Car-free Sundays at Elliot’s Beach

The Roads at Elliot’s Beach, Chennai are notoriously prone to over speeding and reckless driving. The problem gets aggravated further on Sundays due to increase in the number people coming to the beach. When I went to the beach for my morning walk today, I was hoping to see a mad scrambling for parking space. Instead I came across a different problem. The road leading to the beach road was barricaded and a policeman informed me that none of the vehicles have access to the beach road as it was Car-free Sunday. I parked my scooter in a different road and went about my morning walk.

The ‘Car-free Sundays’ initiative started in October 2015. From 6 AM to 9 AM on Sundays vehicles will not be allowed on beach road at Elliot’s Beach and the roads would be used for community activities. I had read about this initiative in newspaper but somehow I forgot about it today.

The scene at the road near the beach was welcome change from what one used to witness every day: Vehicles parked along the stretch of the road, the Vroom-Vroom sound of silencer modified bikes, vehicles coming to a screeching halt had all given way to sounds of laughter and encouragement. Youngsters were playing or competing with each other; elders were either applauding or taking snaps using mobiles.

Kids were even drawing on the road using color chalk. A bunch of Tai Chi students were even giving a demo of Tai Chi under the watchful eyes of their master near Cozee restaurant. A couple of youngsters were even displaying their whistling skills to a small but receptive audience. All along the beach stretch and the roads leading to the beach front, policemen were present in adequate numbers. Overall the Elliot’s beach resembled a carnival ground today. Hope this nice initiative continues in the weeks ahead. Three cheers to all those who were responsible for making ‘Car-free Sunday’ a reality.

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