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Growing congestion chokes Madurai Road

A traffic snarl on Madurai Road in Tiruchi on Tuesday.M. Moorthy

Chaotic traffic conditions on Madurai Road, between Mainguard Gate and Marakkadai, have become a nightmarish experience for motorists in the city.

Unregulated parking of vehicles on the road side, wrong-way driving, poor enforcement of traffic rules and encroachments make the stretch one of the most congested.

The parallel arterial roads of Madurai Road and West Boulevard Road have emerged as a hub of construction material and hardware shops. Scores of shops selling wood and plywood, hardware and other construction material are lined up along the roads. And a large number of goods vehicles load and unload material here. Some of the shops have temporary structures extending to the road for display of wares.

Most of the vehicles, including those of customers, visiting the shops can be seen parked in front of shops throughout the day, shrinking road space to less than 10 feet in width at several stretches. The situation has turned worse on the stretch between Ramakrishna Theatre and Sophy’s Corner on Madurai Road, where a slew of commercial establishments, banks and government offices are located.

Consequently, city buses halt right in the middle of the road at Ramakrishna Theatre and Raja Theatre stop, often leading to a pile of vehicles. With the Ramakrishna Theatre bus halt located close to Thennur Road overbridge, buses halting on the descent of the bridge pose a danger to motorists. The pathetic condition of the service lanes along the bridge that leads to Marakkadai only add to the woes of road users.

“A one-way traffic system was enforced between Mainguard Gate Junction and Marakkadai on Madurai Road several years ago. But the rule is flouted at will,” said R. Gopalakrishnan, a resident.

Several motorists can be seen driving on the wrong side towards Marakkadai from Thennur road overbridge, except when a traffic constable is on duty on T. Junction of the bridge. Similarly, wrong-way driving is also common between Sophy’s Corner and Ramakrishna Theatre.

Vehicles of shoppers to textile stores can also be seen parked on the roadside between Sophy’s Corner and Mainguard Gate bus halt.

Effective enforcement of the one-way system and regulating road side parking alone can relieve the congestion on the road, said Raja, an autorickshaw driver.


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