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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Taking the Shortcut

With the completion of the Ring Road bridge past our apartment, traffic flow on the street below has improved. But it is still slow at times.

That can cause some drivers to look for ways to beat the system. Here a Tuk-Tuk driver just goes the opposite way of the other three lanes. This is not unusual. Drivers seldom honk at another driver just because they are going the wrong way when traffic is heavy. It does create a walking hazard, though. Never assume no one is coming behind you!

To get around the traffic jams, drivers will often take an "alternative path." We have one in our neighborhood that represents a bit of a battle between "the establishment" and "the people." There is a shortcut around all the traffic in front of our apartment that involves driving down a rough gravel road and onto the road in back of us. Local authorities try to keep it closed, but drivers open it.

On our walk a couple of days ago, we saw some local buses coming along the shortcut road.

We took a closer look. Sure enough, if you were willing to go over a mound of dirt, you could get onto the shortcut.

Here is what the entrance to the shortcut looks like, on the right in this picture. The green arrow points to a less obvious shortcut. If you are coming off the Ring from the east, you can just cross over that divider and head for the shortcut. (or drive the wrong way up the front road too!)

A couple of days later, we saw that the authorities had closed up the gap again. It still works for motorcycles, though. I'm sure it will be open again soon.

At least one time, the authorities blocked off a larger part of the shortcut beyond the entrance. Then people had to clear out a little area right next to this building and squeeze through between the building and the tree. They managed.

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