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Old 12th February 2016, 08:57   #2776
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^^^Its a check to see if you would budge, else they will try revving the engine and closing up on you. But thankfully I have never had them make contact.

On the other hand there are many signals in chennai where you have to be regular on that road to understand what the un-lit state means. Sometimes it means stop, sometimes go, and sometimes plain and simple that the signal is not working!!
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Old 12th February 2016, 09:16   #2777
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^^^Its a check to see if you would budge, else they will try revving the engine and closing up on you. But thankfully I have never had them make contact.

On the other hand there are many signals in chennai where you have to be regular on that road to understand what the un-lit state means. Sometimes it means stop, sometimes go, and sometimes plain and simple that the signal is not working!!
Even if I had given way, where would he take the bus?

I totally on the Chennai signal statuses.
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Old 12th February 2016, 10:26   #2778
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Even if I had given way, where would he take the bus?

I totally on the Chennai signal statuses.
Mostly right next to you or in front of you bullying the next person in front!! . You need to drive on OMR to see how the volvos buses intimidate the other users like the private buses!! Also the police cannot control them since they resort to wild cat strikes at the slightest provocation
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Old 12th February 2016, 11:06   #2779
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Mostly right next to you or in front of you bullying the next person in front!! . You need to drive on OMR to see how the volvos buses intimidate the other users like the private buses!! Also the police cannot control them since they resort to wild cat strikes at the slightest provocation
Yeah been there in that situation also. Along with the college buses who race among themselves. For the last year or so I am driving Eon. So have to let them all go. Previously when I was driving Ambassador on daily basis, it was totally different .
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Old 22nd February 2016, 08:43   #2780
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Seems there was a major road block on ECR yesterday and I could see that the toll booths on OMR were over crowded (than what you see on a normal sunday)

Lot of ECR plying buses were seen on OMR.
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Old 22nd February 2016, 09:35   #2781
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Yeah been there in that situation also. Along with the college buses who race among themselves. For the last year or so I am driving Eon. So have to let them all go. Previously when I was driving Ambassador on daily basis, it was totally different .
It looks as if everyone is scared of Ambys and old Fiats any time. When I was driving a Mark II Ambassador some ten years ago, everyone avoided my car as if it was a plague.


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Seems there was a major road block on ECR yesterday and I could see that the toll booths on OMR were over crowded (than what you see on a normal sunday)

Lot of ECR plying buses were seen on OMR.
There was a multiple bus collision in the Muttukadu bridge. In the morning, there was a birthday celebration procession by the ruling party with bursting of crackers.
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Old 22nd February 2016, 13:56   #2782
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It looks as if everyone is scared of Ambys and old Fiats any time. When I was driving a Mark II Ambassador some ten years ago, everyone avoided my car as if it was a plague.
Still I feel the same. The respect we get in driving those cars can only be felt.

People residing in Velachery - Tambaram Main road. Have you seen any work in the roads mentioned in the link below? Because I haven't seen any construction work other than road widening till Medavakkam that took place a year ago.

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/A...0022016001035#

Best thing about that article was

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The highways department acquired land to build the flyover in 1986
What were they doing all this 20 years? That is one hell of a rapid pace!!
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Old 26th March 2016, 01:06   #2783
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Hello everyone,

Here is my recollection of chennai traffic and the nightmares it has given to me. First of all, I came to chennai because my father bought a flood damaged car off the auction. And to prevent the service centers and mechanics rip-off, I came in to rescue the vehicle. It is all documented here
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...ndai-getz.html (Buying & restoring a Chennai flood-damaged Hyundai Getz!)

As part of the process, I hired a self-drive zoomcar. I stayed near Kodambakkam powerhouse and travelled everyday at peak rush hour traffic to Kanchipuram highway all the way out till beyond AMW and Decathlon showrooms. And when we gave up on DIY and gave it to the mechanic, I went to Shastri Nagar, Adyar area. I have driven continously for 5 days and what a nightmare it was. Especially the strech on Kanchipuram road between Decathlon and Ambattur Industrial estate. I have driven in peak traffic near arumbakkam and other roads whose name I don't know but nothing matches the Kanchipuram highway.

