If you’re Sri Lankan, we’re hope you’re registered to vote. You can check here. Beyond that YAMU supports no party or clique, but we would like to help you avoid election time traffic. To some degree it’s unavoidable, but you can at least know where the sensitive spots are for rallies, etc.
Avoid Town Hall, Temple Trees and all parks. Don’t wear blue, green or red.
Since these places won’t always be bad, you have to know the signs of an impending rally or protest. These are all signs that you should either turn around, pull over, or load a podcast.
- People wearing the same thing: People in all white, people in saris – any place they’re going to is going to be an epicenter of bad traffic. You should either stop or go in the opposite direction.
- Parked buses: If you see a bunch of parked buses, a bunch of people aren’t far away.
- Banners/Flags: If you see a bunch of banners or flags down a road, that’s not a road that’s going to be good for driving. As a bonus, sometimes you can see the concrete blocks they use as a base the night before, giving you some warning.
- Policemen: If you see more than the usual amount of policemen hanging around, they’re there for a reason.
- SMS Alerts: Daily Mirror, Ada Derana, whatever, get them. They’ll tell you if significant traffic is coming.
- Twitter: Follow @road_lk, and tweet reports to them. They retweet traffic alerts and you can get a good sense.
Here you are. This is our best guess based on current rallies/events, May Day events and what we generally know. Please comment if we’re wrong or should add anything. You can move around, we’ve covered what we know from Dehiwala to Battaramulla.
Some places will be especially active.
- Temple Trees: The President’s House will constantly be hosting events. This mainly impacts the rear entrance (not Galle Road so much). That means Perahera Mawatha is the spot to avoid.
- Town Hall: If there’s a protest it somehow ends up here. Add up all the potential rally spots, and this is a place to generally be wary of. Galle Road, the Town Hall Road and Union Place get blocked up. Try Wijerama or Kynsey Road to detour, but there’s really no way to avoid the wrath of democracy.
- Hyde Park: This relatively small park on Union Place (between Vauxhall and Dean’s Road) hosts a large amount of rallies.
On The Plus Side
Because of the election and the Pope’s visit, schools will be closed from effectively the 7th of January to the 15th. That applies to Colombo schools and the 10th, is officially on. This should ease some of the pressure.
On election day (8 Jan 2015) we hope you vote. This will likely be at a school or other public space near where you’re registered. This usually isn’t a high traffic day.
And that’s it for our traffic tips. We hope you have a safe and peaceful election season. It’ll be over soon.