Thursday, May 22, 2008

Can You Teach An Old Driver New Tricks?

Oooo weee... what a fun day in Tirana!

A major road has been officially turned into a one-way street today and ohh boy was it fun watching the chaos which ensued! The Big P (who returned home at midnight) and I had the perfect viewing spot to watch how this monkey wrench was handled. Now it's not a very long stretch of road, but it is very heavily travelled. It used to be 4 lanes- two for driving- two for parking and it was always chaotic, but the city has cleverly reconstructed it into 3 lanes- two in one direction- one for the bus- and no parking.

So... we were perched above the street watching from a restaurant window. It was crazy! Now Albanians don't really like driving between the lines at the best of times, and it was obvious today that they never look at road signs, because yes, there are several new signs that mean it is forbidden to go down the road, and an arrow pointing that you must turn right. But who cares? No one follows rules or signs.

Instead of placing a police officer at each end of the road, the decision was made to put one lonely guy about 100 metres down the one-way street, presumably to catch anyone who decided to swim upstream. Do you know how many did that? Well let's just say the officer was rather busy. We watched him pull one car after another over and write out tickets, and by stopping a car, this created problems for the cars which were going in the right direction. Then he tried making them all do U-turns. More chaos of course. It was quite funny to observe! Why didn't they put an officer right at the corner who could point out the new sign and direct the cars to turn right??? Why put him 100 metres down the road??? Maybe a month from now that would make sense, but it's the first day!

In the end we watched as the officer just walked away, leaving the drivers to deal with it themselves. And of course, within minutes the street was once again two-ways and life in Tirana was back to normal. We'll see what happens!

4 comments:

Kerstin said...

I am trying to picture the scene ... it does sound a little crazy! Do you think people will eventually get used to it? Or will they keep ignoring it and that's it?

traveler one said...

It will take some time but I think that everyone will eventually get used to it. There are other corners in the city that were changed some time ago and still there are a few people who refuse to comply, but most do now. We'll see!

GMG said...

Hi Kim! Tirana at its best! Great post to start the weekend... ;))
Have a great one!
Gil

nela said...

Hi!Some of my collegues were speaking about the new T-turn at the office today. Well, they though it was a nonsense.I just wonder which bus will run through that road???