Archive for March, 2011

Designing better road signs for Bangalore

The more I drive around Bangalore roads, the more amused I get as to what the road authority choose to write on road signs.

1. From afar I can’t make out the difference between a “no free left turn” and “no left turn” – seriously!

2. The city internal directions are marked as if they were highways. When I’m on hebbal flyover, one of the exit signs reads – “Whitefield, Hosur Road and MG Road” (whereas, all I want to know is which exit to take to get to outer ring road vs. ending up on Bellary Road or the New Airport Road)

3. If you are on Sankey Road and trying to figure out which direction to go to get to Mekhri circle – hard luck! The road signs tell you only how to get to Vidhan Souda – no, seriously!

4. If you are on the outer ring road, there are a few signals you can’t make a right at, at certain times of the day & night. It is written in 6 point font and is readable only with a microscope.

5. There are one ways where the symbol is placed at the entrance of the one way rather that at the signal before where you make a turn into the road – you are supposed to know before hand, even if you are not from the area that the road is a one way (not to mention roads where it is not mentioned at all). I had a traffic policeman glaring at me when I stopped short of going the wrong way once but ended up confusing the traffic behind me – simply because I saw the sign only when I started to turn the wrong way!

It is a pet peeve of mine and I can go on and on. Do you have any such interesting anecdotes to share about Bangalore and its road signs? Please do, eager to hear from you!

It is a pet peeve of mine, given that I’m really bad with directions (and being forced to get better at it, with the confusing directions and symbols)

Do we have an emergency response strategy?

Recently, I was travelling on the road from Marathalli to Whitefield and the traffic suddenly came to a dead halt. As I stuck my neck out to check what might have happened, I saw that the traffic was stopped at a point and now beginning to crawl around it. As I reached the point, I saw a puppy lying dead on the road. One of the cars ahead of me, perhaps unknowingly, had squished it.

Another incident, a friend of a friend came home hysterical one day. She saw a bike accident and the person died on the spot. The trauma of the incident was too much to bear for her and it took sedatives to calm her down.

Both the incidents put together got me thinking. If you saw an incident of this sort on a road, what would your response be? On the one hand, we need to learn how to deal with trauma and our own feelings but think about the person or the animal lying on the road, how about them? Do any of us know the emergency number to call or report a death to, in Bangalore? Maybe, some of us do for human beings, but how about animals? What is our emergency response strategy? Do we have one? With such high incidence of death rates on the road, why don’t we?

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