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Minority Biased Junctions

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Traffic

About 4 years ago, Bangalore got its spanking new 200 ft wide double laned with 40 feet service lanes, Outer Ring road...

One would drive up here to break free from the traffic snarls elsewhere in the city...and check if their spanky investments still worked at high speeds.

Mostly worked fine, until a small hitch started showing up first little, then some more... and these days in full measure...

The hitch is what I call "minority-biased-junctions"... Bangalore's archaic mechanism of junction management...let me explain..

1) There is a very wide road, which is the highway, and contributes 80-90% of the traffic of the junction

2) The perpendicular "feeder" road is more like a 30-40 ft wide street, basically an outlet for the settlements off the highway, and contributes 10-15% traffic of the junction

3) There are no traffic lights (if they are a fair chance they will not work)

4) The "minority bias" is a speed breaker, placed not on this "feeder road" but on only on the highway in both directions.

6) What happens as illustrated above is that while the 70-80 Km/h highway traffic slows to a halt, the "feeder" traffic from the jumps on the highway as there are no deterrents, human, electronic or physical to it...

7)...and the 80:20 rule plays out...20% of traffic gets 80% of the junction time and 80% gets 20% of it...

Perhaps the idea was the same socialist one - tax the big road folks to feed the smaller road folks..problem is, it works about as much as socialism did for us.

In peak hours, you have a mile of traffic build up on this 200 ft wide highway, while the 30 ft wide street traffic jumps right on the road, nearly no waiting ...

This problem is not new, it got worse on the Hosur Road before we got lucky with a 9 KM elevated road ...so no junctions possible... but unlikely we'll get as lucky again...

So please, planners can you try wake up to some simpler solutions like simple signals adjusted to the traffic flow and do away with these "minority-bias" speed breakers!

 

(Originally posted at my personal blog here)

Comments

thampan's picture

was not like this

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The scenario you explained was not like this earlier. The village traffic did not account to 20%. It was a meager 1%. After the road came into being, people started to realise the potential of the area. cheap land, vast land, big road. Hence buildings started coming up on either side of the road, Now you can see scores of IT companies on either side of the road, and 100s of apartments. And apartments started coming up on all these village roads which you mentioned. The only route for the people (floating/fixed) to travel is to get on to the ORR at these junctions. I doubt whether the BDA does has any norms on the number of vehicles which will come on to the main roads as a result of the new buildings. Hence the traffic volume has increased at least a 100 times on the ORR. Solution -------- Construct access ways to the service lanes from the main roads. You can build underpasses/fly overs so that the junctions are not choked. Recover the cost ( at least partially) from the builders. when permitting a building, consider the increase in traffic which the building will cause and have adequate measures in place to handle that. (another example, traffic jams near forum/big bazaar)
tsubba's picture

ORR

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rajat cool illustration man. though i'll side step the mine. BETL road has too few exits and entries IMO. access ways to service lanes aha! what do you mean by that? can you elaborate on that? they are now retrofitting gradeseparators on many of these junctions.
thampan's picture

access ways

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Have mini flyovers/underpasses at these junctions such that the vehicles which are crossing the road does not interrupt the main traffic. We dont need octopus flyovers as the only purpose is to prevent the traffic from the side roads interupting the main traffic. So it can even be a bridge across the ORR with signals on top which will regulate the flow of traffic to the sides. The vehicles can enter the service roads from the service lanes. current roads ================= ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ---------------........................--------------- ............................................ ............................................ ---------------|............||.........------------- ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| Proposed road ================ ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|.|v|........^...||..V......|v|.| ...........|.|v|........^...||..V......|v|.| ...........|.|v|........^...||..V......|v|.| ------------ ________________________--------------- ................>>>>......O......<<<<........ ............... __________O_____________..... -------------|../.......^...||..V.....\...----------- ...........|.|./........^...||..V......\^|.| ...........|.|^|........^...||..V......|^|.| ...........|.|^|........^...||..V......|^|.| ...........|.|.|............||.........|./.| ...........|.|..............||........../..| ...........|.\..............||........./...| ...........|..\.............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| ...........|...|............||.........|...| vehicle movemement shown by arrows ( roughly)
tsubba's picture

Help Understand

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thampan how to read this. can you draw these? cading is a pain. perhaps on a napkin and then post a pic mebbe? i understand what you are saying, about bridges, i was also thinking along the same lines. (convert ORR to an access controlled road, 60 kms about 25-30 exits, fly over the rest of the intersections but connect them to exits through service roads.) but am not clear about how to connect through service roads, i think this is what you are describing in those images. can you describe sme of the general characteristics of ORR.
tsubba's picture

how many?

