December 10, 2014
In a modern busy metropolis, traffic congestion is a major hurdle in our journey to create a Smart City that everyone is talking about. A congestion management plan must take into consideration all relevant factors like the ever-exploding vehicle population on the road, geometry of the city roads, travel needs of citizens, and the needs of various administering authorities having jurisdiction in parts or whole of the city.
No single approach can be best-suited for managing congestion. In event of mismatch or clash of jurisdictions, divergent or conflicting visions of the decision-making authorities, or ideological differences between and the availability and conditioning of external funds, a consensus-based approach scores over the conventional vision or plan-based approach, effective stakeholder-collaboration often delivers.
It is important to bear in mind that a consensus-based approach often leads to delay and inaction unless such consensus can be reached quickly and in a sustainable manner. By contrast, a plan-based approach is heavily dependent on professional planners, and the needs of some stakeholders including bureaucrats and politicians could have been missed or ignored. This approach is also subjective in that the absence from the office of the person with the vision could derail the process altogether.
A key enabler in a consensus-based approach is the formulation of the strategy through consensus, commitment and public support for a better understanding of congestion problems, and must lead to creation of innovative solutions with public support and acceptability. Taking concerns and objections of the public into account early in the implementation phase often proves cost-effective in the long run. Such an approach can effectively stem breakdowns in the process.
To be honest to ourselves, we must accept that there are no “miracle” solutions – long-term congestion outcomes will only be delivered through a well-framed process that addresses congestion in all its aspects at the metropolitan level in ways that include:
• Understanding what congestion is and how it affects the urban region.
• Developing and monitoring relevant congestion indicators.
• Releasing existing capacity or creating additional capacity using new infrastructure
• Managing demand for road and parking space consistent with a shared vision on how the city should develop.
The success or failure that cities experience in tackling congestion will ultimately depend on how well they organize themselves to carry out the task they set for themselves. The ability of policy makers and their collaborators to define correct objectives is thus fundamental for congestion management, and is a critical stepping stone for achieving a Smart City status
By Sudipto Chakarvaty
December 10, 2014
These days, everyone is talking about creation of Smart Cities. So what has this got to do with traffic congestion on roads? A “Smart City” promises its citizens a very high quality of life by planned usage of resources – physical infrastructure included – to create an eco-system of sustainable economic development, living, governance, mobility, environment, and so on. Towards this objective, a Smart City is expected to deploy automated controls to achieve this. Smart transportation is a key enabler for enhanced mobility in Smart Cities.
How often have you got stuck in traffic while travelling to catch a flight, train, to get emergency medical assistance or to attend to that urgent meeting or for an interview? Something that each one of us in cities experience frequently, and are not too pleased doing so!
The feelings of the hapless traveler in such situations would most likely be something like:
Ugh ! Why so many vehicles on the road ? Can’t this be controlled?
Why can’t we have wider and/or enough alternative roads for smooth travel?
These slow moving vehicles should keep off the main roads
Could the police not tame these reckless drivers ?
Parking on the roads is a curse !
Shops and other encroachments on roads are eating away the road space and so on
Such situations do reflect the utter chaos faced during busy traffic hours, and scream for something to be urgently done to mitigate the road users’ travails. For only then would the dreams of achieving a “Smart City” status for our cities be realized.
From a road user perspective, managing such situation requires either reduction of vehicular traffic volumes or freeing up available space on the road. One would readily conclude that this approach would lead us to the much-needed salvation from the demon called “congestion”.
A closer view of this perception, while endorsing it prima facie, calls for a deep introspection and brings a none-too-easy “to do” tasks. A sample wish list would include, but not be limited to:
Restrict the number of new vehicles that hit the city roads daily
Enforce parking space availability for people buying cars
Strictly handle the menace of haphazard parking on roads
Create more parking space – even using multi-storeyed and/or underground structures
Make public transport available, safe, frequent, affordable
Discourage use of personal vehicles by levying hefty taxes
Plan business and work areas (office/factory/etc.) to minimize travel
Encourage car-pooling (incentives, tax exemptions, concessional parking charges, etc.)
