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Entropy on roads - examples

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TrafficTraffic jams

bus stand 1Entropy, aka chaos on the roads is a subject we have discussed a lot here. There are about a hundred comments thrown across various posts. How about consolidating those points and making them more presentable via picture posts? Here is my attempt with pictures over last two months. Look, we need to explain and understand one thing very clearly. Flyovers and road widening projects are like buying extra large clothes to deal with obesity. Some folks prefer exercises or medicines to shed some fat.

Double parked car blocking my progress? Perhaps not this vehicle's fault, because all but one of the newly built commercial/superstore complexes have consumed basements for causes other than parking.

A narrow side road made challenging by the army of parked cars? Reason - a nearby hospital (not shown) expanded without planning for parking spaces.

Construction material on the road. Its common to see these consume pavements. But on the outskirts, you would see these spill on to the road as well. When construction material can't be made to fit inside the plot, that kind of tells you the builder is playing games with the setback norms. But what can you and me do - nothing, as BBMP doesn't have a complaints or tip-off mechanism.

Custom cuts are the "in things" wherever BBMP has done half ass job of erecting medians. These are the favorite U-turn points for autos and bikers. And as a result, a not so favorite "brake points" for those who hate disorder on roads.

Bloody pedestrians, why do they "spill" on to the road!? Patience my dear. Pavements are consumed by parked cars, encroachments, widened roads, garbage or construction debris. Where the hell do we walk? And all you car drivers, remember this. You too play pedestrians once you get down from your chariots. And these very same reasons (no walking space) make you search for parking as close to your destination as possible. So easy on pedestrians, please.

Ah, the deadly humps of our city. See a past satirical take here (belly hunters ...). Rains makes things worse, we just have more sine-wave humps, rattle therapists etc in July and August. Just ran into a broken down Zen at one of these this morning, couldn't click a picture though, sorry.

Whats left? Ah, those men at work. No warning signs, nothing, to watch ahead is your job. It was too hard to click those women sweeping roads in live traffic without wearing transparent jackets or warning signs, but I bet you have seen them.

What else then? "braking reasons" that I haven't clicked are:

  • Bus stands - we need them, a bus has every right to use the edge of the road to drop passengers, you better wait behind them.
  • Blocked on free left turns - this is regular traffic, can't expect to fly through free lefts as some yellow plate vehicles do.
  • Slow moving trucks - These folks do the speed, keep themselves within the limits. If only we all would do the same, we will all get to our destinations quicker than we do.

So bring them on, you favorite braking reasons, or pictures on above lines. And lets show everyone that before we think flyovers and wider roads, there is a lot of basic work to do to manage our roads and traffic.

[PS: I use my E61i as a camera more than a phone. I suggest you try to click a picture every time you brake on the road. Share your notes, and help us understand the futility of flyovers, or road widening, because we must realize that there are at least 4-5 low hanging fruits - all of those tied to enforcement - that can give us results in just a few months.]

Comments

idontspam's picture

LHF 1 - Turn lanes in Median

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Thank you for starting the thread...

Turn lanes for right turns are an important concept in road design. IRC has done lipservice to this concept in their specs

IRC 86-1983: Minimum widths of median at intersections to accomplish various purposes should be as follows : (i) Pedestrian refuge, 1.2 m; (ii) Median lane for protection of vehicle making right turn, 4,0 m but 7.5 m is recommended;
(iii) 9 to 12 metre is required to protect vehicles crossing at grade.

So turn lanes should be made a feature on Bangalore streets. I hoope the junction redesign projects are taking this into account.

s_yajaman's picture

Slow moving traffic on green

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One thing that I have observed in Bangalore is the low throughput of vehicles once the lights turn green.   Major reasons

a. Just turned red vehicles don't stop and want to sneak through.  Block the road for 5-10 secs.

b. People not waiting in the correct lanes and then start shifting lanes, slowing down traffic.

c. 4-5 waiting lanes = 6-7 vehicle lanes (JC Road /Town Hall Jn towards corporation) merge into 2 or 3 lanes.  Happens at Richmond Circle too - when you come from Mallya hospital and want to turn right towards Double Road.  Add to that - we have a bus stop at that very corner!!!

Srivathsa

 

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

Ravi_D's picture

Sharing some funny & interesting media

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Couldn't help look at some of my archives... All from public domain, and credits go to the original authors!

This one is funny, not from Bangalore, but would it be any different here?

This is a fairly long video - a pretty good travelogue - Old Madras Road / KR Puram Jam

A good way to analyze traffic patterns, in my mind. See this birds-eye-view from one our junctions.

From an unknown source (chain email):

--------------------------

Over these last few years of living in Bangalore , I have slowly grown to like the jams, which this city provides in abundance.    

These jams do build your patience and character. Is it a coincidence that India 's most patient cricketers, Dravid and Kumble, hail from this city of jams? (Dravid is even nicknamed "Jammy"). Does it tell you something?  Sri Sri Ravishankar…does he get his daily dose of spiritual inspiration while in a jam?? And will I also get a halo after a few more years of this "character building"?? There are, I am sure, thousands of future Anands stuck in the Adugodis and Anand Rao circles, who are plotting their moves against future Kramniks… those poor little Kramniks stand no chance. And if you see a professor-like guy prancing around the Palace road jam, you can deduce that a postulate in Physics has just been proved. 