Any person in chennai who thinks driving is tough in chennai on various other roads should definitely make a trip to Kanchipuram highway. People drive so dangerously close at so dangerous speeds, I was scared and my father just kept on shouting this guy is coming from here, that guy from there, he kept my anxiety to the peak the first day. From the Decathlon showroom towards chennai, there are a lot of crossings. I seriously don't know what is there and why the hell is there so much of traffic in that place. Locals, please comment. So, at all these crossings, this two lane highway becomes three lanes. All vehicles pile up so close and tightly packed that you cannot move if only one lane is moving because your rear view mirrors will hit the other vehicle's mirrors. It is that jam packed at junctions. You keep on hoping that once the traffic gains speed, distances will increase. But you are wrong. There is always one lorry in the outside lane and one ambitious lorry in the inside lane overtaking it and so there is a bottleneck. And so the three lane remains as a three lane. And traffic keeps on crawling. But that is normal chennai.

Speciality of Kanchipuram highway is that, even if traffic gains pace, the gaps don't increase until you cross Ambattur Industrial estate. Before reaching Ambattur, the vehicles are so closely packed that even if you are doing around 40 and if you sneeze, that small steering input will have you crashed. If you are in the outermost lane, there is always a guy with half his vehicle in the lane and you cannot take left because you can't even move an inch. In the centre lane, you are being squeezed out of existence. If you want to break and slow down, you can't because vehicles keep on zooming past you at very close distances at very high speeds. If you want to go in the inside lane, your left tyre is just an inch away from dirt and some person is trying to enter the road from the left. There are places in the middle where there is a hard shoulder (yellow line) and there, the traffic becomes 5 lanes with 4 lanes for the road and 5th is the dirt track for moto racing bikes.

Coming to the vehicles, sumos, taveras and innovas with taxi plates are driven by NASCAR drivers. So close, kissing bumpers all the time, bullying one another and they have a switch for horn which is always left in ON position. Buses are F1 drivers with precision, tactics etc. When you come to a halt, he will slowly crawl up beside you and angle his bus ever so slightly into your lane that if the traffic in your lane is moving, you cannot move because your mirrors will hit the bus. And you can't take a right. So, you will have to give way. There is one exception though. The buses with a company name stickered to it, saints drives them. They drive so lovingly, giving way, maintaining gap all the time.

All the cars are driven by people who want to park. They drive so close and so tight. But at least, they have the road manners. All bikers are on the road to perform stunts. I have seen so many close calls, I cannot describe.

An accident I was in

And two-wheelers remind me of an accident that took place between me and a car and an activa in the middle. It happened on 23rd March 2016 on Arcot Road. I had show up at the mechanic in the morning (if I did not show up, they will just leave the car aside and work on other cars) and do my final checks before sending the car to cleaning and polishing and then I had to go back to Copart on Kanchipuram highway after Decathlon to collect the car documents and make it back to chennai. The total journey was around 90kms and quick maths later, I realized that it was cheaper to go the self-drive way. This time, I was all alone.

I took the car, made it out of the parking lot, drove a km or so. There was a Grand i10 which was going in the inside lane at around 30kmph. There was an activa on the dashed line behind him. The road was non-peak hour and there was good space for me to overtake both. I came to the outside lane and honked my horn to alert them and left a gap and started overtaking. I came beside the car. That activa thought that the horn was meant for him to overtake and so he came in between us. There was still some reasonable gap left. I saw that in the front, we were approaching the traffic lights and it turned orange and there were cops waving their hands to stop. And so, I started to slow down. Suddenly, I heard the activa hit my car. I instinctively saw left and saw the Grand i10 closing the gap and sandwiching the poor activa. In front of me was traffic lights. I tried to accelerate and steer clear to let the activa some space. Cops came into my lane and stopped me and the car and the activa.

I got down and they took my license. The traffic cop was telling me that it is not my fault because two police officers on duty were watching the entire thing going on. I freaked out and called Zoomcar immediately to report the accident. That stupid call center sat there verifying my phone number, my mail etc. In the meanwhile, the cops had a word with the activa and the grand i10. The activa did not suffer any damage because it was handlebars that rubbed against the car. He shook hands, gave his number and left happily. Grand i10 owner must have told something to the cops.