The Author-Mr Sudipto chakravarty
September 17, 2014
In 2012, an IIM-Transport Corporation of India study revealed that India loses Rs 60,000 crore a year due to congestion. For most citizens, traffic congestion and unpredictable travel-time delays are problems that is already factored in their daily lives. Can technology help in clearing traffic congestion? In India, a first step for testing whether technology can help in clearing congestion is being tried out in the city of Ahmedabad by a company called Zero-Sum ITS. Once implemented, this solution will be showcased as a mechanism of using technology to aid in decongesting traffic conditions in other cities. Understanding that the high cost of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) undermines its importance, the firm has customized the solution to best suit Indian conditions. The ITS solution uses a hybrid model of gathering vehicle information on the roads from camera based traffic sensors and GPS information from vehicles. The collected traffic information is sent to a cloud based control center which then analyses the gathered traffic information to understand the traffic flow and congested areas in the target area. The ITS solution then displays the processed information onto huge electronic information boards that are placed approximately 200 meters before every traffic light. This information will aid motorists in making a decision on which roads to avoid and taking up alternate routes to reach their destination. A cloud-based control center negates the need for having to setup up a physical control center with manned personnel and manual intervention through a tablet computing device. This enables the police to control the solution in case of an emergency from any location within the city. “The key goal of the ITS solution being implemented by Zero-Sum is to ensure better traffic management by providing more information to road users and enabling them to plan their trips optimally thereby reducing travel time, saving fuel and decongesting busy roads,” says Chikara Kikuji, Managing Director, Zero Sum ITS. Key components of the traffic management solution Based on a traffic study undertaken by Zero-Sum in cooperation with the Ahmedabad Traffic Police and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Zero-Sum will install ten camera based traffic sensors across various locations on 132 Feet Ring Road of Ahmedabad. These sensors will gather information on the traffic flow including speed, density, vehicle classification and send the information to a cloud based traffic control center. This center will receive the information from the traffic sensors and the traffic police will process the information that needs to be shared with the public regarding the traffic jams in the city. This center will not require any physical space to be setup thereby eliminating the need of having to allocate space inside the Ahmedabad police station for the hosting of the ITS solution. The solution will be hosted through a cloud data center and therefore no physical set-up is required in Ahmedabad. The ITS setup will include setting up of four electronic information boards across key road junctions in Ahmedabad. These information boards will receive what information is to be displayed from the traffic control center and will display to the public which roads are congested and the de-tour route to take so as to avoid entering into the traffic jam or congested areas. For the dual purpose of providing real time traffic updates and gathering traffic information, mobile phone users in Ahmedabad city will be provided mobile applications that can be downloaded free of cost. This application will also have useful information such as city map, important POI (Point of Interest) locations such as gas stations, shopping malls and restaurants. As part of the ITS trial solution, five tablet computing devices will be made available to key personnel of Ahmedabad Traffic Police allowing them to control what information needs to be shown on each of the Electronic Information boards. Therefore, in an emergency, the traffic personnel can operate the solution from anywhere across the city. The entire cost of the ITS solution, its implementation, training and maintenance will be borne by Zero-Sum with no cost being charged to the local Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation or Traffic police. Zero-Sum will monetize the solution by using 50 percent screen space of the Electronic Information Board to display commercial advertisements. These advertisements will not be shown during any emergency and the advertisements shown will only be static advertisements without any video content so that motorists are not distracted. The system can easily expanded for implementation across an entire city and can integrate with other traffic management/ enforcement systems including parking systems, disaster management and weather systems. Beyond traffic management If used intelligently, the system can greatly help in detecting incidents – by pinpointing locations of accidents or vehicle breakdowns. This is extremely important in handling emergency situations. The ITS solution can also help in classifying vehicles, which in turn helps in planning the road width and the space of the pavement.The same solution can be effectively used for monitoring pollution and road quality. Once the foundation for intelligent transportation systems is laid, the same can be extended for further benefits such as traveler information, road management, public transport management and incident and hazard response.
