Tuesday, November 30, 2004

It is time to call in traffic engineers

It is time to call in traffic engineers
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: While the conversion of 45 roads in the city into one-ways to streamline traffic in the city comes as cold comfort to motorists, it is time the police and other civic administrators acknowledge the fact that a scientific approach is required to find a way out of the chaos on the roads on Monday.

The city suffers losses of about Rs. 1,500 crore a year due to bad traffic management. Over about 1,000 lives are lost in about 7,000 accidents. It is time the experts are called in to take a look and suggest measures.

Traffic engineering, a highly specialised field, is probably alien to most city planners here. For several years, traffic has been managed more by the rule of the thumb rather than the laws of science.

With cosmetic changes like one-ways and expensive but under-utilised flyovers, grade separators and underpasses, the trial-and-error approach has proved very costly. It is time to dispense with these “swalpa adjust madi” methods and opt for a paradigm shift in the thinking behind traffic management in Bangalore.

While all civic planners complain about the lack of infrastructure and limited real estate in the city available for road expansion, one needs to look at optimising the existing infrastructure.

The Vehicle Operating Cost and driving the vehicle at a desired speed are the main factors affected by the road surface characteristics. It is necessary to evaluate the road surface periodically to achieve the desired speed at reasonable Vehicle Operating Cost.

The dynamic nature of traffic flow in the city is a challenge to traffic planners every day. Systems designed and implemented need to be upgraded within a short span of time. Flow characteristics like volume, speed, density and their overall traffic needs are to be studied in detail before grandiose projects are commissioned lest they remain under-utilised.

Traffic operation, management and control are complex subjects that need to be researched to avoid throwing up one’s hands in despair.

Ironically, the use of information technology in traffic management is non-existent in the IT hub of India. IT can have enormous application in this field. Foremost, with data mining, flow and density patterns of two million vehicles plying on 4,000 km of city roads and halting at 35,000 junctions can be studied with ease with aid of technology by analysts.

This is something that a few hundred traffic constables and a handful of their superiors are unable to do.

This does not however mean that the city police’s traffic department is redundant. On the contrary, their role as enforcers of traffic rules will increase when their burden as traffic managers lightens. Besides traffic engineers will find their feedback too valuable to ignore.


At Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 12:10:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh come on, you think traffic enginnering can solve Bangalore's traffic problems? Go look at Los Angeles. What we need are fewer cars, better public transport and bicycle lanes.

At Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 10:49:00 AM GMT+5:30, Blogger Max said...

The situation in bangalore is such that even god comes to solve would say " O Shit " and disappear,

forget about getting traffic engineers, cause these guys would give a solution of flattining buildings and

houses which would only give rise to issues. Its just too late.

First Stop constructing apartments which would make life miserable tomorrow. They are overcoming the

traffic when you start counting them, its just silly to have them in bangalore.

People should be forced to follow traffic rules, Heavy penalty should be given to who ever is worth it for.


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