Pleasant Observations

This morning, on the way to the gym, i saw a pleasant and wonderful sight. In fact, it was a curious problem but the solution gave me hope that the average intelligence in India is not too low.

It was shortly passed 7 am, and the traffic lights at South End Circle had just come on. However, the intersection itself was empty as vehicles stood on all six roads waiting for the light to turn green. After half a minute of observance, I think everyone figured out that there was a problem with the lights.

Soon traffic started flowing from the Madhavan Park side. No, there was no green light. However, the fact that it was red all around must have helped to keep the traffic from the other directions quiet. In ten seconds, all traffic from the Madhavan Park side had passed the intersection, and traffic flowed from Elephant Rock road (from the direction of Elephant Rock). Note that this was the natural order at that signal – the light turns green for the Madhavan Park side followed by the elephant rock side.

In another? twenty seconds, traffic from elephant rock had ceased, and people from both sides of RV Road began to move. Together. As it always happens when there are functioning lights or a policeman. As usual, this took longer than other directions, and then traffic flowed from the Yediyur side.

It was beautiful. It was as if there were functioning lights, or a traffic policeman in his place. It was probably self-regulation at its best. The fact that the light was red all around helped I think – people thought twice before jumping the signal. I thought it was one perfect round completed successfully as I started moving my car as soon as the Yediyur side emptied. Unfortunately, one BMTC bus on RV Road (coming from Lalbagh side) happened to jump the signal at that moment, and spoilt the few moments of bliss. Thankfully no one else followed suit, and traffic from my side passed peacefully.

I’m not sure what happened next but just the fact that Bangalore traffic, which has almost gone the Delhi way thanks to massive immigration from those parts and also the presence of Tata Sumos, could regulate itself perfectly for a minute or two was inspiring. Maybe it was a skewed sample. Yes, I don’t have enough data points. But it made me feel good.??

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