A few days back, I had a thought - If we can have reviews of movies, which occupy only a few hours of our life in a month, why not reviews of traffic jams, which takes up significant hours of our day?? So here is my review of some of Bangalore 's famous and not-so-famous jams(in no particular order).  

But before that, a general comment -  As they say, the taste of food in a restaurant is dependent on the ambience ; similarly, the way I see jams, cozy inside the office shuttle or public transport, is different from the way the owner of the swank new SUV sees it. (btw, if you are the owner of the swank new SUV, don't run me down).  

1. The Hosur Road Jam - Unarguably, the mother of all jams. We (ex-) Infoscions are proud of being (once) associated with a great company. We are equally proud of contributing in no small extent to this jam. This jam gives a great glimpse of the Other India - colorful music-blaring interstate buses, garment factory workers, highway trucks, smoke spewing lorries and such. Provides ample food for thought for socialist minds. (Rating: ***1/2)  

2. The jams around K'mangala/Forum mall - Definitely the best jams in town. PYTs (Pretty young things), fancy cars, and fancy restaurants; this has it all. But you can't afford any of those. Never mind!! Your sadistic brain can take pleasure in the fact that the guy in the fancy car next to you is cruising around for a parking space, feasting his eyes on the PYTs , while his family is having dinner in one of the fancy restaurants. (Rating: ****1/2)  

3. The KG Road jam - To be experienced in the evenings before a long weekend. Every auto/taxi in town seems to be stuck while going towards the City railway station - your hair stands on end, you start sweating, the heart beats faster, and you get the rush that a Michael Schumachaer gets on his last lap. And just as the auto moves, a movie show ends and a few hundred more vehicles pour out… Which was the train that hooted just now?? (Rating: ***1/2)  

4. The Jayanagar jam - The puzzle-lovers jam; Jayanagar is maze of bylanes, one-way streets, no right-turns, no left-turns, traffic signals and whatnot. It is an establised fact that Point A to point B, in Jayanagar, can be reached in 6436 distinct ways. But whichever way you take, you are left with a hollow feeling that another route had a better and bigger jam? (Rating: **1/2)  

5. The jams around Marathahalli/ Whitefield - The IT professional' s dream jam; As she sits in the office shuttle looking at other office buses, she can make her career plans. A typical evening in this jam goes thus:  Voice from Company A bus : "Any J2EE developers in your bus?". Three guys from Company B bus respond "Yeah" and get down. By the time, the bus crosses the Marathahalli bridge, the first guy is hired as a J2EE developer. The second guy, who didn't know what J2EE meant, is hired as a project manager and the third guy is rejected as he realised late that he has already worked for Company A last year.  (Rating: ****)  

6. The Airport Road jam - Similar in taste and character like the Koramangala jam but has socialist twist. This jam treats the rich businessman, who will later travel business class on Jet, the same as a poor programmer, who had unusually come to office early in the morning, 3 months back, to buy one of those cheap airline tickets. (Rating ***)  

7. The BTM 7th Main x 7 Cross jam - Close to my home, so close to my heart. But alas, the spoilsports at BDA finished the flyover at the Jayadeva circle and brought an end to this jam. But for a couple of years, this jam used to give me pure joy as vehicles of all types created a tangle in the small bylanes of BTM layout. The BDA is now planning a new flyover at the Udupi Garden junction; so there is still hope (Rating ***1/2).  

We jam lovers - currently this club consists of only me - have petitioned the government to protect and preserve traffic jams as a cultural asset of Bangalore . Just so that traffic jams are not endangered in the future, we have these suggestions:  

1. Build more flyovers - Flyovers do not reduce jams. They just transfer it to the next junction. And in the 2 years that it takes to build them, you are assured of some joyous jams. I am drooling...  

2. No public buses - If everybody goes by buses, where will our culture go?  

3. Make Tata's 1-Lakh car cheaper by making it tax free - Imagine every two wheeler replaced by a car...The prospects are mouth-watering. 

 ( Author Unknown ) 

 

idontspam's picture

LHF2 - Respect for signs

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Bidari warns severe action against vandelisers 

BANGALORE: Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari on Thursday, said that a number of advertisements had appeared on traffic signals and sign boards without any permission from the authorities concerned. This defacement of police property is a serious issue and causes distraction to the traffic flow.

Following this, the police authorities have warned severe action against the public who damage, vandalise and deface traffic signages.

prasadrao's picture

Traffic woes

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I agree when you say that a lot could be improved by picking some low hanging fruits.

However all these so called "low hanging" fruits can only be acheived by enforcement or best by educating people. Its is only when people start behaving responsibly that the situation can improve.  Finally i guess it all boils down to attitude.

Having said so, it is in this area that the authorities must focus their energy.

For example, I still do not understand why the authorities have not noticed one of the root causes of bangalore's traffic woes. The licencing authority at the RTO. Every day several hundreds get a licence to drive and most of them get it through a driving school.

how many times have we not seen a training school car honk unnecessarily or flout some basic driving rules. These are the guys who get around getting a licence probably because the RTO officials who grant the licence have been "taken care of".

If only getting a licence could have been based on stringent tests which test the drivers understanding of traffic rules rather than the payment made to the inspector things probably could move towards the better.

Well making a small change by driving responsibly ourselves, without giving in to the lure of breaking a rule just because the vehicle on our side did it, will go a long way. 