When I finished talking on the phone, the grand i10 guy started yelling at me that how could I overtake if there is another vehicle in the outside lane. Do I know how to drive. You people take rented cars, crash them and we who own cars have to pay all the bills. What? Is this a first world nation? And how am I not entitled to not overtake? I was in the outside lane, he was in the inside lane and the activa was on the dashed lane and the did not start overtaking until I reached half the car. So, technically, I claimed my right to overtake and it was the activa that came illegally between us. I usually don't listen to non-sense and dismiss it. Even if some girl calls me up and starts idle-talk even for prank, I hang up the phone. So, I just walked away into the booth as he stood there yelling. The policemen went out and there was a chatter. I stood there and noticed that there was a CCTV camera. The police came in and I pointed out to replay the CCTV footage so that the fault is known. The policeman bossed me and told me that even after doing an accident, I am speaking about rules. Come to the pondy street police station and get an FIR and go to court and tell whatever you like.

I wanted to challenge them. There was clear CCTV footage. But I smelt conspiracy because the policemen who told me the first thing as soon as I got out of the car that it is not my fault suddenly are blaming me and bossing me. And suddenly this car guy comes into the booth and says, if I said sorry it would be OK, but see my arrogance that I want to challenge. I wanted to put it all on tape but if I open my phone, they will surely confiscate it and book me under assault on police officer. Too late to start recording the conversations. And I still had a lot of work to do and the next day is good friday, sat and sun are holidays. If I don't get my work done, I will have to stay in chennai till monday. And my father will surely scold me if he even knows that I took a self-drive car. Whenever I propose anything related to cars, like if I say with calculations that it is better to self-drive, they think I am proposing it because I am a petrolhead and want to have fun driving.

So, I did not push things any further. I said sorry to the Grand i10 and even the two police officers. The i10 fellow went out and the police asked me how much money I had in my pocket. I realized what happened. I have a good british english accent and I was driving a rental zoomcar and I am fair coloured. They thought I was an NRI. And I did not know tamil. Zoomcar has KA plates with bangalore and even my license belongs to Karnataka. So, a sound party. So better bet for them because they can openly do whatever they like. I did have a lot of cash but it was all for the stay and other bills. So, I told them that I was on my way to deposit cash into some account somewhere and so all the cash has to be given. He asked me once again how much cash of yours do you have with you. I knew I could not say 100rs. I did not want to pay much. And I can't bargain for change. So, I told 500rs. The smaller officer was telling something like illa and must be pointing it out that I must have more money but the big officer did not want to pull strings further and so accepted the cash and let me go.

I swear to God this is the true recollection of what I can recall from the incident. If there is any fault of mine, please point out. Yes, I did corruption but that was the sensible thing to do in that hostile territory.

As I walked up to my car, I saw that the Grand i10 had a small paint peeled off on the door. It was not even a scratch needing detailing. Just some layers of paint. And he was still sitting there. I just went away.

The zoomcar called me to follow up an hour later. Since there was no damage to the car or any complaints filed, I did not want the zoomcar to dig in and make a police case out of it. So, I told them that an accident happened just behind my car and they thought I too was involved and so they stopped me. On verifying, they let me go.

And two things I have learnt.
1. Always have a spy camera app. As soon as you get into an accident, start recording and don't wait for things to escalate or try saving editing by pausing in the middle or something. Just inconspicuously start recording.
2. There are people who come to the roads for suicide. And often, it is not enough that you follow the rules. You sometimes need to go the extra mile and plan other people's safety for them as well.

I have seen people with 0 IQ trying to drive cautiously but doing more harm than good. I came back in a cab and the cabbie drove slowly. But he did not have a broad vision. He sees right in front of him, honks his horn excessively, puts his fingers crossed and crosses the streets. Nope, he does not look left or right. He does not need to slow down because he drives slow. But looking left and right is mandatory. And no point in telling him that he was at a distance and could have stopped in time whereas I was zooming past by and could not possibly brake in time.

So, plan the safety of all people on the road by yourself.

Last edited by aveemashfaq : 26th March 2016 at 01:16. Reason: grammar
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Old 26th March 2016, 02:14   #2784
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I hope none of the chennaites take offence to the above post for, i for a second felt i have to defend this. But let me say everything you described is not just chennai specific but more so the pattern of driving in any city.

