Two years ago, there was a day-long trial run on the Thiru Vi Ka Road (earlier General Patters Road) – Whites Road route, one that sought to find out how effective traffic movement would be if it had been made a two-way.
Though motorists have been demanding that the route be made two-way, it still continues to be a one-way route. As Metro Rail work on Anna Salai has been completed, motorists have renewed the demand.
At present, the stretch on Anna Salai — from Thiru.Vi.Ka Road junction to Wellington junction — is one-way and the entry to it is from Whites Road junction (towards the LIC Buildings). Whites Road is one-way with entry to it from Royapettah tower clock. Pattullos Road is also one-way, and the road can be accessed via Spencer’s Plaza junction.
Smith Road is a one-way with entry from Whites Road junction.
Motorists coming from Anna statue and proceeding towards Gemini Flyover or Teynampet have to take a diversion at Wellington junction towards G.P. Road via Whites Road and reach Anna Salai.
Likewise, motorists coming from Bharathi Salai (Zam Bazaar) towards Anna Salai take Whites Road and Smith Road to reach Anna Salai. Motorists coming from the Government Royapettah Hospital (Westcott Road) have to take a left turn to reach Anna Salai via Whites Road and Smith Road.
“Motorists coming from Mylapore and Santhome can easily reach Anna Salai via Thiru Vi Kaa Road than by taking the existing one-way route, which is congested,” says K. Vignesh, a motorist from Mylapore.
As part of the Metro Rail work, the stretches including General Patters Road and Whites Road were re-laid and widened last year to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
Except on holidays and weekends, the stretches around Royapettah tower clock will not be considerably congested once motorists from Royapettah and Mylapore are allowed to take General Patters Road directly to reach Anna Salai.
Certain stretches in the existing one-way route, especially the narrow Smith Road, are dangerous especially at night due to poor illumination, incomplete stormwater drain work and rash driving.
More significantly, taking advantage of the absence of traffic police personnel there, many motorists, especially motorcyclists, drive in the wrong direction on Smith Road to reach Peter’s Road from Anna Salai.
Police sources say that the re-introduction of a two-way system on existing one-way routes around Royapettah tower clock can be done only after the restoration of two-way traffic on the entire stretch of Anna Salai between Gemini flyover and Pallavan House, the MTC’s headquarters.
This is mainly due to the fact that a few repair works including re-laying of the widening work on Anna Salai are being done by the State Highways Department, which maintains the stretch. “Once Anna Salai is made two-way, we will know the exact volume of vehicles that will use the stretch. Accordingly, traffic on connecting stretches will be modified,” police sources said.