Finally, i guess one has to take a small step towards a journey of a thousand miles.

-Prasad

Vasanth's picture

The Jayanagar jam

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Jayanagar jams are very small jams usually and OK compared to others. There are jams near Complex, 3rd Block and near the Telephone Exchange where people from BSK travel towards Bannerghatta Road and Koramangala. Jams near complex is a common scene during weekends. Once has to park somewhere in 2nd Block to reach complex.

Problems are mostly in intersections. Roads are wide and there are plenty of trees which will absorb the pollution. Mainly not much truck traffic.

idontspam's picture

LHF1 - Example

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One good example to start with would be cubbon road. It is 2 and half lanes each way. The half lane being the outermost which nobody uses. East bound there are 2 right turns, one at Kamaraj rd jn two at Manipal jn. West bound there are 3 right turns one at Kamaraj rd. two at infantry rd cross, three at central street. If half a lane was taken on the innermost lane on both sides from Minsk sq to Manipal jn. dedicated right turn lane can be carved into this extended median for the above jns. for uninterrupted traffic flow 
idontspam's picture

LHF3 - Street names

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Street names need to be provided at every jn. Right now we dont know what street we are on or what street we are turning into. Typically the street names are on poles right at the corner of the jn. or on the traffic signal indicating the cross street.
idontspam's picture

LHF4 - Licensing revamp

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We have to get the message that the current Licensing system is a failure.

Short term we can take out a praja rally and get the news out that we are dissatisfied. We will need placards and people at MG park for half a day (saturday/sunday) and invite media to draw attention. We can submit petition to RTO and request them to revamp their system.

Medium term We can offer to be a part of any comittee they set up or provide material we have thru ASJ to help RTO customize the testing process.

silkboard's picture

some more "braking points"

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I missed some valid and big ones in this post

  • pedestrians crossing road at all points possible, as opposed to only at the intersections or designted points. but how will they? There aren't enough clearly marked or enforced zebra crossing zones, or pedestrian signals
  • Slow moving vehicle on right most lane, almost always a three wheeler, or a tractor. They make you brake and then break the most basic traffic rule - never overtake from left

Possible solutions for above are perhaps obvious?

  • Zebra crossing and railings/fences to keep pedestrians from crossing at crowded places. And then some insurance companies driven awareness campaign that would say that pedestrians get better cover and protection if they are invovled in accidents on zebra zones.
  • Whats the prime reason for existence of these slow moving vehicles. Ignore regular autos, they can do 350-40 kmph > avg speed of traffic in Bangalore. The rest - load carying three wheelers and tractors, or even bullock carts, are used by businesses and builders to carry loads. Why? because these vehicles are cheaper to rent. A simple standard for load carrying vehicles in the city (must have four wheels, must be motorized, capable of doing 40 kmph in all load conditions, must not create more than x decibels of noise etc etc) could get rid of these. I am pretty sure such rules/standards exist, but are not enforced.
shas3n's picture

Footpath encroachments

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The video on this blogpost  shows the state of footpath on CMH road. When there is practically no space for pedestrians to walk on the foot paths, what else can we expect? Of course there are also a lot of parked vehicles as well. Watch the video.

-Shastri

-Shastri

idontspam's picture

Where did that post go?

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I cant find the post from ASJ which has the road design specs. But I would suggest we not try to tweak those to fit our scenario since it would be too much work. We should prioritize some IRC codes, find out weakness in those and fix those only. That way we can fit it into already approved IRC codes and it will be easier for authorities to take the amendments to specific codes to the congress to get it approved. 

silkboard's picture

ids - here is that post

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Here is that post : http://praja.in/pune/disc...

We need a wiki like thing to save and build these standards + our suggestions. 

asj's picture

Agree we need complement IRC

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IDS, SB - I agree. UK and the rest have very good well laid out protocols. Often these are basic and sound principles more than anything.

We should look up IRC guidances and then use above to fill in gaps or enhance IRC.

IRC may not have to be followed (they I presume are a set of recommendations only).

Our task should be to form a body of stake holders (Praja, get architects, IIT civil engineering dept or like and Municipal engineers) to discuss and contractually agree to local protocols - deviation from this will be in unlawful.

Its a big task, we need half a dozen people (can be two city initiative and get some from Pune to join as well).

ASJ

ssheragu's picture

implementation of IRC

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ssheragu

so much has been said about IRC; I have not gone thru' IRC; but I am sure that IRC will have well laid guidlines for roads, pedestrian paths, bus stops etc.

my suggestion would be that one of us well versed in this should dipslay here (on Praja) guidelines itemwise, say for example, bus stops, pedestrian paths, medians etc. and then we can implement these one by one (step by step, say bus stops first, followed by pedestrian paths& subsequnetly others), on roads (major roads tostart with and subsequently all roads); 

in this manner implementation of well laid guidslines, rules of IRC will be complete

also I request Praja admin to display details of Praja members locality wise, so that Praja members in Indira Nagar, RT Nagar  cn meet frequently and implement views of Praja

Srinath Heragu

admin's picture

IRC upload on Praja

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Srinath, IDS - lets start with uploading IRC standards on our wikipedia like section which is now ready. will email two of you and some more folks who have offered help (mcadambi, narayan, more) with the details. IDS - please figure if its okay for us to digitize IRC and upload here. If we need some copyright waiver etc (I hope not), we will talk to relevant people, and if needed.
idontspam's picture

IRC for public consumption

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We will have to ask IRC and get clearance from them to publish it . Let me send some mais and check before we start uploading stuff.