I am happy you escaped with a damage of 500rs and this is not something new in INDIA. Again i bold it for you, INDIA not just Chennai.

I am happy it took you a visit to chennai to learn basics of driving in any city in India. Those two things you have learnt is applicable everywhere.

Good luck with the rest of your stay and drive safe.
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Old 26th March 2016, 08:29   #2785
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I hope none of the chennaites take offence to the above post for, i for a second felt i have to defend this. But let me say everything you described is not just chennai specific but more so the pattern of driving in any city.

I am happy you escaped with a damage of 500rs and this is not something new in INDIA. Again i bold it for you, INDIA not just Chennai.
I live in a town where there is absolutely no idea of traffic rules. On a two way road, there is a guy going slowly in the opposite lane and I am in my lane about a car length away. The guy in the other lane behind him comes out, honks his horn and flashes his light and starts overtaking. Both me and the slow driver have to stop and give way because he flashed his lights and honked his horn. I once tried to honk my own horn and flash my own lights, he still came and I had to brake harder than normal. He however crossed me and was scolding me loudly as he went past by. I have driven in many other towns as well. Each place has it's own unique problems and weird rules. Like in Kakinada, the unique problem is that all drivers drive in their line irrespective of horn, irrespective or traffic, irrespective of anything. You have to snake your way through if you want to overtake.

Among cities, I admit, I have only driven in Hyderabad and Chennai (you can't count nagpur as a city). In hyderabad, you don't have a peak rush hour as scary as chennai. Yes even in hyderabad, you have maniac drivers. They are autos and two wheelers. Buses and cars drive decently in their own lane. They too jump lanes without indicators. They too do as done in chennai, cutting lanes etc. I know that is part of being in India and it happens everyday in my life. I have accepted it.

The unique problem with hyderabad traffic is that on an empty road, the inside lane has a L board driver at 40 and the outside lane has a biker in the middle of the lane at 40 and when you honk a horn, they assume that you are testing if your horn works.

THE UNIQUE PROBLEM WITH CHENNAI IS THAT THEY DRIVE TOO DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO THE OTHER VEHICLE. I haven't seen that close driving at any point in my life at any other place.

Let me recall one incident. I was in the middle lane in a two lane highway on Kanchipuram highway doing 40. To my right was a bus who was 1 inch away (I am not exaggerating any of this, there was only 1 inch). To my left, there was a bike just behind my rear view mirror and another car in the inside lane with another bike to his left. Now, my lane was not moving fast enough. The inside lane was going faster but the car could not go fast because his RVM would hit the bike. The bike could not go fast because he would hit my RVM. There was one tavera which came on the rally stage(mud road) at 40 and overtook him and soon cars were following behind. And yes, they were doing 40 on mud and that is not exaggerating. So, the inside lane guy honked his horn. The bike went an inch forward, jerked his bike to the left and scratched the tip of my RVM, overtook and carried on so that the inside lane guy could carry on faster.

I have never had that close calls in my entire life anywhere. I have seen vehicles stacked up at lights so close all the time. But vehicles so close doing 40, that is outright suicide and it only happened to me in chennai.

Quote:
I am happy it took you a visit to chennai to learn basics of driving in any city in India. Those two things you have learnt is applicable everywhere.
Yup they do. But in all the other places I have driven, there is a gap between vehicles. So, if you are righteous and are doing your business, if someone swerves into your path, you honk a horn continuously and he notices and corrects his path or you can brake. But in chennai, if he takes a turn, because the vehicle is so close to you, your reaction time to warn him is simply not enough. You inevitably have a crash.

In simple words, in all the other places, the gap maintained between vehicles in peak rush hour traffic at 40 kmph is equal to how much gap chennai people maintain on a sunday afternoon with no traffic.

