Tuesday, November 24, 2009

TECHIE SIGNALS AFREE MG ROAD

TECHIE SIGNALS AFREE MG ROAD
In what could be a trendsetter, a software engineer from Cisco decides to apply his grey cells to devise a blueprint that would decongest M G Road and Cubbon Road. His plan wins expert approval
SAMEER RANJAN BAKSHI


While others of his ilk wring their hands in despair, indulge in the occasional rant and continue to endure Bangalore’s traffic mess, Vijay Padiyar, a software engineer working for Cisco, decided to do something about it. Twenty-nineyear-old Vijay has come up with a detailed blueprint to ease traffic snarls on M G Road and Cubbon Road by converting them into signalfree corridors.
He made a presentation to this effect at Mobilicity, Bangalore’s first sustainable transportation unconference, organised by Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transport and Urban Planning (CiSTUP) and Praja recently at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) campus. His plan won the appreciation of experts, including those from the state government.
FORCED BY NECESSITY
Vijay’s quest for traffic solutions was born out of the harrowing experience he underwent while travelling from his house in Malleswaram to Marathalli. It was a pain negotiating the sea of traffic with a dozen major junctions between the two points. He soon shifted his house to HSR Layout. Though it came as a breather, those earlier nightmarish moments continued to haunt him. This ‘routing’ engineer began to use his network engineering skills to develop a model to make the city’s network jam-free.
FOREIGN INPUTS
His visits to western countries gave him perspective while localising traffic solutions. He tried to cannibalise some foreign traffic management techniques for his model of signal-free traffic on M G Road and Cubbon Road.
Vijay has also designed a model for underpasses which could dechoke traffic on Outer Ring Road. He said that the existing infrastructure, which is disproportionate to the ever-increasing vehicular population, will turn out to be a monster in future if not addressed with focused planning and efficient technology.
A NEW MODEL
His idea is to convert M G Road and Cubbon Road into one-ways having no signals. According to his model, if someone coming from North Bangalore has to reach Brigade Road, he has to take Cubbon Road after crossing Minsk Square. He won’t be allowed to take Queens Road to reach Kasturba Road. He will come to Dickenson Road and take a right to reach M G Road and then to Brigade Road following the one-way off M G road. He said: “According to my model, people will have to move from Trinity circle towards Anil Kumble circle and not backward. And Cubbon Road will be a one-way from Minsk square to Dickenson road-end.”
It will be a non-stop drive and even the smaller roads will not get clogged. He justifies his model by saying, “Malleswaram has the same amount of traffic, but there is no heavy traffic jam. Because there are two one-ways from Seshadripuram to Malleswaram, both running parallel in opposite directions.”
APPLYING THOUGHT
Vijay is suggesting that bus stops should be closer to residences and should be just a 10-minute walk away. To reduce corruption among traffic police, he feels that 40 per cent of the challan amount for traffic violation can be given to cops, thus preventing cops from taking bribes. Vijay’s effort to convince authorities is a pointer to how Bangalore’s techie crowd has begun to brainstorm on solutions for the problems that nag them on a daily basis.

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