The other way to do this in the meanwhile is to prioritize some things we want changed (like medians, markings etc). I have already pasted in one of the posts what is said about medians in IRC 86. That paragraph is all there is available. We can look for median specs in the specs ASJ has suggested and prepare the modified specs for that. We will need a median thread to capture all that is relevant. 

Just so you know myself and TS have access to some of the codes only. Sudhir may have access to more. 

ASJ - My assumption is the same as yours that they are only guidelines and not audited to be followed to the T. If this is clarified true then we dont have to actually go back to IRC with our recommendations we can directly convince local authorities to include them in tenders as long as basic IRC criteria is not changed in our specs 

asj's picture

IRC - to publish or not

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Actually I am not too inclined at publishing IRC (although it will be great if they permit or publish some if not all stuff on their website).

What I am hoping we should do is use IRC as a template, look at worldwide standards and see if anything from the latter can be added to enhance or complement the former. This way we come up with something robust.

Once we have done this, we have discussions with Municipal Civil Engineers. Get their feedback. Once they agree we put the standards for ratification by the Municipal Corporators as 'agreed protocols and standards for given issue (footpaths, median, etc) which have to be followed no matter what by every contractor.

We should publish this final version agreed to by the Municipal governing body not IRC.

Moving on -

We need to prioritise what we focus on, acquire IRC guides and everything else done internationally on the same matter only and then carry out above. My vote is for -

  1. Footpaths
  2. Zebra Crossings
  3. Pedestrian refuge
  4. Bus stop design and location
  5. Road typology
  6. Based on above, look at which roads need medians
  7. Speed limits
  8. Road marking
  9. Road signage
  10. Traffic lights (sequence, timing, types, syncs - Mumbai is said to be introducing the push-button pedestrian operated signals)

ASJ

PS- above is also my order of preference (otherwise we end up forgettingpedestrians as always). I also wrote yesterday to IRC sec gen requesting they make available their publications to aam janata (otherwise what is the use, they hardly must be making any profits on this anyway, justice will be done to their work by sharing it freely - can more of you send requests too secretarygen@irc.org.in )

Ravi_D's picture

SB:In no particular order,

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SB:

In no particular order, some other items that came to my mind... 

 

  • IRC types cover all types of roads. Our primary concern here is city traffic - so let us bias such a study with conditions in Bangalore in mind (what a living example!)
  • City Street Types (arterial, residential.. etc) and minumum carriageway requirements
  • Pedestrian walkways (over the road)
  • Turn zones (Left / Right / U Turns)
  • Speed Brakers
  • Types of medians
  • Minimum offsets and pathway into / out of adjascent buildings
  • Allowances for slow / man powered traffic such as bicycles
  • Surface drainage
  • Storm water drainage
  • Police refuge
  • Road Junctions
  • Minimum requirements for Fly overs - such as no police can man a junction atop a fly over :)
  • Minimum requirements for Magic Boxes
  • Pedestrian only zoning - reasons and requirements
  • Entry / Exit from high traffic areas into adjoining roads (such as from bus shelters / depots / heavy industry)
Thanks,

 

Ravi 

tsubba's picture

Understanding Transportation & Traffic

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Ok, looks like things are getting serious. typically standards represent minimum specs. ofcourse with things like lane widths going way above standards makes no sense. but things like 'turning radius atleast, x meters' and intersection design, standards should be adhered to. standards themselves typically are very conservative and have a lot of factor of safety, so they are 'big' and elaborate. on ground implementers have to fight constraints and typically barely manage to achieve them. i see many standards are updated routinely. physics of vehicle movement does not change much, but vehicles and driving patterns and materials and construction techniques etc change. our IRC seems to have been last updated in 1983. atleast the codes we have access to seem to suggest that. plus, dont know if the current advances in designs are approriately reflected. in anycase, there is some sort of maturity in this field and we could look at traffic engineering text books for guidance if not journal papers. text books provide a good framework for thinking about these things. for example take a look at the ToC of this book, or this book. the order and the topics covered overlap for most parts. we need not worry too much about the mathematical aspects for most parts, but if needed, between folks here at praja, i am more than sure we can deal with it. for our purposes, it is more relevant to hash out a framework for studying and thinking about the traffic and transport problems. then individuals amongst us can pick a topic of interest within this framework and pursue it to their hearts content, looking at various standards and even the latest advances. for example anushree might be interested in the pavement design, IDS in geometric design and so on... for us as serious trackers, it is important to understand what fits where & get the big picture. sometimes just pouring over standards its easy to get lost in the trees.
murali772's picture

specs for what is laid below, and on the sides

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Specs are equally important for what is laid below, and on the sides of, the road. Following is the posting I had made in 'savekoramangala' yahoogroup in April,'06, regarding the work on 80ft road, funded under some World Bank scheme. Now, if a work under a World Bank scheme didn't follow any code in these aspects, imagine the regular BBMP/ PWD work. We certainly have a long way to go.

