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A lot of talk - little to show for

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Traffic
Over the past few months I have read a number of announcements by the traffic police on how they are going to improve things, I really have not seen much progress A drive in most parts of Bangalore after 10:00 will tell you how bad the state of things is. When I take an auto to the City station, most people don't just care about the traffic lights - even the ones at busy junctions like Town Hall, Hudson church, KG Road. It is one big free-for-all. Contrast this with neighbouring Madras where the majority follows lights (I was shocked when people actually stopped for a pedestrian crossing signal(not at a junction) on Mount Road). Coming to the talk and no action - First they claimed that Blackberrys would solve the problem. I have not heard much about that. The latest excuse was that out of town vehicles were not covered. How many of those are there? Less than 1%. So what stops them from using it on the habitual local offenders? Then BTRAC with 1000 traffic lights, signage, variable message signs. What happened to this? There still is no signage on the famous"scissor" flyover indicating the need to cross over. There is still no traffic light on the busy KH Road/Siddaiah Road junction. Then I read that some new medians would be put up. What happened there? Then variable timers for lights which would depend on the volume of traffic. What happened? In all this enforcement is not mentioned. Technology is only as good as the underlying processes. I don;t know if traffic lights along even one corridor has been synchronizes. I just wrote this morning on my experience on JC Road. Stopped at Minerva, then Siddaiah Road, then Shivaji talkies, then Town Hall and then Unity building. Contrast this with Mount Road in Madras. I don't blame the rank and file policemen. Theirs is an unenviable job. Imagine standing at lights and directing traffic through the heat and rain and dust and smoke and noise. The leadership is to blame. They don't seem to care. I hear New Delhi is a much improved city after the police has cracked the whip. When will they do it here? How many people need to die each day before they act? Srivathsa

Comments

silkboard's picture

lagging behind

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without investments on enforcement, each new flyover, each new hard-median and widened road is increasing the gap that exists between the need and levels of enforcement. Hard medians are a good case study. 2 things stand out in what I have observed of BBMP's new found zeal for hard-medians: 1) Lack of enforcement 'encourages' more people to drive on the wrong sides to 'save' on U-turns. Or, some of them just get together and take the brick laid medians apart. 2) Hard median means fixed lane width in each direction. Illegal parking becomes a bigger choke now, because 2 lanes would effectively become 1.5. So, without enforcement, hard medians have actually ended up slowing down traffic, thanks to our careless parking habits. Does someone have numbers on Bangalore Traffic Police's budgets? Wonder if they get incrementally more resources (as in people and tools) each time a road gets median'ed, widened or flyover'ed.
tsubba's picture

sync signals

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sri, talking of sync signals ... http://youtube.com/watch?...
tsubba's picture

wrong way

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see these to get started with tyre puncturing spikes, tire puncturing spikes no. 1 tire puncturing spikes no. 2 these can be embedded within the roads. even if they protrude, they act like speed breakers, that too right after signal. so will not effect speed. these tyre puncturing spikes will cost about 30,000 - 40,000rs if imported, if we can get some company in peenya to do the same, it will prolly be around 10,000 rs. say you have to service/replace them every 3-5 years. still cheaper than hiring extra policeman for the job.
s_yajaman's picture

I love this device

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88 users have liked.
Tarle, Brute force works!!! :) I remember having sent something similar to SB a few months back, but did not have the cost estimates. Key issues are a. Signage at every entry point that such a device is there needs to be put. Else you will have one joker who risked the one way and has a set of punctured tyres blocking the traffic for the next 24 hours. Not entirely bad as the rest of the people will get the message. You have captured this point. b. Ensure that it cannot be taken out. Medians put up by the BCP seem to be easy to take out. The stones are then just thrown to the side posing one hell of a danger to life and limb of a motorist. c. Resurfacing roads. d. For the first few months needs patrolling to ensure no one tampers. Else we will find a bigger mess than today's. Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Naveen's picture

Wrong way Guard Spikes on Thoroughfares

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97 users have liked.
TS - Great Idea. However, I have never seen these systems in use on main thoroughfares in USA or anywhere else. They are usually confined to car park entries /exits, etc where loads are very light, but as you have suggested, they can be sourced locally & made heavier & adaptable to our conditions. With the previous histories of tampering on fences /barricades & road medians, this system may also be meddled with, but it's worth a try.
s_yajaman's picture

Youtube

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Tarle, Could not bear to watch the video after 30 seconds. My blood pressure goes up when I see this sort of behaviour. And we are supposed to be churning out the most number of graduates, etc. Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

silkboard's picture

hard measures - a good approach

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Stop signs can't work here, so we have speed breakers. Hard measures work, thought they could be more expensive and irritating. Having directional spikes is a good idea (I have seen these at car rentals in US and Europe, to prevent people from driving cars out the wrong way). Right Srivathsa, I think Tarle, you and me discussed these once, and stopped short of calculating the costs. These could be placed around each 'cut' in the median. If one can design speed breakers integrated with these spikes, that could be a good solution. A colleague of mine at work has a similar idea for red light jumpers. Remember those horizontal bars/gates that guard our railway crossings? Why not have those instead of red lights!?
blrsri's picture

lets wait for the 'instant' underpasses..

