“Virtual roundabouts” remain ignored by motorists

Commuters and motorists have yet to make sense of what looks like painted circles on city crossroads   that are meant to act as roundabouts.
These circles have been much speculated about and many people are of the opinion that they do not serve their purpose by virtue of their  being virtually invisible and hence are unnecessary.  But the Thimphu City Corporation (TCC), besides the traffic police and the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA),   said these circles are needed at locations like junctions near the traffic division office   and the Royal Bhutan Police since these stretches which connected the highway with the taxi parking and the bus station have been found unsafe for both pedestrians and   motorists.
“The circles were painted mainly to direct all the vehicles, especially buses and it’s also meant to study the flow and efficiency of having a roundabout,” an engineer with TCC, Ugyen Lhamo, said when asked about the markings at Lungtenzampa. These places will possibly have real roundabout structures in the future if required. She, however, added that there are risks associated with these circles when they become less visible.
The Superindent of Police, Major Passang Dorji, said that during a recent meeting between the three stakeholders namely TCC, the RSTA and the police, he asked the TCC to install blinking lights in and around the circle markings and also the zebra crossings in order to alert drivers about their existence    but so far the Municipality has not responded adding that, “having a roundabout at every 100 meters is  ridiculous”.
However, due to lack of awareness, motorists ignore the markings and drive over them when pedestrians are making use of the road.
The round markings at the Langopakha Bridge (Dechen Zham) had the maximum number of motorists violating the rules.

About Yeshey Tshewang

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