September 15, 2014
From Vespas to Ferraris, Italians have long had a love affair with motorised vehicles, but an urban transport revolution in their country’s second-largest city has caused many to ditch them in favour of public and shared transport options.
Commuters have been deterred from driving into Milan’s city centre thanks to a congestion charge scheme – similar to one in London – that levies a 5—euro (6.5—dollar) charge on drivers who enter a zone called Area C.
“Having a car is no longer a status symbol like it was in the past,” Mayor Giuliano Pisapia, 65, said.
“Young people have embraced this, even if it is more difficult to accept for older generations like mine or that of my parents.” Since the introduction of Area C in January 2012, the number of cars entering Milan’s downtown zone every day has dropped from around 130,000 to 90,000. Over the same period, the city’s car-sharing programmes have grown to more than 180,000 subscribers. “I hear more and more people telling me, ‘We don’t need a car,’” Damiano Di Simine, regional head of Legambiente environmental lobby, said. “Milan is de-motorising itself, it’s happening.” Almost 80 per cent of Milan residents voted in favour of the congestion charge in a non-binding referendum in 2011. But bureaucratic wrangling, popular protests and legal appeals against the scheme delayed the creation of Area C, Pisapia said.
The centre-left mayor, who unexpectedly beat a Berlusconi-backed conservative incumbent three years ago, said sceptics of the congestion charge had come around to the idea, pointing to a poll from last year showing that 58.5 per cent of residents backed Area C.
“At first, even I did not agree with the principle,” said Pisapia, a trained lawyer . “The horrific traffic jams that you see on the days Area C is turned off have convinced [the sceptics]. I am quite sure that any administration coming after me would not scrap it.”
Not everything is rosy in Milan, however. Critics say Area C needs to be expanded considerably to solve Milan’s endemic pollution problems, which have prompted threats of economic sanctions from the European Union.DPA
September 10, 2014
Fighting congestion by widening a road is like loosening your belt to fight obesity’ – US-based traffic engineer Walter Kulash’s observation about Orlando couldn’t have been more appropriate for Delhi.
To unclog the streets of Delhi, what we first need is an exhaustive and specific study to understand what clogs our roads. The city’s top experts believe that instead of incremental and reactive measures such as building one flyover after another, what Delhi needs is a comprehensive transport policy.
Hindustan Times has been running a month-long series ‘Unclog Delhi’ and as part of the campaign, we invited the top transport and planning experts of Delhi for a brainstorming session. One issue on which all experts agreed was the immediate need for a vision document for Delhi’s transport planning and an umbrella body that could coordinate with the multitude of authorities to come up with an integrated transport plan.
AK Jain, former commissioner (planning), Delhi Development Authority, said that instead of a study of Delhi’s traffic demand management, short-term measures such as creating more flyovers and roundabouts are taken to deal with immediate problems.
Sinha emphasised on the need for an umbrella body for transport planning. “In most cities with successful transport and traffic scenario such as New York and London, it is the municipality’s responsibility,” he said. “In Delhi, the transport department reports to the government and is responsible for giving licenses, municipalities do not have time to handle anything beyond water and sewage, the DTC is autonomous, DDA does only land planning and PWD only builds roads and flyovers. Everyone passes the buck,” he said.
The experts also believe that instead of planning just the smooth movement of cars, transport planning should focus on the mobility of more people in a faster way. “There is no road designing in Delhi. Most roads have been designed just for motor vehicles,” said AK Bhattacharjee, former director, Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning & Engineering) Centre (UTTIPEC).
He said that Delhi’s streets have been designed as highways, which lack all components to ensure equitable distribution of road space for all, including pedestrians and cyclists. “Of the Rs. 3,500 crore budget for transport in Delhi, Rs. 2000 crore goes into building flyovers. What about other transport and road infrastructure?” he said.
