Friday, July 06, 2007

Traffic arteries

Sometimes I wonder if our boys in blue (oops, now they are black and white), the Malaysian police force, have been trained to handle the different aspects of their jobs (if they have been trained at all!). I'm only going to elaborate on one issue that peeves me, because it affects me daily. The traffic cop!

Yes, I know they don't have a glamorous job. It surely isn't easy to be out there in the wee hours of the morning, in the cold air, breathing in the haze and the exhaust fumes of hundreds of vehicles that inch by with frustrated angry drivers giving you dirty looks for just doing your job. And poor them when it rains! Cold, wet, but yet they still have to stand there in their bright yellow raincoats and direct traffic. Yes, I applaud them for doing their job without complaint and I fully agree that they do deserve that raise the government gave them so that they can keep up with the cost of living (and hopefully stop the sub-culture of "cari makan").

BUT... this recent raise has given them so much incentive to do their work well, they came up with this daft idea of trying to manage traffic flow!

Imagine this scenario, if you will. There is a main two-lane highway heading into the city. Along the way, there are several exits / up-ramps that join the highway road from other roads. Naturally, precedence is given to traffic flowing straight on the highway. Traffic joining in from the side roads are supposed to wait their turn as they slowly merge into the stop/go traffic that plagues the mornings. Now, add your friendly Malaysian traffic cop into this picture. What do you get? More traffic. Why?

Our well-meaning traffic cop thinks, "Oh, the traffic from the side road is taking too long to merge into the highway. It will cause backlog and traffic jam there." He has a brilliant brainwave. "I know! Let me STOP traffic on the highway so that the traffic from the side road can smoothly flow onto the highway."

What the... ? And I encounter this situation not one, not two, but THREE times on the way to work. Like hello? Whatever happened to right of way? Or did they not go to driving school? If you stop traffic on the highway for side roads, congestion builds up ON the highway, leading to heavier traffic flow on the highway, which in turn leads to traffic jams backlogged way beyond the point managed by the traffic policeman, which leads to queue jumping, which leads to even more congestion and thus increasing the amount of time actually needed to reach the destination! It's like saying, oh, the blood isn't flowing too smoothly in this little vein. Let me block up the main artery so that it will flow better there.

Thank goodness they are not doctors or surgeons. Or else... *you fill in the blanks*

8 spins:

Misha said...

me first .. me first??

may said...

I don't dare think what would happened if they were surgeons, heaven forbid!

Ah Boy said...

Thank goodness they dun disturb Ah Boy too :)

narrowband said...

Thankfully I don't need to go through that in the mornings :p

Leonard said...

hai, they're also in a difficult position mah.

the drivers on the sideroad might think they didnt do their job!!

although you're right that the main road (highway) have the right of way!

giddy tiger said...

I thought the traffic diversion for the side lanes were only for a short while? No ah?

eastcoastlife said...

Oh, it sure would hold up traffic. I'm peeved at the traffic jams on KL highways. And taxis seem to enjoy being stucked in jams. ish.

rinnah said...

misha: Hi mish darlin'! Yes, you're the first and you have 5 hugs for being the first!!!

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may:3 surgical hugs for you!!

Hmmm... more chaos in the hospitals if they were surgeons?

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ah boy: 1 hug for you!

I'm sure you would bark at them if they disturbed you, hor?

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narrowband: You don't? How lucky! It takes me an average of one hour to go to my office each morning!

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leonard: Totally understand that they have to think about the side road ppl too... but to stop the traffic on the highway is just plain idiocy to me! Hehehe.

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giddy tiger: Unfortunately, our traffic police don't really think... they block the highway for the same amount of time as they block the side roads... fair, but not very clever!

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eastcoastlife: Ha, the taxis like to make more money from their passengers when they get stuck in a jam!