And I don't mean to offend anyone as the unique problems exist to every place.
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Old 28th March 2016, 12:41   #2786
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When I finished talking on the phone, the grand i10 guy started yelling at me that how could I overtake if there is another vehicle in the outside lane. Do I know how to drive. You people take rented cars, crash them and we who own cars have to pay all the bills. What? Is this a first world nation? And how am I not entitled to not overtake? I was in the outside lane, he was in the inside lane and the activa was on the dashed lane and the did not start overtaking until I reached half the car. So, technically, I claimed my right to overtake and it was the activa that came illegally between us. I usually don't listen to non-sense and dismiss it. Even if some girl calls me up and starts idle-talk even for prank, I hang up the phone. So, I just walked away into the booth as he stood there yelling. The policemen went out and there was a chatter. I stood there and noticed that there was a CCTV camera. The police came in and I pointed out to replay the CCTV footage so that the fault is known. The policeman bossed me and told me that even after doing an accident, I am speaking about rules. Come to the pondy street police station and get an FIR and go to court and tell whatever you like.

I wanted to challenge them. There was clear CCTV footage. But I smelt conspiracy because the policemen who told me the first thing as soon as I got out of the car that it is not my fault suddenly are blaming me and bossing me. And suddenly this car guy comes into the booth and says, if I said sorry it would be OK, but see my arrogance that I want to challenge. I wanted to put it all on tape but if I open my phone, they will surely confiscate it and book me under assault on police officer. Too late to start recording the conversations. And I still had a lot of work to do and the next day is good friday, sat and sun are holidays. If I don't get my work done, I will have to stay in chennai till monday. And my father will surely scold me if he even knows that I took a self-drive car. Whenever I propose anything related to cars, like if I say with calculations that it is better to self-drive, they think I am proposing it because I am a petrolhead and want to have fun driving.
Not going to challenge on how the incident has happened. But my advice to you which has worked always in Chennai and am sure would work everywhere is
1. Being polite with Law enforcement officers and treating them with dignity (tone, humility and respect no matter how he treats you back)
2. Not loosing your cool with anybody even if the other party is to be blamed.

If you are sure you had handled the incident following the above, you can attribute this incident to plain bad-luck. Otherwise, it would be a lesson learnt to handle things better next time. Please note all of us have been guilty of being hot-blooded in our conversations especially when somebody wants to play a game and accuse you of something which you have not done. I have had a fair share of such incidents myself where I now feel I could have handled it a lot better with least damage.
I would suggest you play back the incident again and seek how was your response to the Police or to the aggrieved party. When you wanted to challenge them with CCTV camera, did you really order for it, ask for it or request for it? Sometimes the way we talk can also make them turn for or against us.
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Old 28th March 2016, 14:38   #2787
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@aveemashfaq, I'm totally with you on how close the vehicles can get in bumper to bumper traffic. The cabs, auto-wallas, two-wheelers and sometimes even the buses try and take every inch of the road possible creating nervousness for car owners who try to protect their asset as life
Having said that, once the traffic clears up, this generally dissipates. Never had I seen anyone driving at break-neck speed in such traffic conditions. Ofcourse there are exceptions but its almost impossible. Probably you mixed up the speed-driving and the close-driving issue.
Everybody hates the conditions you have faced. As someone said, I too see it as "India" phenomenon.
I hope you don't dislike Chennai for what happened and would come here in future for any business you involved.
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Old 29th March 2016, 03:05   #2788
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Not going to challenge on how the incident has happened. But my advice to you which has worked always in Chennai and am sure would work everywhere is
1. Being polite with Law enforcement officers and treating them with dignity (tone, humility and respect no matter how he treats you back)
2. Not loosing your cool with anybody even if the other party is to be blamed.

If you are sure you had handled the incident following the above, you can attribute this incident to plain bad-luck. Otherwise, it would be a lesson learnt to handle things better next time. Please note all of us have been guilty of being hot-blooded in our conversations especially when somebody wants to play a game and accuse you of something which you have not done. I have had a fair share of such incidents myself where I now feel I could have handled it a lot better with least damage.
I would suggest you play back the incident again and seek how was your response to the Police or to the aggrieved party. When you wanted to challenge them with CCTV camera, did you really order for it, ask for it or request for it? Sometimes the way we talk can also make them turn for or against us.
I have spoken politely. But I still believe that the police officer was offended because just after the crash, I was calling zoomcar to report a crash and the zoomcar officials were taking ages to verify every detail. That must have put them off. The police officer approached me once and I was in the middle of the phone call noting their number down (of the local executive they were sending on my site) and so I asked the officer to wait for a second.