Strengthening Delhi’s public transport system and making it more seamless could help wean away people from private transport but what is required is proper last-mile connectivity, something the Delhi Metro sorely needs in spite of emerging as Delhi’s lifeline.
“When you have a world-class Metro in Delhi, why can’t you invest in last-mile connectivity?” said Professor PK Sarkar, head of transport planning department, School of Planning and Architecture. “Is flyover an essential requirement or do you have to see greater mobility?” he said.
Dr Sewa Ram, Associate Professor, School of Planning and Architecture, said that the issue of feeder services for Metro has been completely neglected when that and auto rickshaws should be a part of a lay-out plan. “There should be operational integration between different modes of public transport and fare integration on the principle of defined time, defined value. There is a need for a common mobility card,” he said.
“Ideally, one should spend two-third of the funds on the main route and one-third on the feeder service. What is happening is the opposite. People end up paying more on feeder services and less in Metro,” he said.
“Along Metro lines, traffic has gone up by 2-3% but away from Metro lines, traffic has seen a 9% growth rate. Mass transport has reduced traffic growth rate,” said Dr K Ravinder, senior scientist, Central Road Research Institute.
Jain said that alternative modes of transport can be used to lessen the pressure on Delhi’s roads. One such way is energising the existing Ring Railway of the city. He also said that radical innovations, such as using Delhi’s canals, which measure about 350 km, as waterways can also be looked into.
August 5, 2014
Hindustan Times (Lucknow)
CUT THE PRACTICE OUT Gaps in road dividers are a blessing in disguise for motorists looking for a cut-short distance ride. But this practice leads to major traffic jams for most part of the day
LUCKNOW: Ineffective traffic management, poor road sense among people and unnecessary cuts in dividers together make a perfect recipe for chaos on city roads.
The authorities had constructed a permanent divider at this crossing to ease out traffic. But, last month, the divider was removed to facilitate a VIP. Now the crossing is again witnessing traffic snarls, as people coming from Sikander Bagh try to enter through the cut.
While these ‘openings’ are a blessing in disguise for motorists seeking to cut short their travel distance, the practice is proving to be a hindrance to the free movement of other commuters.
HT takes a look at some crossings in the state capital that suffer from daily chaos.
GOKHALE MARG CROSSING
The authorities had constructed a permanent divider at this crossing to ease out traffic. As a result there was no chaos here for some time. Even locals welcomed the move despite having to travel the extra distance (driving up to Sikander Bagh crossing) to reach Nishatganj.
However last month, the divider was removed to facilitate some VIP who resides in Gokhale Marg. And now the crossing is again witnessing traffic snarls, as people coming from Sikander Bagh try to enter Gokhale Marg through the cut, which remained blocked for a year or so.
GOMTI NAGAR (VIBHUTI KHAND) FLYOVER
Those commuting on this stretch going towards the Mithaiwala crossing have developed a habit of taking a short cut through the one-way lane on the wrong side. This opening is meant only for the traffic headed towards Lohia Park.
“People are not ready to go a little distance to reach their destination and as a result there is traffic problem. Rows of vehicles can be seen stranded on the flyover because of this. The authorities have also failed to act strictly against the defaulters. The problem gets worse during office hours,” says Sneha Singh, a daily commuter on the road.
METRO HOSPITAL STRETCH
Initially, there was no opening in the divider here and traffic flow remained streamlined. But now the barricades have been removed, which has led to problems for commuters.
The local administration had in the past introduced one-way traffic system on this stretch. But due to poor implementation, the system died soon after it was introduced. The lenient attitude of the civic body towards shopkeepers also took a toll on the system.
The one-way traffic system was introduced to prevent traffic jams in the vicinity. Though authorities claimed to devise strategic plans to overcome the problem, no action has been taken till date. Due to increasing vehicular population and mushrooming shopping complexes, the parking problem worsens during school hours and in the evening.
