By Shakeh Avoyan
Officials at Armenia’s road police give assurances that problems with traffic regulation will be overcome as reforms are carried out in the sphere.
But until then they appeal to drivers to exercise patience on the heavily congested streets of Yerevan.
Traffic in the Armenian capital is becoming increasingly chaotic with a growing number of vehicles on the streets. The situation is aggravated by the ongoing road repairs on several thoroughfares and periodical breakdowns of traffic lights at some major crossroads.
Drivers complain that traffic regulators are conspicuously absent when most gridlocks happen.
But Chief of the Road Police Ishkhan Ishkhanian says they are doing everything they can to relieve the situation of drivers.
“Yerevan is crucial for us in terms of its traffic. Some 60 percent of vehicles are registered in the capital,” he said. “We will try to do everything we can using all means available, but we still cannot prevent traffic congestions at rush hours.”
According to Ishkhanian, the reforms are expected to be implemented in three stages, including the development of the legal framework and supplying the road police with technical devices.
“In my evaluation, the reforms are well on their way. We should simply have patience and wait for the results,” he said.
“The construction of these subway passages immediately affected the traffic,” one angry driver told RFE/RL. “They should have started digging it one by one, and not in several streets at a time. Experienced drivers can cope with this situation, but most people at the wheel in Yerevan today are not good drivers. They do not give way to each other, they don’t know and don’t follow the traffic rules.”
Another driver vexed at the constant gridlocks said it was the chaos on the roads that made even disciplined drivers break the rules at times.
“Even if you are a good driver, in these conditions sometimes you will be forced to break the rules. It is one big mess that cannot be cleaned up this way.”