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Free left turns are rarely free for use

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Trichy: A majority of free left turns at the city’s traffic signals remain of no use. The provision available for commuters to take left even when the red signal blinks goes unutilised due to the absence of mechanisms to prevent vehicles waiting at the signals to take the straight road from blocking those wanting to use the free left lane. With the probability of vehicles utilising the free left slim, congestion and persistent honking are visible at several of the traffic signals.

Williams road junction, also called Mutharaiyar statue roundabout, often faces such a difficulty in accessing the free left. As vehicles proceeding towards Bharathidasan road, mostly two-wheelers and autorickshaws awaiting green signal, occupy the free left space heading for Williams road, those that ought to take free left are made to wait. This is not only the situation at Mutharaiyar statue roundabout, but even the head post office roundabout which serves as a junction for Bharathiyar and Bharathidasan roads.

As vehicles from Kallukuzhi RoB are entitled to take free left to reach Bharathiyar road, those approaching from Bharathiyar road also have similar facility to reach Bharathidasan road. But both free lefts remain out of reach for commuters in need. “We keep honking multiple times to remind vehicles that they are obstructing the free left. Placement of barricades can streamline commuters to avoid halting their vehicles at free left portions at signals,” H Venkataraman, a resident of Cantonment said.

In fact, this is not only the case of free left turns, even the free right available at district court signal for vehicles approaching Bharathidasan road from Heber road remains inaccessible most of the time. Traffic police wing said that free lefts at traffic signals were being streamlined by placing barricades. Sources said that traffic police constables would be directed to monitor the availability of free left turns at major signals.


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