The only proper parking facility available in the area is the underground lot at Jhandewala Park. “Only those driving fourwheelers use it. Two-wheelers are often parked along the roadside, which creates problems,” said Sunil, shopkeeper in Aminabad market.
“The civic body kept on passing maps of multi-storey commercial units without taking note of parking space. As per the rules, it is mandatory to leave adequate space for parking in commercial complexes,” he rued.
July 31, 2014
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
`Lawyers With Offices Nearby Can Use Cycles’
If the severe parking problem inside Supreme Court complex is not sorted out soon, then lawyers having offices nearby , including senior advocate Harish Salve, may have to explore the option of cycling down to the court after parking their cars in their offices.An initiative to solve the parking problem inside the court premises was started with a PIL 14 years ago as the increasing number of cars had started to choke the complex’s limited parking space on big litigation days Mondays and Fridays.
More than 12 years ago, then solicitor general Harish Salve and then additional solicitor general Mukul Rohatgi had on July 10, 2002 told the court that they would hold consultations with all stakeholders and the SC’s administrative side to chalk out a long-term plan to solve the problem. On Wednesday, solicitor general Ranjit Kumar said the parking problem would be solved once the new court complex came up on the land allotted to the SC.
A bench of Chief Justice R M Lodha and Justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman said the project “as on date has been delayed by a year because of paucity in funds”.
“It may take 10 years to complete. All depends on the money provided by the government. This is a very serious problem,” the bench said and requested Kumar to do everything possible to solve it. The SG said the ACP (traffic) has expressed inability to do anything to solve the
parking problem inside the court complex. “The Central Public Works Department is the executor of the project.
If it gives the break-up of funds needed for speedy completion of the project (on Appu Ghar land), we can approach the ministry concerned for funds.” The CJI asked whether it would be possible for advocates with offices nearby to use cycles to come to court.
The SG said given the heavy flow of traffic around the court, it would be impossible for lawyers to cycle to court.
Justice Lodha said, “We cannot become traffic inspectors. You (SG) must come out with something concrete. We get the impression from the bar associations that the government is avoiding this issue.” The SG said he had a meeting with the parties concerned and was hopeful that in six weeks, a solution to the problem could be found.
July 30, 2014
Hindustan Times (Delhi)
CLOGGED ALWAYS One of east Delhi’s main arterial roads, commuting is no less than a nightmare for drivers and pedestrians as traffic rules are openly violated here
NEW DELHI: An arterial road that links trans-Yamuna region to the rest of the Capital, Vikas Marg is one of the lifelines of east Delhi.
With a traffic volume of nearly 90,000 vehicles every day, it is a motorists’ nightmare. Built at a time when trans-Yamuna was not really a preferred address for Delhiites, the growing population and congestion over the years in the areas surrounding it has resulted in the road bursting at the seams.
The road continues to be congested despite two major interventions in the recent past — the arrival of the Metro and construction of a parallel road covering a drain that directly leads to the new Geeta Colony flyover.
The arrival of the Metro that runs throughout the road, from Karkari More to ITO Chungi, has not made any difference to the massive road traffic that crawls beneath its elevated tracks.
The new road, known as the Disused Canal Road, was intended to take some load off Vikas Marg. The canal road remains packed with traffic throughout the day, but it has hardly achieved its intended purpose.
The worst-affected part of Vikas Marg is the 2.7-km stretch between the main Laxmi Nagar intersection and Karkari More. This stretch remains perennially congested with slow moving traffic even at nonpeak hours.
Traffic on the road before this stretch and after Karkari More is still smoother if not completely congestion free. Within this stretch, the most congested and commercialised part is the are a between the Laxmi Nagar and Nirman Vihar Metro stations.
The localities on either side of this stretch, Laxmi Nagar and Shakarpur, attract thousands of students and young working professionals because of the affordable rents and proximity to central Delhi. As a result, these areas are one of the most thickly populated in the city, which also puts pressure on the road network.