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@aveemashfaq, I'm totally with you on how close the vehicles can get in bumper to bumper traffic. The cabs, auto-wallas, two-wheelers and sometimes even the buses try and take every inch of the road possible creating nervousness for car owners who try to protect their asset as life
Having said that, once the traffic clears up, this generally dissipates. Never had I seen anyone driving at break-neck speed in such traffic conditions. Ofcourse there are exceptions but its almost impossible. Probably you mixed up the speed-driving and the close-driving issue.
Everybody hates the conditions you have faced. As someone said, I too see it as "India" phenomenon.
I hope you don't dislike Chennai for what happened and would come here in future for any business you involved.
Nope. I did not mix speed-driving with close driving. I agree that once the traffic gets going, the distances increase. Two things I would like to say about this.
1. It takes a lot of time for traffic to dissipate. In hyderabad, I have seen that as soon as it becomes green, it almost feels like the entire traffic synchronizes and moves constantly upto 40 after which the cars zoom by.

The reason why I feel so about Hyderabad is because in hyderabad, when a green signal is given, it is usually given to all the lanes. In chennai, most of the traffic signals have a separate green for straight and right. So, the cars in the right lane keep on poking into the middle lane and traffic takes a lot of time to clear up making every signal a potential source of traffic jam.

2. Because of this traffic jam which is OK in those other areas like Guindy or Adyar etc. But in Kanchipuram highway, things are just horrible. The traffic pile up is so big, it becomes a nightmare to stay back in the traffic.

Couple that up with the fact that it is also a highway and so there are long lorries going VERY slow off the line. And so the cars keep on honking a lot and yellow plate tavera and innovas as well as mini buses are the most impatient lot. So, when you are moving at 30 and there is one ambitious lorry trying to overtake another lorry on the two lane highway, all the traffic behind them is in three lanes. And as I stand in the queue waiting for the overtaking to complete so that I can go next, the taxi honks a lot and pushes me to the side and squeezes past by, between the two lorries. And if I think that it will just be one car, soon a train of cars comes and the overtaking manoeuvre of the lorry stops to give way to the cars. And I am stuck behind the lorry. The only other option is to be a taxi driver and squeeze past by because even when I am behind the lorry waiting in queue, the taxis are still squeezing me. And this happens at 40.

I am not telling that this is the problem of chennai traffic. Chennai traffic is decent and normal for any big indian city. But Kanchipuram highway is a nightmare. If you don't believe me, go to Decathlon showroom and start the return journey at 5:30 pm.
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Old 13th August 2016, 07:48   #2789
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Wider ECR makes for a smoother ride

DEEPA H. RAMAKRISHNAN

Stretch from Uthandi to Mamallapuram has been broadened into a four-lane facility

A moon-lit ride on the ECR upto Puducherry is a very attractive proposition for many who simply love long drives. And now, with the road being widened up to Mamallapuram and several curves corrected, the ride is all the more smooth and safe.

The carriageway on the 30-km stretch from Uthandi to Mamallapuram has been widened into a four-lane facility.

Light poles are being fixed, service lanes are being laid, road signs are in place with the greening being taken up.

The parapet walls of the new bridges at Kovalam, Muttukadu, Kalpakkam and Marakanam are being painted.

“It will take up a few more weeks,” said an official of Tamil Nadu Road Development Company (TNRDC). The wider road with its median, improved lighting and service lanes means a much safer drive for the motorists.

“Last month, a group of us went Puducherry to have dinner and the drive was rather smooth as the widening helped cut our time by at least half an hour. We had reservations at 8.30 p.m. at a place that has great wood-fired pizzas. We returned by midnight,” said Girish Gopalakrishnan, who rode up to Rameshwaram along the ECR, last year.

However, motorists think widening, which is being carried out till Mamallapuram, should be extended up to Puducherry.

“Once that that is done, it would reduce congestion on Chennai-Tindivanam route as many tourist taxies take that route since they consider it safer.”
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper...cle8983317.ece
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Old 13th August 2016, 07:58   #2790
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The only thing is I hope police patrols are on the ball. ECR is already way too widely used by bike racers. This will only speed them up further.

At least this means the PRTC buses can't stay at 40 kmph right in the middle of the road and there's no way to overtake them
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