May 23 2008

White Lines

Category: Kazakh DrivingChrisM @ 11:19 am

No, not a reference to the seminal track by Melle Mel and The Furious Five (not Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel, as often quoted – this was a marketing ploy by the record label, who listed ‘Grandmaster’ as a track artist), nor Duran Duran’s version of said song. No, I’m happy to report that Astana has had it’s road markings reapplied. Drivers still don’t seem to exactly stick to their lane (or even stick to the principle of three marked lanes should equal a maximum of three real life lanes of traffic), but it does seem to have a small effect.
The reason for this being done now is probably the birthday celebrations Astana will be holding soon – many construction projects and visible improvements are being rushed through to completion in order to make sure all looks well in time. Sadly, they took down the rainbow road ornaments; DaveG had a point that they didn’t really fit in with the image of a modern capital city, but at a personal level, they looked pretty. Also, with the (necessary) ice scraping done all winter long on the roads, not only do the lane markings disappear, also the pedestrian (zebra) crossings have no visible clue left to their whereabouts. Now you could just cross where you know they are supposed to be, but the rainbow structures over the roads hopefully used to give some motorists a reminder that the pedestrians were supposed to try and cross there, and should therefore be avoided a little more often.

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