At the meeting with the expert panel, I had specifically brought up the matter of codes for the various types (and widths) of roads, detailing clearly the specifications for providing the various service lines. Apparently, the BMP is blank on this aspect, with even the experts not having applied their minds to it. As far as the present lot of repairs are concerned, there's nothing to be done now, though, I would have preferred their doing a minimal 'motorabilising' job now, and, after drawing up the codes, doing a thorough job. For want of a proper set of codes, the service line ductings have not been provided properly, and you are landing up with the kind of diggings that was front-paged in yesterday's papers. These are inevitable, the difference this time being that you will need pneumatic drills to cut through the half metre of compacted aggregates, as compared to the earlier pick-axe usage. They have supposedly laid some ductings, but I am fairly certain they are not usable. All in all, a lot of money seems to have gone down the drain. What I would now suggest is to request Mr R K Misra to get the BMP to engage proper consultants to draw up these codes in a time-bound manner, and insist that all future jobs are carried out in accordance with them.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Where is the petroleum cess going?

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According to Bhushan Narang, president of Bharat Petroleum Dealers’ association, Bangalore needs 600 tankers of fuel every day. Every tanker load has 12,000 litres which means Bangalore consumes 72 lakh litres every day. That also means Bangaloreans pay Rs 72 lakh per day as infrastructure cess or Rs 262.8 crore per year. Isn’t it time the city ploughed back more revenue into improving roads? For more, click on:
http://epaper.timesofindi...

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
asj's picture

Can we set the ball rolling

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TS, MR, SB, others

Can we start somewhere. My vote is for footpaths. If we have more people, sub-groups can start of 3 or 4 issues.

I totally agree, civic staff have no clue. Many PMC staff in Pune have been to trips abroad, how many have returned to implement one project which can be called half decent.

In Pune these guys talk (my personal experience) about wide footways with cycle lanes on them (ekdam europe jaisa karenge) and then end up making footpaths not even 3 feet wide.

Specs, standards are a good place to start. In reality we will have to adapt to what is practically possible. But as specs have safety first approach in built in them, at least we will be able to stop lillogical and irrational or unsafe putting up of medians.

Juste yesterday someone wrote to me, in Pune they want to remove a pedestrian crossing and install a divider - why - because motor vehicles are using it for taking U turns - this is exactly where a staggered pedestrian crossing can be used with great effect (but our decision makers behave and think as if such a concept does not exist).

ASJ

tsubba's picture

Entropy

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we have been brandishing this term for a while now, so it might be useful to be explicit about what 'entropy' is. conceptually, entropy is a measure of disorder in any system. at some level all systems have some amount of uncertainty and disorder. entropy is just a way of thinking of this disorder in measurable and illustrative and thus useful terms. we are interested in disorder on roads. how can we measure disorder on roads? traffic jams(and associated delays) are not a measure of disorder. jams are just the symptoms of disorder. one way to measure entropy on road is to consider the number of vehicles that are at an angle to the direction of flow of other vehicles. i.e., number of vehicles turning/cutting/changing lanes at a given point on the road. if all vehicles are pointed in the same direction then they are continuously moving even if slowly. but any time somebody changes direction and points his vehicle at an angle to the direction of the general flow, conflict and disorder is seeded. you can test this against your own experience in driving. As you can imagine, all roads will have some amount of inherent entropy, since cutting/changing lanes are legitimate maneuvers. this cannot be eliminated even if the worlds best drivers are driving on the world's best roads. but it is possible to control this entropy and prevent it from exploding on us if some attention is paid to structure that regulates and channelizes this entropy. Lack of such a structure compounds inherent entropy. Thus there are two sources of entropy: #1. entropy due to conflicting goals of competing vehicles #2. entropy due to the ways in which individual vehicles execute maneuvers to achieve the goals. I will revert with a concrete example.
tsubba's picture

Entropy @ Cariappa Road.

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To illustrate all this, consider this picture of the prestigious FM Cariappa road(FMC Rd) that I luckily found in K's foto stream. This picture captures entropy in action. As is seen in that image, all vehicles in lanes 3 & 4 are at an angle to the lane markers. Down stream FMC Rd is a 4 lane one way right of way that runs approximately in the west-east direction. This is a picture of an arm of the sirsi circle flyover pouring into the west end of the FMC Rd. Even within the confines of a road, at any point in time each vehicle has its own immediate goal. These differing goals create conflict and hence entropy. In this picture, there might be many people coming in from lane 4 who want to access properties next to lane 1. That is a perfectly legitimate goal. But unfortunately it can create conflicts with other vehicles. see cars 'k' and 'r'. Since many of these goals are legitimate, entropy due to conflicting goals cannot be eliminated. the fundamental question then is, is there any structure to help people make this maneuver systematically? To see this, lets see the basic set up of this junction: The f/o is approximately 1 bus + 1 auto wide. Road to the south of the f/o(S) and the north road(N) are about two buses wide. Towards the east the road becomes a 4 lane one way road. So at this junction 2+2+1 lanes merge into 4 lanes. 5 lanes merging into 4 lanes is a fairly well understood and solved problem, world over. The first source of problem is that the f/o is too wide to be a single lane row and too narrow to be two lane row. Next, bcoz of abrupt geometry at the end of the f/o, all vehicles exiting the f/o are forced to perform erratic maneuvers. The problem is not that vehicles want to cut at that point but the problem is that they are forced to cut at a point where all sorts of free cutting is allowed. At this point, vehicles in lane 2 are free to cut-left into lane 3 (see auto straddling 2&3). To compound entropy, two lanes of vehicles from N are pinched into 4 at exactly the same point. That is, the area marked in red, acts as exit lane for f/o traffic and forces two lanes on the north side to cut and allows one lane from the south side to cut. Apart from geometry, lane marking is also poor and fails to act as a guide for negotiating this junction systematically. What is somebody like the car 'b' and the bike in front it supposed to do? The best drivers trained in any part of the world would be forced to perform erratic maneuvers at this junction. What can the hapless blue car and the bike do? I will follow up with a possible solution in a subsequent post. If anybody has other ideas please chime in.
tsubba's picture

