Sometimes trying to correct a minor irritant for just one person can cause suffering for many. We saw it a few years back when the roads were closed under the guise of security for the convoys of (useless) parliamentarians.I experienced this one more when I was driving down Jawatte Road near the area where there is a KFC and Food City outlet opposite one another. The police were insisting that all the vehicles were reversed park into the parking slots of both these outlets.
Now you might ask what is wrong with that. After all if you are parking in any high rise parking facility you always reverse the vehicle in mainly because it helps the vehicle owner to evacuate fast in case of an emergency.
But this is the main road we are talking about.
No one reverses on the main road.
Just picture yourself driving down this main road and you decide to turn in and park your vehicle at one of these outlets. You switch on your indicator lights and then drive past the free parking bay and stop and tries to reverse into position. But the guy behind you expects you to turn in. So instead of providing room for you – which would rarely happen in Sri Lanka anyway – his vehicle is virtually kissing your boot. And now you are stuck and so is everybody else unless you abandon your visit and decide to move on. To ensure that everyone toes the line there is always two traffic cops on duty at this location.
It was only after I stepped into KFC and had a chat with an officer over there I understood why it was done.
Apparently GR passes this way every day when travelling to and fro from work. Once he has got stuck near this place as one or two vehicles was trying to reverse out. The fact that half the road was being dug up due to repairs had contributed to the jam around this place to be dense than usual.
This has led to a decree that from henceforth that all vehicles should reverse park so there won’t be any traffic jams created when they are driving out.
Of course it begs the question does that mean when a vehicle is reversing into a parking lot from a main road does NOT cause a traffic jam? I doubt it in fact I would say the traffic jam created by this would be worse.
Sadly it has contributed to one thing. That is to reduce the footfall into both stores which in turn affect the commissions of the employees of both those establishments.
After all we can always find another location to do some grocery shopping or eat a piece of fried chicken. A place where they DON’T ask you to reverse park.