Wednesday, August 19, 2009

AUTOPSY of our ROADS

AUTOPSY of our ROADS
Online Survey Reveals Shortcomings In Traffic Management Police Post Details Of Timings At 301 Signals; Suggestions Are Welcome
Shruthi Balakrishna | TNN

Bangalore: What do commuters in Bangalore think of traffic and public transport? A good number — 72% — of them feel lack of adequate information about bus schedules and routes is the primary reason for poor usage of public transport. An equal percentage find lane indiscipline to be a big issue.
An online survey was conducted by students of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B), on ‘Traffic congestion management in Bangalore’. It was part of their electives on management of government services.
The survey said 61% respondents felt there was lack of proper parking places, and over 50% maintained that traffic signals and enforcement are major concerns. Some respondents cited corruption as a major challenge.
WHO PARTICIPATED?
Over 900 commuters were part of the survey. While 50.2% of them are aged between 20 and 30 years, 32.4% are between 30 and 40 years. Nearly 16% are over 40. A majority of the respondents are private sector employees (69.9%), followed by students (13.5%) and government employees (6.6%).
WHAT’S THE AIM?
The four students who conducted the survey, guided by professor S Nayana Tara, said the study takes a holistic look at traffic problems and the role of different stakeholders.
“The aim is to come up with steps to improve the situation. We analyzed the problems at different levels by using methods such as in-depth interviews, field surveys and online questionnaires,” Ajay Jain, a team member, said.
The field survey revealed unwanted diversions, potholes, no traffic signals and even a tree in the middle of a two-lane road. The recommendations are categorized into shortmedium- and long-term, covering policy level changes to small operational issues.
The team completed the survey in two months and presented the findings to transport commissioner Bhaskar Rao.
BAD MARKETING STRATEGY
The survey threw up some interesting observations, including lack of awareness about buses, especially Volvos. “BMTC must market its services. Most people said they don’t know much about them. If they compile a feedback of commuters, implementation of projects will be effective,” Ajay said. On reasons for poor usage of public transport, 70% of respondents felt buses were overcrowded during peak hours. Unplanned routes, improper connectivity and timings were other major reasons.
OVERWORKED POLICEMEN
Most traffic constables retire as constables, which clearly shows the lack of incentives for them. Another team member, Tuhin Chatterjee, said: “An effective shift system should be implemented. We found constables work three weeks without a holiday, sometimes 16 hours a day.”
METHODOLOGY
Questions include age, occupation, mode of commuting, commuting distance, rating traffic management, biggest issue, reasons for people not using public transport. For some questions, respondents had multiple options.
SOME SUGGESTIONS
Signage for alternative routes No ‘stop’ signals on longdistance high-congestion areas Display timers Using govt wasteland/ private land for temporary parking Perpendicular parking BMTC should have good mix of long- and short-route buses

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