As you may know, I’ve been in iistanbul and Mumbai with my wife for the last week. I’ve been posting pictures and commentary as they occurred to us along the way. I found it hard to write on the IPad. I guess I’m fonder than I knew of my laptop’s keyboard.
Here are my inferred rules of the road from this visit and a visit nine years ago to Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, and Agra.
Drive, walk or bike on the left.
In case the left side is too jammed you may drive, walk or bike on the right for a bit, as long as no one is coming
Many drivers on the road are professionals
Parking is temporary and local to passengers
Parked cars are usually attended by drivers, who may be sleeping in them
Lanes are striped on the road, but lanes are defined more by the width of vehicles than the paint on the road
It is hard to see the lanes anyway when traffic is this tight
The road may have buses, trucks, cabs, auto-ricksha was or bikes. Each of these takes its own space width and speed.
Most importantly, honking is a way of letting other people know of your presence, your width and your likely collision.
To that end constant speed is often better than uncertain speed.
However, be ready to break at an moment, so your speed should not get So high that you cannot stop on a dime.
You will need to stop on a dime often, especially in intersections.
Everyone gets their turn at intersections, but that is mediated by the flow of traffic more than traffic signals.
Traffic signals are generally heeded, but not specifically. A greater determinant of whether you proceed through an intersection or not is whether traffic is moving through the intersection in your direction or the other direction.
If the light only recently turned red but your direction is still moving, do not hesitate to proceed. Coming to a quick stop in this situation could hurt the person behind you.
At intersections, go with the flow of your movement. Sudden moves are trouble, be assertive, but not aggressive. Use your horn to let people know you are there.
When dropping off or picking up passengers, it is acceptable to park briefly at the side of the road. Parking at corners is also acceptable, as long as it is understood that you must move if somebody honks, or if the police tell you to.
I hope to post more about this trip, but wifi and keyboard must converge.