Monday, November 23, 2009 by Arun Mathew
The Kowdiar-Vellayambalam stretch in the capital has become famous for the wrong reasons - Street Drags!

Being the best and straightest road in the city, the road has now seen several accidents. An outlet of a famous coffee outlet chain being the most popular in the city has come in the limelight rather unfortunately. Reports claim the racers hang out outside the outlet and floor their pedals from there. Sometime back, political activists ransacked the coffee outlet as if they were responsible for the races going on outside. Innocent customers and their vehicles were also damaged in the incident!


In the West, street drags are organized on weekends in quiet residential neighborhoods and have mass followers. The numbers watching may be so huge the cops cannot do much to control the crowds. In Bangalore, a lot of them are on the ring road network. In Kochi, a few years back, boy racers used to hit the island areas where there were a few long lonely stretches.

Drag racing is not a good idea on a stretch lined with residences and footpaths which is a favorite for morning walks.

While many of the accidents on the Kowdiar stretch can be attributed to the drags, there are other reasons for accidents on the particular stretch.

Intersections - There are at least 3-4 intersections on the stretch which are not signalled - Golf Links, TTC, Jawahar Nagar, Raj Bhavan Main entrance Jn etc.

Motorists leaving the gas station near TTC who wanna go towards the Nanthencode side take the easy way out - They cut the one-way to enter the TTC intersection and cross over to the Nirmala Bhavan school road.

Similarly, motorists wanting to go to the gas station near CCD cut across the stretch coming from Vellayambalam coz the entrance to the gas station is away from the intersection. The ideal way should have been to take a u-turn near the Raj Bhavan gate which a lot of our motorists won't risk coz it burns more fuel.


In the case of the pump near TTC, motorists have to ride all the way to the Jawahar Ngr interesection and u-turn if they wanted to go back in the Nathencode, Kowdiar directions (which is actually a bit too much). If proper planning had gone into these, the medians should have been left open to accommodate the gas station traffic.

Also, vehicles going down the road wanting to go towards Christ Nagar school, tend to turn a right (opp the Raj Bhavan main gate) into the Christ Nagar school road which is actually a one way.

Road Alignment - The road takes a sudden bend after the Raj Bhavan gate. Looks like poor alignment. If you stick to the 100+ kmph at the bend you are most likely gonna crash into the median opp the Raj Bhavan wall which is what happened to a friend a few months back. He was not drag racing but taking a swift ride down the road.


The immediate solutions seem to be installing speed breakers along the stretch (which will of course de-beautify the stretch, maybe) and implementing traffic signals.

Cameras can be installed to monitor traffic and repeat offenders.

You cannot stop the youth from visiting their favorite coffee shop! Neither can you stop motorists from filling up their gas tanks!

Saturday, November 21, 2009 by Arun Mathew
The next time you survive a pothole, call 1800 425 7771 and let them know you just did come out of a crater and you are about to enter the next one!

The PWD is launching the service this week so citizens can raise a complaint about the local pothole(s) and have the complaint attended to within 48 hours by the concerned engineers. Also, as part of this scheme, all concerned engineers would be given mobile phone connections for effective implementation.

Pretty cool! It should not be too hard to make a call to the above number on roads which resemble the moon, you will have enough time when negotiating the craters which will bring your car's speed down but just don't get booked for talking on the phone while driving!

And they keep comin' back ...

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