Also, over the years, residential buildings on this stretch have been turned into rows of shops and showrooms. The biggest effect of this commercialisation is the parking of scores of cars not only on the narrow service lanes next to the shops but also on the main road.
There is no regulation on the parking of vehicles on this stretch and the haphazardly parked vehicles reduce space for traffic movement.
“The chaos commuters have to endure on Vikas Marg is the result of poor planning. The road was built with scope for growth in traffic in the next five years, not more,” said Ganesh Singh Rautela, officer on special duty, Global Initiative for Restructuring Environment and Management (GIREM).
“The area along Vikas Marg was developed as a residential area but has now become completely commercialised. Shop owners have extended their establishments and there is absolutely no scope for road widening anymore,” he said.
Rautela said that while there was an apparent lack of enforcement when it came to illegal parking on the roads, people also lacked civic sense.
The traffic intersections and many internal roads that merge with this stretch also create bottlenecks. There are five major intersections from Laxmi Nagar to Karkari More, each with more than two minutes of waiting time.
The volume of traffic from other roads that meets the oncoming traffic on the Vikas Marg is also high. Lack of road discipline is another major problem as vehicles coming from internal roads cross the stop line and almost come right up to the middle of the main road, waiting for the traffic signal to turn green. As a result, the main traffic flow gets disrupted with vehicles trying to drive around them.
Grameen Sewa vehicles, a rather recent arrival on the roads, are also becoming a major problem thanks to their unruly ways. These vehicles ply on two major routes – from northeast Delhi to Preet Vihar and from Jheel, Shahdara to Laxmi Nagar District Centre on Patparganj Road.
The passenger tempos pick and drop passengers near the busy Preet Vihar Metro station while taking up half the road space at this point and changing lanes at will.
They create an even bigger bottleneck at the Patparganj Road and Vikas Marg intersection, where they simply wait for passengers right on the road.
Then there are the slow-moving cycle rickshaws that ply on this busy road while not only affecting traffic flow but also putting at risk the lives of their passengers.
July 28, 2014
Sidhartha Roy, New Delhi
It is the oldest arterial link between central and west Delhi and also one of the most congested in the city.
The corridor, that starts from Connaught Place through Panchkuian Road and connects to Pusa Road and Patel Road, goes on to meet Najafgarh Road after Shadipur and reaches west Delhi and beyond. This busy route caters to 1.7 lakh vehicles every day — thrice the traffic volume it was built to cater to.
As a result, driving down these roads is a nightmarish experience throughout the day, particularly the stretch between Link Road near Jhandewalan and Patel Road near Shadipur.
In the last two decades, however, growing commercialisation and congestion along this stretch has resulted in the roads crossing their saturation point. The elevated Metro corridor, which runs along this stretch, has not been able to reduce traffic on the ground but its huge masonry that blocks the sunlight, makes the narrow stretch feel even more claustrophobic.
While the drive through Panchkuian Road towards west Delhi is still smooth, the real trouble begins from the Link Road roundabout near Jhandewalan, where the roads start getting narrower and the traffic thicker. Just a few hundred metres ahead, the road starts getting choked as traffic coming from the Ridge area, Karol Bagh, Jhandewalan and Patel Nagar starts merging here.
The Karol Bagh market and nearby areas that too have become heavily commercialised, results in huge number of vehicular traffic finding its way to the Pusa Road stretch. “Apart from cars, the e-rickshaws, cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws that crowd the road near the Karol Bagh Metro station, taking passengers to the market also choke the road. Their presence remains completely unregulated,” said SP Singh, senior fellow, Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT).
Rampant commercialisation over the years across the stretch between Karol Bagh and Rajendra Place has not only changed the character of these areas but also adversely impacted traffic movement on the main road. A large number of hospitals and nursing homes operate on this stretch and cars of patients and their family members could be seen parked along the road, squeezing road space on this already narrow stretch. There are also many hotels and well known schools in the area.
