HIGH LEVEL ROAD MAYHEM MORNING & EVENING
Many motorists still recall with nostalgia how motoring along the ‘High Level Road’ [HLR] from Hanwella, thru Homagama, Maharagama, Navinna, Wijerama, Delkanda, Nugegoda & Kirilaponne was sheer bliss – the relatively elevated [high] and wide road with hardly any traffic then was the route of choice for those folks residingin the South-East suburbs of Colombo. Not anymore! Sadly, HLR has morphed into a motorists’ hell, with bumper-to-bumper gridlock much of the time, leave alone rush hour morning & evening titanic jams. Compounding the issues, the lack of functioning Traffic Signal lights at Nugegoda junction have added to their woes. Then cops found stationed at top of lanes; doing what they know best: create mega jams!
THOSE RED/WHITE TRAFFIC CONES
As soon as one descends the Nugegoda Flyover driving towards Colombo, one spies a neat row of red and white cones ostensibly placed to prevent drivers from doing ‘U-Turns’ – it was no doubt needed. However, we find that Tuk-Tuk drivers have removed some cones to create space for them to do their usual ‘U-Turns’ as and where they feel like it! No proactive action [at least based on CCTV coverage] appears to have been taken to deter these anti-social elements – how exasperating, seriously! Why does the Police turn a Nelsonian eye to unruly antics of Trishaw drivers?
Mr. Director of Traffic, why don’t you get cops to shift those Traffic Cones to make a 3rd Lane in either direction morning & evening along the entire length of HLR? This is not rocket science as traffic mainly moves in one direction – i.e. towards Colombo at morning rush-hour and then grinds towards Homagama during the evening rush-hour.
DRIVE TO KANDY VIA BAMUNAKOTUWA
As usual ‘Snippets’ doesn’t believe in taking regular routes [how boring would that be!] when heading to whatever destination. So last Poya 01st March thought of airing the Nissan X-Trail Hybrid on run to Kandy. Here was the route: Left Nugegoda at 6:30am and headed to Kottawa to take Outer Circular Expressway to Kadawatha. Then to Pasyala on Kandy/Colombo road where he turned left and drove thru Mirigama, Giriulla and on to Narammala. Just after a tad more than 5 km on road to Kurunegala turned left at Kalugamuwa T-junction and headed N/West on Wariyapola road – the road surface here is simply superb – absolute joy to motor! After around 15km, we reached Bamunakotuwa junction and turned left towards Katupota and within just a kilometer turned right to our first ‘port-of-call’ – to say Hi to a near, dear friend and his charming wife at Dambaliyadde Walauwa. After a sumptuous breakfast amidst a lively conversation interspersed with rib-tickling humour, resumed journey to Kandy and joined the A10 Kurunegala/Puttalam main road driving back to Kurunegala and on to route to Kandy via Mallawpitiya, Weuda, Galagedera, Aladeniya and on to Katugastotte/Kandy.
THOSE SUVs ARE MEANT TO BE DRIVEN AROUND THE COUNTRY!
All you 4WD Motorists – please air your band new wheels too – apart from appreciating our amazing scenery, your engine would definitely ‘thank you’ for airing it especially after a fast run on Expressways and then climbing hills and an occasional ‘off-road’ where your 4WD comes into play – the powerful engine and 4WD gears must be driven ‘hard’ at times, you know! After such drives you would definitely find that your SUV moves that much smoother and effortlessly. Too much of Stop/Go in traffic choked cities is not the best antidote for a SUV/Crossover/jeep; unless you wish to only display it, polished and all, like some do: a‘Trophy-Bride’!
KANDY CITY GRIDLOCK CONTINUES
Who will be courageous enough to lift the ban of traffic passing the ‘Maligawa’? The huge time/fuel wasting exercise of ‘going-round-the-lake’ like ‘Parangiya Kotte Giya’ still affects the silent majority of Kandy motorists – spare a thought for them will you as they still mutter under their breath, helpless and impotently as they have appealed till they were blue in the face to the powers that be for eons – alas! To no avail! Common sense and doing what is logical eludes some. Sad!
GRAND PRIX F1 SEASON & GT RACING – MOUTH WATERING PROSPECTS AHEAD
the Grand Prix F1 Season kicked off on 25 March at Melbourne, to be followed up on 08 April in Sakhir, Bahrain, 15 April at Shanghai, China and 29 April in Baku, Azerbaijan – what a chockful F1 calendar for April! Whilst F1 is A1 for most racing aficionados, GT racing is fast emerging as another delightful obsession, what with ‘proper cars’, heaving grids and enthralling action! The GTE Class is as fast and as spectacular as production-based sports car racing gets: contenders from Aston, Corvette, Porsche, Ferrari and Ford run in the same race as sci-fi LMP1 and LMP2 prototypes, battling it out for World Endurance Championship [WEC] glory. Serious aero, big-money development and full-on factory teams ensure that the GTE class is rammed-full of serious race cars with scorching lap times to match!
FIVE GTE RACING MONSTERS TO GET THAT PULSE SOARING
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo: Mid-engined, 3.9-litre twin turbo V8. Ferrari’s won the GTE manufacturers’ title twice on the trot; 488 gets an Evo update.
Porsche 911 RSR: Mid-engined naturally aspirated 4.0 flat six. Having pulled out of the top LMP class, Porsche is going big in GTE 2018, with four cars at Le Mans.
Ford GT: Mid-engine, 3.5 litre twin-turbo V6. The most striking car the grid, won the Le Man’s 24 Hours first time out in 2016. It’s hungry for more!
BMW M8 GTE: Front-engined, 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8. The new boy M8 will be the physically biggest car on the grid!
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Front-engined, 5.5 litre V8 [no turbos]. Sounds like thunder, goes like stink! Near miss at Le Mans 2017. [source: CAR, March 2018]
Do plan that Avurudhu Trip well in advance; Wish you Safe & Enjoyable driving! Cheers! Dyan