Example Entropy Based Solution

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one way to reduce entropy here is to straighten the mouth of the f/o so that it flows into lane 3 downstream, so right after the vehicles exit the f/o they continue in whatever pattern they were flowing within the lane on the f/o( for example if a bus is next to auto on f/o they continue as bus next to auto). This eliminates one source of entropy. Once the vehicles come to an area downstream where four proper lanes exist, they could be allowed to change lanes according to where they want to go. On the north side, the two lanes should trickle down to 1 lane well before the flyover ends. This would eliminate entropy at the junction itself by forcing vehicles to sort themselves in order well before the critical junction. At the junction itself, this trickeled down lane should directly feed into lane 4. Having flown into lane 4, beyond the junction, vehicles can then cut into other lanes at a point where flow has stabilized. Finally, vehicles on the f/o side of the S road could be prevented from cutting into 3 at the mouth of the f/o and allowed to cut in only further down stream, where flow has stablized.
tsubba's picture

Form &Functionality

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the lines i have drawn are not as smooth as i would like them to be, but i hope the basic idea that i am trying to point out is clear: Geometry-nice smooth lines- looks nice, but is primarily a consequence of thought and planning and operates more fundamentally than as a decorative artifact. When compared to cost of the f/o, this would have cost not much more. This is as good an example as any of functionality yielding to form. If something is out of form in nature(and roads built by man are as much a part of nature as hives built by bees), it is fairly conclusive and evidential to conclude that it is not functional. form is the temple where the god of functionality resides.
shas3n's picture

Lanes

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Wonderful analysis TS. I will try to come up with a Fluid Dynamics analogy sometime but as you say, one solution is to orient the roads/lanes to minimise the entropy. I guess it is absolutely critical and can reduce entropy significantly. Here is an example where two highways are merging.
Javascript is required to view this map.
Each highway has 3 lanes and if you scroll south, you will see the lanes are segregated, then they merge onto the main route 'one by one' (hatched areas are not driven upon). And since the traffic is doing 70 mpm (112 kmph) this transition is done over several kms. Imagine what would happen if you tried to merge two 3-lane roads within 100 meters. That would be an entropy bomb!! I guess the situation at several junctions in Bangalore is not too far different from an entropy bomb and clver lane design (followed by enforcement for discipline) would do miracles. -Shastri

-Shastri

asj's picture

Brilliant work

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TS,

Brilliant stuff. Its such fundamentals that our planners habitually forget (and we all pay the price).

Do send this to Municipal Authority (I will hate to see this effort wasted).

Cheers,

ASJ

ebi.schubert's picture

Lack of awarenesss about lanes/rules and broken window syndrome

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Where do people in bangalore learn about lane discipline. I took the standard software engineer route. I moved from a small town where the largest road had only one lane either way. Majority of the traffic was motor bike. So only rule that I know of was that we should keep to the left and over take the other person on his right. When I came to bangalore I got my car license and started driving. Nobody ever told me what I should be doing when there are more than one lane or What I should be doing when I change lanes or what I should be doing when I see a stop sign and who has the right of way under what circumstances. I have not seen any document that is easily available that articulates all this. I came to the US and I attended a driving school and all this was taught to me. I do not think twice following the rules as taught by the instructor. I do think twice before breaking them. I am sure most people are the same way. The licensing and the driving classes are focussed more on the understanding of the rules rather than the driving skill.

I would propose that we can work with the relevant authority to create such a document and then a recertificaiton process for every one to take a written test on these rules. The document should contain all the traffic rules should be practical and easy to follow based on the setting in bangalore and the relevant fines for each violation. Once this is done a random enforcement might do the job on better road discipline.
silkboard's picture

Time to meet Mr Sood again?

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This time to talk about measures to tackle these sources of entropy? Game?
s_yajaman's picture

Great suggestion tarle

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TS,

Great idea.  One thing to manage is the 6 lanes (2+2+2) merging into 4 down.  That is another cause of disorder. 

Time to put in my  idea.  Pedestrian refuge-cum-traffic streamliner.  I will send you a crude image (your image modified).  Please help post

Idea is that on such busy roads with 4-5 lanes, it is next to impossible to cross a road unless you are Usain Bolt.  The 4-5 lanes usually becomes 8-9 lanes of actual vehicles.  My idea is to put in pedestrian refuges along each lane so that pedestrians can hop from island to island and negotiate only 8 ft or so at a time.  This also constrains vehicles to move in lanes.

Srivathsa

 

Check Here For Image

 

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

asj's picture

Getting the right perspective

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Often when faced with above entropies, one bog standard reason for failure and helplessness given to us or presumed by many is 'blame it on our population'.

