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Friday, February 3, 2023

Shifted U-turn facility creates mess near bus stop sans shelter on Alagarkoil Road at Tallakulam

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A vehicle struggling to make a U-turn on Alagarkoil Road at Tallakulam in Madurai on Friday.

A vehicle struggling to make a U-turn on Alagarkoil Road at Tallakulam in Madurai on Friday.
| Photo Credit: G. Moorthy

It has been months since two-way vehicular traffic movement was allowed on the stretch of Alagarkoil Road between Periyar statue junction and North Road junction at Tallakulam.

To ensure safe and free movement of vehicles on opposite lanes, the traffic police came up with a median using temporary barricades. The police provided a U-turn facility near the bus stop for cars and two-wheelers coming from Periyar statue junction to turn towards Gokhale Road without having to go till Tamukkam junction.

In the process, the barricaded stretch led to piling up of vehicles at Tallakulam bus stop whenever buses halted to pick up or drop passengers. Consequently, the city traffic police shifted the bus stop a few metres away.

However, after Deepavali, when traffic movement was banned beyond North Road on Gokhale Road (to enable construction of a culvert), the police extended the temporary median with additional barricades. The U-turn facility was shifted beyond the North Road junction to ensure that vehicles making U-turn did not hinder free movement of increased number of vehicles coming from Gokhale Road to Alagarkoil Road via North Road.

However, this has only created a mess near the present bus stop (without shelter). To provide additional space on the narrow stretch of road for vehicles to overtake the buses halting at the stop, the traffic police moved the barricade from the centre of the road towards the right extreme.

This has now defeated the very purpose of providing U-turn facility as invariably even smaller cars are not able to take a smooth U-turn towards the other lane which has been narrowed down by shifting of the barricades.

Car drivers struggle to negotiate the turn as they have to go forward and take reverse multiple times to make the U-turn. This further blocks the road for vehicles trying to overtake the buses at the stop.

“Every day two-wheeler riders hit the cars (trying to take U-turn) as they are caught unawares by the sudden movement of cars in reverse direction. Even a policeman fell down today (Friday),” said a shopkeeper.

Local people complain that even after shifting the bus stop eight months back, the shelter has not been provided there. “People have to put up with rain and shine,” a resident said.

Local people suggested that the bus stop should be restored at the old place where there is a bus bay with a proper bus shelter. The city traffic police should make an alternative arrangement for U-turn facility which ensures smooth movement of vehicles.


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