All but buses in the BRTS and the Footpaths as the new BRTS of bikers
Violation of rules or Driven by Helplessness?
Date 11 Oct 2017. A fine morning, normal routine to office and people stopping your way with rope pulled across the lane! Well, only for us to realise that we were in the BRTS lanes and it was not for us, but for some mythological vehicle called BUS to ply on it.
Weird right? Well, BRTS vigilant have suddenly surfaced and seem to have voluntarily opted to guard the encroachment on BRTS.
We wish they had little idea that the very lanes of BRTS are themselves an encroachment, conceptualized with little to less good intentions and implemented with even lesser well-thought planning. One cannot think of worse solution than that of speed breakers for people to cross roads to reach BRTS station.
An ideal BRTS model has underground/ overhead subways or bridges, for smooth and safe passage of commuters crossing the road, without affecting the riding/ driving experience of vehicles in non-BRTS lanes.
Spending good chunk on OLA and UBER for the most of rainy season, I thought of opting BRTS one day, only to end up boarding an OLA 20-25 minutes later, reasonably exhausted with my first day patience. Sitting in OLA that day and passing by the barricades of BRTS, all that I could feel was nothing but sorry for everyone of us. Is it not disheartening to know that the development around is benefiting barely few at the cost of large who are supposed to use non-BRTS lanes ONLY? Well, we don’t care and we have not spared even the footpath is another story! Footpath has turned another BRTS in itself, Bike Rapid Transit System and for once the citizens are really happy that it’s working really good.
This alone is not a justified reason for riding in BRTS lane or footpaths and in fact we understand that there can be none. HELPLESSNESS! It is the Helplessness over dozen of speed breakers, done as complete desi juggad; Helplessness over narrow roads left post BRTS, Helplessness over rare sight of bus in those empty lanes, which one keeps on glancing from her/his (ladies first :P) daily traffic jam; Helplessness of finding company buses and others, which ain’t compliant with BRTS system, again in non-BRTS lanes; Helplessness of road getting crunched even further from the other side after being fearlessly occupied by hawkers or unloading vehicles! It is the helplessness on one side and the comparatively faster travel speed in BRTS lane or footpaths, that completely makes one oblivious to the rules, for he wishes to live his life and not merely get stuck, every single day, at every single junction, in this single life!
A funny sight was that of the other day, when my daily Chai-wala was taken off-street by anti-encroachment team, while another traffic police on the opposite corner sat comfortably having sip of the beverage at HIS Chai-walla, operating (il)LEGALLY on footpath in the same chowk. The police must not be happy with taste of my chai-wala! Well, his fault for not being good enough. Poor guy!
Another day, I jumped a signal and was fined. Fair enough! They asked me to swipe my card and I was happy to note of no bribe being even asked for! What was unfair, rather funny, was that I was the last one to be fined during the peak hour, in a peak traffic. Reason? Their DAILY TARGET was done, and I was some 50th or 100th target to be met that day. People failing to observe the rules after the target was not a reason of worry, for them, for the commuters or for the city.
Back to the morning! As the #BRTSvigilants were asking people to go back and not use the BRTS lane, a lady at sight of a bus, was quick enough to ask everyone to drop the rope and let the bus have clear passage. Probably reminding herself and her companions that even bus were supposed to come. Not their fault for forgetting that even the buses were expected.
P.S.: A huge traffic fine for openly admitting that we ourselves use BRTS lane/ footpath must be on it’s way! Even the vigilants might not approve with our perspective of using the BRTS lanes. Vigilants, understood. Standing against anything wrong, for any reason is always to be welcomed. They cannot be blamed for not rising to the situation when the BRTS was being implemented itself. They were still caring for a cause and are to be applauded for the same. Authorities? They don’t care now, because we ourselves did not care to voice our opinions when these schemes are in planning stage. Anyone against the metro? Now is the time! Do not end up writing such a post years later.