India is second largest producer of 2 wheelers (behind China), sell ~ 7 million units a year, expected to sell 10 million / year by 2010. But - India has only 31 two-wheelers per 1000 citizens (2004) http://www.automobileindia.com/two-wheelers/statistics/sales.html

 

Even when vehicular population of Delhi and Mumbai double in 10 years time, the density is likely to be much lower than Western countries.

 

That a car (even a Nano is 5 feet x 10 feet) takes space of 2-3 two bikes, means in countries like UK there is much greater competition per square inch.

 

In short, the blame it on population theory is useless and does not contribute to entropy.

 

Entropy on our roads is caused by everything else (and other factors including driver training) that has been brought up through examples in this thread.

 

ASJ

Unless otherwise specified, source is Wiki

tsubba's picture

shas3

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shas3, thermodynamics kinta fluid dynamics mElu. thermodynamics, is about kinetic energy - very fine scale problem. sort of like driver behaviour studies. things like what ebi and doc have mentioned. fluid dynamics is about effects of particles flowing under potential energy, grosser scale equivalent to traffic and flow studies. actual traffic flow is a mix of two and more complicated because kinetic energy is a poor approximation of driver behavior. but you can approach it by distinguishing between the two and addressing each on its own merit, either simultaneously or sequentially. if controlling flow is important. think water flowing through channels. rough surface causes turbulence. so smooth surfaces are needed - no potholes. further too much curves and bends and depth and width changes in channel causes flooding and tubulence. also if two channels dont merge at locations which cannot handle the combined volume then all sort of flooding and turbulence happens. also within a channel different sections of fluid flow at different velocities. what happens if there are suruLis in the stream? and so on and on. bottomline, dont take the word literally as is mentioned in TD texts. the basic idea can be(and is) extended to other applications. In electronic communications for example it represents undertainity about a message that you might recieve, this immediately leads to ideas about channel capacity. just how much can you expect from an ethernet cable with given noise and signal characteristics? In image processing and signals it leads to ideas about compression and coding. and so on.
tsubba's picture

doc

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doc that is an interesting set of data. I actually prefer that KA's population agglomerates and density increases. High density is very good. Very efficient in terms of energy and resource utilization. Only problem is attitude. People hate people. As Seinfeld says, people, they are the worst. :)
tsubba's picture

sri

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sri, i dint understand but surely send me the picture. very curious about it.
Vasanth's picture

Roads Not Built for Cars but used for Cars

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Most of the roads in Bangalore are so narrow. It was probably just built to handle 2 wheelers and bicycles. These roads are being used by cars today. Many cars are parked on either sides of these narrow lanes.

Very few localities like Jayanagar can handle the car traffic. If we travel from Jayanagar towards Hanumanthnagar,Bank Colony, NR Colony, Tyagarajnagar we can clearly notice. Localities like Srinagar, Thyagarajnagar, NRColony and Hanumanthnagar is densly populated with many small houses with very narrow roads whereas localities like Jayanagar is not as densly populated as these localities, also roads are wider. It is easier to drive car in Jayanagar and becomes a night mare near Thyagarajnagar, Srinagar. It is comfortable to drive 2 wheelers in these high density areas. This makes us to think cycles could be even better than 2 wheelers for these kind of roads and the road can handle much more higher density of people movement.

silkboard's picture

its probably fluid D more than Thermo D

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Shas3, Tarle, we borrowed the term entropy from ThermoD as the term fits - disorder. Its a disorder that increases if you lower the pressure (less enforcement) and increase the volume (more width on the road). :)

Ideal traffic flow needs to be laminar - layered or "laned", sort of like one layer flowing on top of another. But, unless layers or lanes are honored, or if the flow has constraints (rough edges of channel, sharp curves) we get turbulence (or erosion!).

Traffic management too finds beautiful analogy in the way they manage river flows. A traffic jam is parallel for a flood, or rise in water levels. Build dams at short short intervals, you get manageable rise (jams) in levels in rainy season (peak hours). If you build just one or two big God-damn dam(s) every 500 kilometers, you'd better be ready to sacrifice few thousand villages to hold the backwaters in rainy season.

Okay, I better stop. Photoyogi is off these days, or he'd have given analogies from network management as well.

ssheragu's picture

regulation around Vidaha Soudha

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submitted by ssheragu

yesterday I came across a news item in DH that Mr. Bidari, Polce Commissioner, is planning to introduce / suggest a legislation that for any new building within a radius of 5 Kms around Vidhana Soudha, NOC should be obtained from Police. This way Plice will ensure that if the building were to worsen the traffic in that area, the building will not be allowed to come up. or they will make sure that the building follows the regulation for parking space. set back etc. so that it does not spoil the traffic or serenity in that area; on repeated questioning, he buckled & reduced the radius from 5 Kms to 3 Kms and said that it will apply only to big buildings.

actually Mr.Bidari is correct; in fact he should ensure that this applies not only for a radius of 5 Kms around Vidhana Soudha, but a radius of 50 Kms around Vidhana Soudha (that is the whole of Bangalore) and it applies for all buildings, residential or commercial, however small or big

is it possible for any Praja member to get his contact number or e-mail so that we can get in touch with him; alternately is it possible for Praja Transportation WG to arrange a meeting with him

we Praja should grab this opportunity

Thanks

Srinath Heragu

idontspam's picture

Continuity

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I did mention earlier how a generational shift is required in the boards and corporation for us to see a positive change. This thought was reinforced by a newspaper article the other day which mentioned a consultant was employed, who had suggested to the corporation and other planning authorities to enforce the kind of discpline in contracts which we are talking about here. Per the article there is a strong engineers lobby which worked to ensure these recommendations did not see the light of the day. So while the higher bosses do get shown the light eventually, how are they to enforce the continuity of these implementations among their rank and file? If Mr Sood has the wilingness how does he ensure his inspectors quit their old habits and toe the line? Singapore trips, crack the whips? What are the options? If there are solutions we can start a seperate thread.
ebi.schubert's picture

Reg. Continuity.