“There is so much congestion on these roads with score of hospitals and nursing homes coming up that even ambulances carrying patients find it difficult to reach these hospitals,” Goswami said.
“Commercial activity is so high in areas such as Rajendra Nagar, Karol Bagh and Patel Nagar that a large number of vehicles come here and are parked in these residential areas, leading to fights many times. It is complete free for all here,” said Goswami.
The next major traffic bottleneck is the Pusa roundabout, where six roads merge, including three arterial roads – Shankar Road, Pusa Road and Patel Road. This roundabout witnesses heavy traffic movement coming from and bound to west, central and south Delhi. As a result, waiting time at the traffic intersections is long.
Further towards west Delhi, the road gets narrower between Patel Nagar and Shadipur. What causes more problem is jaywalking, illegally parked cars on roadside, road encroachments and large number of shops on the stretch.
“The whole area encompassing Karol Bagh, Rajendra Nagar, Pusa and Patel Nagar is the only part of Delhi with no underpasses or flyovers. The problem is multiplicity of authority with both MCD and PWD failing to provide any solution,” said Goswami.
“There are too many traffic intersections along this stretch, with one almost every 500 metres. The area needs better traffic management,” said Singh.
July 17, 2014
Though the traffic police have made arrangements to ease vehicle movement, residents of Anna Nagar, P.H. Road and Broadway, among others, feel the measures are inadequate
Travelling on certain arterial stretches in the city has become an ordeal especially during peak hours, thanks to the one-ways, traffic diversions and narrowing down of roads for ongoing Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) work.
During the rush hours in the morning and evening, the city’s traffic moves at snail’s pace. The honking of vehicles and the wail of ambulances that struggle to find a way through hordes of motorists, on some stretches, resonate for a long time.
Though the Chennai traffic police claim to have made arrangements, including one-way routes and traffic diversions, to ease vehicle movement, residents feel the measures are inadequate. “For travelling a few hundred meters, we take a detour of four kilometres. Every resident of Anna Nagar and Kilpauk has harrowing experiences,” said S. Arvind, a medical representative and resident of Anna Nagar.
V. Nagasundaram, secretary of Anna Nagar Welfare Association, says the locality lacks pedestrian crossing, traffic signals and traffic personnel at the main junctions. Shanthi Colony Main Road and Thirteenth Main Road present a classic example. “Crossing the roads is a nightmare, especially for senior citizens and children, because of one-ways,” he said. Moreover, the construction of a flyover near Thirumangalam junction has thrown traffic off gear.
The problem is not particular to Anna Nagar. Traffic policemen on Poonamallee High Road, too, complain that the problem gets aggravated during peak hours, especially near Chennai Central Railway station and Kilpauk Medical College. “There has been an increase in awareness to pave way for ambulances. Otherwise, it would have been difficult for the vehicles to get to the hospitals on time,” said a policeman.
Another location where traffic is chaotic is Broadway as the road has become narrow. “The presence of the market worsens the situation. It is becoming increasingly difficult to enter Madras High Court,” said V.S. Suresh, an advocate.
Traffic experts feel that a lot needs to be done for traffic management in Chennai. In Delhi, during the CMRL construction, though there were disruptions, an efficient traffic management plan helped ease congestion in some areas, said Rohit Baluja, president of Indian Road Traffic Education.
“In Chennai, they should have good lane management that would make transit between lanes well tapered and seamless. For instance, they could put the two- and three-wheelers in one lane and the four-wheelers in the other,” he said.
Establishing traffic engineering centres and training people is crucial to conducting surveys and providing better solutions for traffic congestion,he added.
Meanwhile, officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited said they intimate the traffic police about any change in their work one month in advance. “They then work out routes for diversions on the concerned road. In some areas, we employ more than two workers to control traffic,” an official said.
Source: The Hindu