City resident’s groan
Strange things are happening in Georgia: on the one hand, there is a rapidly growing number of violations of traffic rules by vehicles and, on the other hand, everyone in Tbilisi claims that the Patrol Police have become unprecedentedly tough.
Travelling by motor transport around Tbilisi is getting more troublesome. This year it will take one at least an hour to cover a distance that was ridden in less than half an hour last year. It is not that easy to assess what the main reason for the traffic jams is, but there are at least three objective factors.
Firstly, dense Tbilisi with its mainly narrow streets, is not designed for such an abundance of vehicle. Secondly, vehicles of numerous distribution firms and sanitation trucks start working during rush hours, when central streets are filled with cars. The trucks enter the streets simultaneously with cars, not a half an hour later or earlier. Thirdly, drives in Georgia do not like much to observe traffic rules.
You probably don’t quite understand what is lying behind this formulation, that’s why it should be explained: the violation of traffic rules, that will surprise Tbilisi resident, is not just entering the oncoming traffic lane by vehicle, but rather entering it in reverse. Don’t take it as an allegory; the author witnessed such violation right on the eve of writing this article.
Parking is the second issue, making urban residents’ blood boiling. There is a lack of areas, where one can legally park his/her vehicle. So, the drivers are through it. But their problems could be hardly compared with pedestrians’ hardships, as they simply have no place to live in.
A vehicle parked on the sidewalk is a common practice in Georgian cities. It has become so usual, that it no longer causes outrage (moreover, it is even not prohibited by the legislation) in case, the sidewalk’s length is no less than 3 meters. However, there are fewer broad sidewalks in the city, much more vehicles and drivers have got accustomed to parking and driving as they like. Little place is left for pedestrians on pavements and they have to walk along the carriageway. People with prams are those, who suffer most.
And all of the sudden, against the background of this aggravated situation, there come remarks about unfair high fines, about the patrol police’s aspiration to serve the single goal – that is to replenishment the budget.
“I have stopped just for five minutes, but they gave me a GEL200 ticket! a taxi driver expresses indignation on air of Rustavi-2 TV, that released several TV spots about Patrol Police’s “bloodlust.
Even a TV viewer with absolutely no imagination could easily call up the whole picture: the taxi driver has audaciously left his car in a narrow street with the two-way traffic and disappeared for “five minutes (dozens and even hundreds of such episodes can be observed every day). Being nudged by damnations of the immediately congested jam, the patrol police officer gave him a ticket.
It’s rather strange that in the city, that is groaning with such a situation on roads, someone considers it lawless. However, the social network groups and pages, dedicated to resistance to the “arbitrary rule, are expanding and increasing in number.
On the other hand, there is increasing discontent of the pedestrians, who tirelessly shoot photos and take videos of the Georgian drivers’ violations. Sometimes these records are so refined that they do not even cause indignation, but almost excite admiration.