Sunday, October 09, 2005

Lane arbitrage

Its a question which confounds me daily when I drive to office. Does changing lanes based on short term anticipation of traffic help you reach your destination faster or sticking to the same lane works out better in the long run because these short term nudges although create lot of action they finally dont translate into motion.
The worst form of lane arbitrage exists in Mumbai and its roads. Imagine this. You are driving on a four lane highway ; close to a signal the right most lane is for the vehicles want to turn right. But so as u plod along the lane left to this, there will be road warriors who would take this rightmost lane and just before the signal would switch on their left indicators to get on to the lane you are driving. And you are left with the " Hum kya gaddhe hai, lane discipline follow karke chala rahe hai" expression which you feel in India when you try to instill the virtues of discipline and watch others getting ahead without following it. For some Indians especially if you are born towards the North of the Vindhyas this is a matter of smartness. "Arre yaar tum aage nahi badhoge to koi aur badhega".
And the bigger the car, the bigger are their discipline breaches. Most drivers in such cars think their masters are no less important the Prime Minister and their time is at a premium. (maybe thats what these drivers are made to believe). And the bigger car bestows a certain arrogance and the bulge to deal with any eventuality. And if its a company car, sone pe suhaga ! Compared to these drivers, I feel truck drivers are a sensible lot.
So what do people zinging or zenning their middle class dreams do? Grin and bear it or in the Rome, do the Romans or wait for the big company car.


At 10:46 AM, Blogger Parth said...

Blogged about this a while back.

Nice analysis.

At 7:16 AM, Blogger Anjali said...

Oooh, that strikes a chord. It isn't funny, the number of times I've been stuck in a jam because some lane-switcher and squeezer-into-little-openings has ended up blocking traffic!


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