New Flyover on the Kandy Road is a Great White Elephant
It strikes me that either the new flyover on the Kandy Road is a great white elephant or that the decision makers within the Traffic Police Department are living in another world and are not in touch with reality.
Everyone in Sri Lanka knows that the monsoon rains over the last days have caused havoc to the extent that some unfortunate people have lost their lives and many roads in close proximity to the Kelani River have been flooded and rendered impassable.
As a result, many people needed to find alternative routes to the ones normally used in order to be able to get to their work places.
Due to the flooding, people living in the Biyagama and Kaduwela areas who work in Colombo have had only one alternative and that is to take the long way round and travel via the Kandy Road. By the same rule, people who live in Colombo and work in the Biyagama and Kaduwela areas have had only the same option, to use the Kandy Road.
After much waiting we have just recently been rewarded with a so called "traffic congestion eliminator" by way of the new record breaking flyover which has two lanes. Why is it that the powers that be in the Traffic Police Department decided to let traffic flow in only one direction at a time thus causing severe traffic jams in the other direction?
This morning I was travelling in the direction of Kandy from Colombo and joined the tail end of a traffic jam at 0735 hrs only some 500 metres from the entrance to the flyover. Everyone in the queue waited, and waited and waited while traffic from the Kandy direction was allowed to use both lanes of the flyover. Everyone in the queue stopped their engines in order to save fuel and we continued to wait. Eventually at 0810 hours some habitual whistle blowing traffic cop decided it was our turn to use the new road and for the Colombo bound commuters to sit and wait.
Surely it cannot be the right decision to make one direction of traffic wait for 35 minutes before being allowed to proceed on their journeys? I fully understand that there is more traffic coming into Colombo in the morning than there is going out of Colombo, but other less inconveniencing methods of traffic management need to be put into place to allow traffic to flow in either direction without the need for one direction to sit and wait for 35 minutes without moving.
There was quite rightly much pomp and ceremony when the new flyover opened in world record time but the way the traffic was managed by the police this morning, it may be that some of us lucky commuters will be able to sit on the Kandy Road and watch the second half of the flyover be constructed and completed without ever having reached our work places.