an auto to home to get the bag and back to Nungambakkam and from there a train to Central. Sounds do-able.

But am worried about the safety of my car. Have never left it at a public parking even for a day. And here I need to leave it for 3 days. But i have no option. So, take a U-turn, park the car, cover it and confirm with the parking guys about safety. It would be safe, they assure. Parking charges would be steep though - Rs60 for 24 hours. No time to worry about a few bucks.

Rush upstairs to the ticket counter only to see a huge queue. Drop plan of buying ticket and rush to the platform. Train comes in a few mins and drops me at Central in 13mins or so. It is 7:40PM when I walk out of MRTS station and I know that I do not have time to go home, get my bag and return in time to catch my train. So drop that plan.

Walk into Central station to the Sify netcafe to printout my ticket (thank God for online booking). The whole place is crowded with all PCs busy. The operator has thankfully given his PC for those that want to take ticket printouts. Charges me 30bucks which is double the normal, but I am just glad I could make it. I walk into the train at 7:55PM. Phew.

One more obstacle remains. I do not have my passport and as per railway rules, i need to have on me the exact id with which i booked my ticket. Anyway, the TTE's know the traffic issue and are lenient and are OK with my ICICI credit card as ID.

I learn later that I was lucky. There were so many guys/gals who missed the train and could not make it. And this when they had booked tickets 3 months in advance (like me). Ofcourse one person's loss is another's gain. So guys who had tickets with WL267 etc got confirmed berth due to so many people missing the train.

An adrenaline-pumping 2.5 hours it was. And one that I would not want to face again.

P.S. : Add to this 2 minor inconveniences :
1) I badly want to have a smoke while stuck in traffic. Normally I would step out and smoke since traffic is at a standstill. But since it is drizzling, can't do that. And I hate smoking in the car. More so when I can't leave the windows open. Finally had to make an exception that day and smoke in the car.

2) With the weather being what it was, the urge to take a leak was strong. And when you know that you are in a situation where it is not possible, magically the urge becomes all the more stronger - some kind of Murphy's law. Also having waited 1.5 hours, there was no knowing how many more hours it would be before I reached home. But there was no denying the urge. Finally managed some jugaad solution - though not putting it up here.
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Old 28th October 2008, 16:32   #9
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This above Incident is very common in this days and festive season. I rem in 2006 some holiday (may be Diwali) people walked 2-3 km to catch train in Bnagalore. and All trains and buses was delayed due to heavy traffic jam in the city.
And the flood like situation we are the responsible. All Builder and the developer had closed the pond/lake and build house/flat where we are staying. So there is no way to pass the water. naturally our car/bike submerged in the water. Last friday evening in inner ring road my half of the bike was inside water. thank god it didnt switched off.
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Old 28th October 2008, 17:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post

2) With the weather being what it was, the urge to take a leak was strong. And when you know that you are in a situation where it is not possible, magically the urge becomes all the more stronger - some kind of Murphy's law. Also having waited 1.5 hours, there was no knowing how many more hours it would be before I reached home. But there was no denying the urge. Finally managed some jugaad solution - though not putting it up here.
I arranged for Jugad but didn't use ! Finally the traffic moved after 1 hr of standing in the traffic and could relieve at home. No more rains for Chennai
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Old 29th October 2008, 13:53   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
1) I badly want to have a smoke while stuck in traffic. Normally I would step out and smoke since traffic is at a standstill. But since it is drizzling, can't do that. And I hate smoking in the car. More so when I can't leave the windows open. Finally had to make an exception that day and smoke in the car.
I think you forget that you are not allowed to smoke in public places anymore . Please continue smoking in the car!!
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Old 29th October 2008, 13:54   #12
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Seems like an apt place to add my tale of woe !

It was Friday (the 24th) & I had only recently taken delivery of my car after a rather comprehensive 60K Kms service carried out at ABT, Saligram. Had also gotten a 285 cam, a lightened flywheel, clutch, & a new set of valves installed. Needless to say I was extremely cautious with the use of my car & had planned to drive to Coimbatore on Saturday (the 25th).

There were some minor issues that were present post-delivery & I took the car to ABT that afternoon - it was nice & sunny (I wasn't aware of the human-chain or forecasts of rain). All was well & the only indication of trouble to come was the deluge that started while I was at Saligram. The work on my car was finished in an hour & I drive to work (Alwarpet). There's scant traffic on the roads despite the impending festival deadline since it's pouring cats & dogs ! I even manage to snap a couple of pics (A Drive to office in Morning Rain)...

At the junction of NSK Salai & Valluvar-Kottam-High-Road I decide to drive home (Kilpauk), drop off my car, & drive the M800 instead to work. But, traffic at the end of the road, where it meets Serling-Road, is at a standstill. Was stationary there for about 45 minutes ! Some cars ahead are opting to take 3-point turns & head back the way they came for some reason... I decide that they must just be impatient & decide to wait it out, after all, Sterling Road is just a few hundred meters away

Finally, after an eternity traffic gets moving & the road ahead appears to be inundated - I decide to drive on. Very quickly I realize that I'd seriously misread the water level ! Soon the bow wave (!?!) of my car is all the way upto my windshield & I can feel the clutch slipping... A couple of good-natured souls have gathered near the junction, in waist-deep water, trying to regulate traffic & they're frantically waving me off - but I have no choice but to drive forward. I cringe, expecting water to enter the engine & snuff it's refurbished innards, but it just keeps pulling. Mid-way, a bus turns into the street & creates a small wave that gently rocks my boat, err, car ! Anyway, there's little I can do but pray & continue - after what must seem like an eternity I'm on the other side !

Once ashore, idling is a tad irregular but soon returns to normal. With that hurdle crossed, I assess the damage - there's water within the car - at least an inch-&-a-half deep. It takes me a further 2 hours to reach home - I started from Saligram at 2:30 PM, & I'm home at 5:30 PM ! Once home, I gather some bailing equipment & get to work. When I'm done an hour-&-a-half later, 3 small buckets worth of dirty water have been bailed out & the carpet's been cut & removed completely ! After countless towels, the insides of my car appear dry to the touch. I check the engine & transmission oil & they seem fine. I finally leave the windows rolled down a tad & get up to crash. As they say - all in a day's work (yeah, right !)...

P.S. - I'm back after a 1,200 Kms drive to CBE & the car appears to be running fine. I plan to open up the clutch for a visual inspection & change the engine & transmission oil - just in case...

Last edited by im_srini : 29th October 2008 at 14:05.
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Old 29th October 2008, 14:04   #13
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Thanks to work getting extended on Friday evening, I dropped my plan of driving into Chennai the same night. Came to know about the chaos the next day after going through the superb piece of road between Butt Road and Kathipara. You guys must have had a tough time.
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Old 29th October 2008, 14:15   #14
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If they can eliminate water from stagnating on the roads in the 1st place by building effective water drainage ducts, 75% of this problem will go away. This is the generic problem in this country - the rulers dont even acknowledge a problem exists in the first place to then apply a simple fix.
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Old 29th October 2008, 16:03   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spadival
I think you forget that you are not allowed to smoke in public places anymore . Please continue smoking in the car!!
I went through the "No Smoking Law" leaflet and did not see 'roads' coming under the definition of public place. Initially I was under the impression that it does, since it is a space used by the public and also Wikipedia says so. But after going through the 'law' in detail, it does not seem applicable to roads. Ofcourse bus-stops on the roadside come under the purview of the law.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 29th October 2008 at 16:14.
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