Is the traffic congestion in and around Colombo getting to the point of permanent gridlock? While we are ready and willing to blame fellow road users for this, have we for a moment considered that the road infrastructure is also to blame for this situation? Yes sure, on a daily basis we see vehicles holding up the traffic while they attempt do a U-turn ignoring a center double line marking, a bus suddenly stopping virtually in the middle of the road so a passenger can be picked up, and indeed a pedestrian attempting to cross a road just meters away form a pedestrian crossing!
But leaving all that aside, what about the busy intersections where traffic lights have been installed (at great cost to the tax-payer I might add) only to find them switched off or permanently flashing amber? Our Motoring Snippets writer Dyan Seneviratne has highlighted this fact many a times in the pages of Motor. These have become some of the places where people have virtually drive on their wits. Then what about the pedestrian crossings where there are traffic control lights installed, yet there are zebra crossing markings on the road? Let us remind ourselves that at a zebra crossing pedestrians have the right of way. So if a pedestrian sets foot on a zebra crossing it is mandatory that a driver/rider should stop and give way. So then what is the purpose of having traffic control lights at a zebra crossing? As you can see on Galle Road between Bambalapitiya and Galle Face – there is a colossal waste of public funds installing traffic lights at pedestrian crossings and then having zebra crossing markings as well! I personally have seen pedestrians ignoring the lights and using these pedestrian crossings – and then making rude gestures to drivers who went past them because for the driver, the light was green! These actually are death traps for pedestrians.
Then what about the very busy intersections that obviously need traffic lights, but for some unknown reason, they are never installed. The Kimbulawela junction in Thalawathugoda, Battaramulla is one of those places. At perceived “busy” times there is a policeman directing traffic at this place. At other times it is the “law of the jungle” that applies here!
No wonder then that “getting out of Colombo” is a panacea to most residents.
So take a break and do read our Test Drives this months of the new comer Seat Arona, the amazingly quick new Honda Civic Type R and the solid family sedan, Toyota Yaris… and then be entertained by what our team at Motor have come up with this month.