A lot has been written about the traffic problem in Kathmandu, but if you thought there was nothing left to say, you are dead wrong. There is still lots to moan and groan about, especially with the forthcoming Shark Summit.
The government has left no stone overturned to embark upon an anti-trafficking campaign to ensure that vehicular movement is smooth on 25-27 November by declaring a dawn to dusk curfew. Drivers are advised to exercise extreme caution even if they do venture out, and that they may be shot on sight if they obstruct intersections when South Asian Heads of Government and States (HOGS) are passing by. Fine print: Management will not be responsible for the consequences.
Gubberment has issued a stern warning that all traffic rules will be strictly implemented during the Summit. However, drivers can get back to their normal behaviour after 28 November onwards so that motorcycles can once more drive like they are partaking in a trail race, bus drivers can park in the middle of the road once more, private cars can overspeed if they so desire, and the governing coalition can make an illegal U-turn on the constitution.
The more observant among you will have discerned that street lights and cat’s-eye lane markers have been installed along roads to be used by HOGS. For those who don’t live along those streets, tough luck.
You will also have noticed that road dividers have been removed and replaced by painted centerlines – this is just a suggestion. Feel free to drive on the wrong side of the road at any time, just make sure Prime Minister Tobgay isn’t anywhere nearby.
New traffic signs have also been installed, and since it has been so long since we had them in Kathmandu, drivers may need to brush up on what they mean. As a public service, the Ass presents below common street signs so drivers, and pedestrians who haven’t yet been run over, can use it as a tear sheet for easy reference during an emergency: