Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ride in the fast lane

Ride in the fast lane
Techies working in Electronics City rejoice over a smoother and faster drive to their offices, thanks to the new elevated expressway

Though the 9.5-km stretch was thrown open to public on Friday evening, it was on Monday when the elevated Expressway on Hosur road welcomed the full strength of the Electronics City work force. The morning drive remained relatively clear, though a few problems cropped up at Madivala junction, which proved to be a bottle neck of sorts. Apart from this, for most of the motorists who hit the flyover in the morning, the experience was fun.
Raghu Kishen, an Infocion who usually takes about 45 minutes to clear the Silk Board-Electronics City stretch, said it took him only 7 minutes to reach his office on Monday morning. “I had actually timed myself when I got on the road. I managed that timing in a car! Of course, we have the advantage of the toll gate not functioning yet. The real travel time can be calculated only after these gates start operating,” he said.
His counterpart from Wipro, Anish Jude, also rejoiced over the reduced driving stress. The techie who travels from Frazer Town usually takes about an hour and half to reach office. “Today I saved about 20 minutes on that. But it was the driving experience that enthralled me more than the time that I saved. I did not have to deal with the oncoming traffic from Hosur Road, or buses stopping haphazardly. The driving stress was much less and this made the difference. I actually enjoyed the scenery around!” he said.
By the time noon rolled in, the topic was being discussed across all the electronic bulletin boards in Electronics City. “The elevated expressway is elevating us closer to heaven..., I took just 11 minutes to clear the stretch in company bus...” the posts were endless and mostly complimentary.
However, the cautious bunch among them did express concerns over the possible problem of speeding. “It is a nine-km stretch with no exists and nothing to control the riders. The express way can easily become a dangerous stretch, especially for the twowheelers. We need to look into this before it starts claiming lives,” said one of them.
With the elevated expressway operational from Friday, the city traffic police are now busy chalking out plans to decongest the road below. Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic and Security) Praveen Sood said, “With the expressway now open, making the traffic flow on the road below smooth is our next most important task. To make the entire stretch free of bottlenecks, we have started using the traffic signals in all seven junctions. Earlier, all the traffic signals were switched off because of the maddening vehicular flow. Our personnel will ensure that no heavy vehicles ply on the service roads on either sides which are two-way. Besides, 50 plus personnel will ensure that no vehicle breaks traffic rules. As the stretch is very accident prone, we need to be extra cautious. For the next 10 days, we will be educating the motorists, but after that, they will have to face the music,” he said.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic and Security) Praveen Sood has once again cautioned those using the elevated expressway against flouting traffic norms. “We have found a number of vehicles over-speeding, changing lanes and overtaking, which are prohibited on the expressway. Today, we stopped some of them and tried to educate them on the importance of obeying traffic rules. Though, we have already started penalising those breaking rules by deploying interceptors, we will be more strict in the coming days.”


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