By Zara Maqbool
There is no doubt that the Sharif brothers have played a huge role in building and improving the transportation system in Lahore. With the Metro buses, Orange line, bridges and underpasses and what not, they have undoubtedly put their heart and soul in improving the commuting for the Lahoris. There are definitely more options of public transport for the common man which has made life easy for many. And although I would love to see the â€˜N league goonsâ€™ out of Pakistan sooner than later, I have to give the devil its due. They are trying their best to facilitate the residents of Lahore and making it a model city.
But even with all this effort, I still feel as lost if not more moving around in my city. I have always preferred driving myself and during my college days used to love driving to Kinnaird myself on simple routes through Main Boulevard to Jail Road and eventually the college campus.
Since two days every time I have stepped out of my home I have ended up spending twice the time on the road trying to get from one place to another. I went to the Packages mall and after coming out wanted to go back to DHA and I ended up going to â€˜Icharaâ€™ which is literally more than half way ahead and had to spend an extra two hours just to reach back home. I blame a few things for this awful waste of time and inconvenience.
For starters I feel there are not enough signs on the roads to guide the people. Yes there are signboards but they are not placed at regular intervals and I feel they are not as helpful as they should be.
For example when I stepped out of Packages mall there was an underpass and an overhead bridge and there was no sign indicating which one should be taken to get back into DHA.
I just made a wild guess and ended up taking the right one and yet I got lost because the signs were not clear and rightfully placed.
Secondly as it was Maghrib time and it had gotten dark I felt the streetlights were majorly lacking and I just couldnâ€™t figure where I was totally disoriented in the dark. Yes Â there is Google Map but some of us are not technology savvy and rely on good old fashioned signage and all.
Same thing happened yesterday as I tried to get to a wedding in Golf and Garrison Country Club where they have several marriage halls. The road that leads up to the marriage halls had no signboard indicating that and after missing it I had to take the longest U-turn, which is another thorn in my side. Yes all these measures are meant to make commuting easy for us but them it seems like a waste of time and fuel too. But then I feel that the traffic issue with Lahore has more to do with road sense that people donâ€™t have as compared to having more cars on the road that causes the bad traffic. There is simply no road or driving sense, period!
These motorbike riders that literally come out of nowhere cause the biggest dilemma. They are simply beyond any responsibility and ride as fast as they want to without a care in the world. I literally felt my heart coming in my mouth multiple times. Why canâ€™t we have lanes for these motorbikes? For the cyclists and maybe a lane for all the random animals and donkey carts that are found in the middle of the road parked freely whenever they want to.
My winter vacation has so far been spent in a haze as I try my best to navigate my way through the wallet city. Maybe its time to install Google maps to make my life easy.
Story first published: 30th December 2017