Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Smooth drive is round the corner

Smooth drive is round the corner

Sowmya Menon. Bangalore



Ensuring a smooth flow of traffic in Bangalore has now entered the stage of micro management. Under the Bangalore Traffic Improvement Project (B-TRAC), the city traffic police are now putting in place a new concept called signal progression to ensure that motorists zoom along on certain stretches without having to stop at traffic signals.
The concept of signal progression assumes that motorists move at a speed of 40 km/hr and calibrates the timings of signals within 100 meters of each other on select corridors to ensure that vehicles do not stop at any junction.
Twenty-one corridors have been identified for implementing signal progression, of which the system has been put in place in 12 corridors, additional commissioner of police (Traffic) Praveen Sood said and added that the rest will be completed in the next two months.
Sood clarified that signal progression should not be mistaken for synchronisation, as synchronising traffic movement is just not possible in Bangalore.
"Synchronisation involves longer corridors and ensures that motorists reach their destination at one go, without stopping at traffic signals, which is not possible here. The concept of signal progression is for a set of junctions in close proximity and is based on the premise that the average speed of a vehicle is 40 km/hr,'' said Sood.
"Each of the 21 corridors will have at least three or four interconnected junctions. However, there are corridors where this cannot be initiated because of the on-going Namma Metro work,'' he said.
The corridors where the signal progression is currently operational include Cubbon Road from Manipal Centre junction, BRV junction, Minsk Square till GPO; KG Road from State Bank of Mysore junction, Sagar theatre, Upparpet till Shantala circle; JC Road from Minerva Circle, Bharat Talkies, Halasur Gate, Police Corner till Hudson Circle; Adigas, Manipal Center junction till Webb Junction and the Johnson Market-Campbell Road Junction.
Traffic expert and advisor MN Sreehari is optimistic that the concept of signal progression would work in the city. But he said the system, which is currently operational in some corridors, is not serving the purpose well due to several ongoing infrastructure works.
He ruled out synchronisation of signals as another efficient mode of managing traffic.
Sreehari said the vehicle actuated signals installed in some places in the city are not working appropriately. "The software which is being used for vehicle actuation seems to be outdated and the public do not understand the concept, which only makes things difficult,'' he said.

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