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When they can plan/make a signal free road from windsor manor to hebbal flyover..thoughts of enforcements will slow down! All I can see above is vents of road frustrations..spikes..rail crossing gates.. what if they can make the jayadeva-silk board a signal free road? Maybe in time for the road works on hosur road to complete.. Stop trucks during peak hours on ring road..better still complete nice road and ask all trucks to take that road instead.. I am hopeful and ready to wait!
s_yajaman's picture

I am hopeful too

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Blrsri, Am hopeful too. Better to vent frustration out on the net than on other road users :). I was thinking on the same lines. If they can debottleneck the stretch between Bannerghatta road and Silkboard Jn, it will be money well spent. Instead of spending 750 crores on an elevated road and another 800 crores on an expressway to the airport, they need to spend the money in way that benefits the most people. If these cost effective underpasses work, then there a number of stretches where they can be used to at least give a few free moving corridors. I can think of Airport Road as one of those corridors. Then ORR itself can be speeded up and made safer at the same time if these things are put at critical junctions. Maybe Mysore Road till the University. JC Road, Hudson circle and KR Circle. But they need to think through it carefully, else we will have many of those Richmond Circle monstrosities all over the place. Some simluations using their consultants on what the overall traffic will look like will help. Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Naveen's picture

Even very congested cities have found solutions

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Hi all ! Congested cities like Tokyo have designed Metro corridors & roads passing through lower levels of buildings, without disturbing upper floors a long time ago. It's a real pity that Bangalore is still struggling to find solutions for it's road congestion problems. Obviously, there is not enough commitment nor is there a professional approach to try to seek solutions & the general trend is to announce big ticket projects without going into financials & then discovering that it's not financially faesible - the minsk square to hebbal tunnel & the high speed rail link to airport are examples of this. One hopes that this idea of using pre-cast arches works out as it seems to be the only hope to solve day to day road commuting problems. If this method of quickly positioning grade-seperating lanes to do away with conflicting traffic intersections is successful, it can be replicated on all other roads facing similar problems such as Airport road, several stretches of ring road, Bannerghatta road, Indirangar & Koramangala 100 ft roads, RV road, KR road, etc. I am hopeful too - the next few months will tell !
Naveen's picture

Koramangala 100 Ft Road

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85 users have liked.
TS, Noted the video on Youtube. I tried to upload a sketch using the 'image' option, but but have been unsuccessful, msg says "Image upload failed". Grateful if you cud pls advise. I tried sending you an email, but I think that has also failed.
s_yajaman's picture

Frog in boiling water

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Each time I drive to the centre (make that centre, east, west, north, south) of the City, I feel like the proverbial frog thrown into boiling water. The chaos even at 12:45 p.m. is amazing. I was driving to Museum road today. The flyover from Double Road was jammed from the policeman on top till it's descent into Residency Road. From atop the flover the scene had to be seen to be believed. Each vehicle was pointing in a different direction. There were about 10 lanes (if you can call them that) jostling for space. Bishop Cotton Boys' had just finished (I think the junior classes) and cars had taken one lane near Cotton's complex. Buses were going diagonally on the road, each cutting in front of the other. Net result was that it took 5 minutes to clear what should have been done in 1 min. There were 2 policement trying to clear the mess with minimal success. What they can do is a. Buses coming from KH Road should not be allowed on the flyover. They descend and then start swerving left towards Bangalore club. They should come from under the flyover and turn right and stay to the extreme left. b. Stagger the bus stops. c. Put bollards along the stretch to demarcate lanes. It might not look pretty, but neither does the traffic. The bollards can at least create some sort of laminar flow by which traffic can actually move a bit smoother. What is amazing is that the same chaos probably happens 250 days a year, but the police can't find a solution. The one-ways are not working because there is no laminar flow along them. People just drive into whichever gap they see. Yesterday's TOI carried some "workable solutions" by the DCP. All of them pointed to things outside his team. He said that it was not possible to provide even 20 seconds of crossing time to pedestrians as it would cause a jam. What are pedestrians to do? Grow wings and fly? Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

tsubba's picture

sri

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What are pedestrians to do? Grow wings and fly? hahaha... seriously need to record these particular suggestions you guys are making. perhaps over later in the month will get to that.

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