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Avoid driving if not local
Driving is risky and confusing here if you are not local. Most road users do not abide by any traffic regulations and it can best be described as a free for all. The roads and particularly side streets are poorly maintained and have numerous pot holes. There has been some significant infrastructure investment in the road network but the increase in car ownership has bought congestion and gridlock to many areas of the city so the gains have been minimal.
The main alternative is still a proposition at this stage and has been discussed and then shelved a few times and has yet to see light of day. The Lahore Mass Transit System represents a signicant (up to £2 Billion investment) investment in the growing cities infrastructure however construction is still pending and i believe it is still at detailed design stage although there is significant political will to move the plans forward.
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Lahore is a historic city where past meets present. Owing to continuous hyper growth in population as a result of relocation from other cities, road network is poorly planned, and I can’t even see space for constructing flyovers and new roads. Therefore, you will see lot of traffic, chaos, noise pollution on literally every road. Every where, vehicles are on war trying to get an inch of space. Above all most of the drivers have no road sense (including me...hehe!). Driving at night may be thrilling because people think that “high beam” is for night vision. When I had started driving, I tried to be a law abiding citizen (and still trying) but what can I do when people on “red signal” behind me will blow the horn in full, forcing me to violate because there is roam to pass even on red light.
Therefore, always keep a buffer of a couple of hours in your itinerary for the day to cover for traffic delays. Also do not dare driving, there may be serious problems.
Despite all of this, because of traffic “sense” of the people, there has never been traffic jams for hours, some how they manage. Whenever there is a block, you will hear drivers shouting “thora ugay, yaar thora pichay” (a bit ahead, dude reverse a little) and after some time, problem is solved. And also remember, if you can drive in Lahore, you can drive any where in the world. When I relocated to Manila, I was too concerned, my local friends and officemates were giving me all sort of kiddy advices about driving here. I was afraid not only because of their advices but also because of the fact that driving is on the left side unlike Lahore where it’s on the right. My first driving experience in Manila was like this, I was sitting on the driving seat of a Honda that was coming straight from the showroom, first vehicle for me with steering wheel on the left side. I drove it to my office then parked it on the 5th level of a shopping mall. All this happened within thirty minutes and I concluded that I can compete with the taxi drivers of Manila. This is because I started my driving spree in my city Lahore.
Traffic (not very original I know!)
Oh Man!!! Lahore's traffic...is...insane...! Even according to Pakistani standards...I drove my car to Lahore once with a girlfriend and feel lucky to have survived...get yourself a driver or take a tuk tuk/riksaw...at least the locals are used to the madness so you are better off letting them drive. Good luck!
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Lahore Travel Guide
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