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all junctions all along the 62 kms of ORR? How many are there? if you decide to build a grade separator at a particular intersection then I understand the design. but if you build only 25-30 GS exits, then how to connect the remaining roads to ORR through these GS exits using service roads i donot know.
thampan's picture

not all

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wherever the traffic flow from the side roads crosses a certain threshold, we will need a GS. the underpass at ramamoorthy nagar is now being built as an after thought. soon the junction near aricent office will get choked. ( just look at the offices and apartments coming around that junction). So the aim should be to identify the spots and then construct GS at these areas. the point is when there was just the ORR and vast empty lands around, there was no need for a GS, a simple signal could control the traffic ( even that was not necessary as the traffic needs were much lower). Now you have all the buildings coming up which are causing the traffic, so make the building owners accountable for the traffic. all these commercial buildings are getting revenue in crores each year, so let them spend a part of it on bettering the infrastructure at that area. after all, it benefits them the most.
shas3n's picture

mekhri circle underpass

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Comment by thampan (accidentally got deleted. Restoring manually) tarle, have a look at the mkehri circle underpass. It should be replicated at all junctions.

-Shastri

thampan's picture

two way service lanes

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considering 30 GS exits along 60 km, it means an exit every 2km. 2kms is not a large distance to travel on a service lane. make sure that the road has good quality and dont have vehicles parked on it.
shas3n's picture

Mekri circle from sattelite

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(Reposting this comment manually since it got deleted too) Here is a view of Mekri Circle underpass. Thought might be relevant here.
Javascript is required to view this map.
-Shastri

-Shastri

tsubba's picture

thampan

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you have google earth?
rajatbhatla's picture

making economic sense

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I noted an earlier post here, which mentioned about the abominable conditions that the traffic police works in and the understaffing. Likewise perhaps for BBMP and BDA who have to address concerns of a growing city. They are nowhere staffed as required. Lets keep concerns of attitudes of Government officials aside.. In the map tarlesubba has drawn above about 25-30 junctions are marked. Each junction will be nodal to about 10000-15000 residents, at least the Bellandhur junction is.. If each resident were to contribute Rs 20 monthly towards say Traffic Management expense, we'd have Rs 2-3 lakhs a month by which we can hire 6 traffic wardens per junction, do lane earmarkings markings, build some traffic controllers, get the lights fixed and maintained...institute lane discipline....even get an IISc grad to monitor, model and propose a feasible solution. The grey uniformed traffic stewards who control the trucks every morning and evening are sponsored by ELCIA (Electronics City Industries Association) and other industry groups....so why not residents this time. Will require marketing, research, talking to companies/govt/police/apartment associations and canvassing... One junction fixed can be a role model for the 24-29 others... Feasible to experiment?
tsubba's picture

good idea

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Rajat good post. lots of angles you've covered. "hire 6 traffic wardens per junction, do lane earmarkings markings, build some traffic controllers, get the lights fixed and maintained...institute lane discipline....even get an IISc grad to monitor, model and propose a feasible solution." love this list. every item in it. you have covered redesign AND maintenance. (Roping in an IISC grad is a masterstroke). of redesign & maintenance. maintenance is the tougher thing to crack, because it is about sustainability. how to commit people to pay month after month. who's jurisdiction are we treading on? how to get somebody to maintain the organization which runs the whole deal etc. Perhaps somebody here can shed some gyaan on how the ELCIA does it. redesign is perhaps the easier deal. if we come out with an overall proposal to redesign, then can approach BDA, BMP & BMTC. The eastern half of ORR is under evaluation for an overhaul, BDA, BMP & BMTC involved. if we get a rudimentary analysis, we could perhaps approach BMTC. I have email of a senior engineer at RITES perhaps we can send it to him too. can you get some pics of the Bellandur junction? if you decide to post some pics, start a new blog. we can hook that up to this one.
tsubba's picture

ORR DPR for NURM

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This was what I was talking about. There has been some movement on a related issue(TTMC) that BMTC has been pushing. Here what this report says about ORR. "The centres would come under the Comprehensive Traffic Transport Study (CTTS) for Bangalore and the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) plan to be formulated by the Government, he said." "A consultancy firm had been asked to prepare the DPR for the outer ring route of the BRTS. The peripheral ring route would be taken care of by the BDA. The DPR for the BRTS grid route was being prepared, he said." This has been going on for a while now. Imtiaz Ahmed of RITES is the key person on it. Whom we can contact. What I dont know is if BRTS, includes intersection improvement. Theoretically, it should, but I have never read explicit mention of a relook at intersections. Pune BRTS also makes no mention of that. All attention focussed on lane. So since funds are already there, mebbe we can make a case for explicit relook at the intersections and push for IRC standard intersections.

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