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One way to deal with this is to make it transparent. That is provide information about traffic violations and the associated penalty to all the people. And provide a means for general public to provide feedback about individual constables and inspectors. You can always use technology and some sort of statistics to get a clear picture about the inspectors. Design incentives based on that. Create awareness about the existence of such a means. People behave the way they are measured and rewarded :-). Now the question is whether somebody like Mr. sood is empowered to make such changes. If I am not mistaken in the US (i think in california) they have a feedback form which needs to be filled by the person who is receiving a ticket.
idontspam's picture

  "You can always use

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"You can always use technology and some sort of statistics to get a clear picture about the inspectors"

 

 Where RTO officials act like highwaymen

The check-post had been raided by the Lokayukta officials at least six times earlier. Alert motor vehicle inspectors always managed to get wind of the impending raids and cleaned up the place. But on Sunday, they were taken unawares as the Lokayukta team took a roundabout route and reached the check-post on foot. 

asj's picture

Lane width and entropy

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Not sure but suspect this is ture in most Indian cities, including Bangalore. It is caertainly the case in pune. Often, lanes are not marked, but when they are, I have noted they are too wide (almost 10 feet or over 3 meters - see pics in posts by TS above). In contrast, in UK, lane width is 2.5meters.

The point I am making is that we create lanes wide enough to allow a car and two wheeler (or even a rick) to sit side by side at junctions. The moment the lights turn green, honking begins and chaos ensues as the race to move in front of the adjacent vehicle within the lane begins.

ASJ

silkboard's picture

Even after BTRAC-2010

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Even after BTRAC-2010 driven changes, I think we have not seen much improvement in managing entropy. Yes, more signage, more lane markings, better levels of enforcement have been visible changes. Also, better pavements (work in progress now). But signs are unclear, not placed well enough, and parking enforcement levels have not changed much.

Time to revive the subject of entropy, and will be great to review the BTRAC-2010 project - how do we measure its ROI?

Yes, it is 2010, and BTRAC project is slated to complete this year.

idontspam's picture

BTRAC a waste

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Yes, more signage, more lane markings

Lane markings have been unscientific irregular and generally useless across the city. No 2 lanes on the road are the same or even matching to any specs. They are marked with snaking borders. Take the corridor from MG Road to hebbal flyover. Lane markings are absent in most stretches and where they exist they do not have any aim or signage to indicate why they exist. If they do come up they will be rangoli only. It has been this way since BTRAC started and I see no change. Its like as though the engineers do not know how to hold a measuring tape from one lane to its adjacent.

Vasanth's picture

Can B-TRAC introduce lane discipline in Bangalore?

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 One important thing that is absent in Entire India, particularly in Bangalore is lane discipline and uniform speed maintenance. We often see zig zag driving especially by the cabbies.

Can B-TRAC introduce some sort of discipline in it and also offend those people who delay the traffic unnecessarily (empty autos, goods vehicles, parked vehicles etc)..

Ravi_D's picture

First Step?

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Not sure how much money was spent on the project. B-TRAC did some good. More or less consistent signage showed up where there was none. Newer pedestrian crossing cum speed breakers came up around the city (was it a B-TRAC thing?). Much argued about median dividers certainly brought some sense of order on quite a few roads (and some headaches too). Cameras, control center... quite a few new items and ideas.

Not trying to say everything went well. We all know this could all be done much better with some more effort, planning, coordination and better execution control.

But for starters, the baseline has gone up a notch for the next phase. It us okay to have smaller ROI on the first go. But would be criminal not to do much better on the next.

So, here is my dream: As end of one campaign approaches, BTP gets busy with 'lessons learned' sessions and planning the next phase. Apart from internal debates, BTP completes the feedback loop by consulting all stakeholders - and especially concerned citizens.

Come on BTP. Don't disappoint us here.

Naveen's picture

BTrac - Atleast some beginnings

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I agree with Ravi - some improvements are noticeable. Traffic cameras & the remote traffic monitoring centre have reduced the no. of traffic violations. Some improvemnt in road manners on the streets is also visible. Signage too, as Ravi mentioned.

However, street paint markings at pedestrian crossings & traffic signals continue to be ignored at almost all locations - noticed this at Corporation /Hudson circle, JC road /Minerva /Bharat talkies, around Jayanagar shopping complex, Shivajinagar & in Majestic /Gandhinagar areas. Jay-walkers are the norm & are very impatient. They never wait for a green & keep dodging vehicles.

The cost for BTRAC was said to be 350 crs.

s_yajaman's picture

Marginally better

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 Some improvements I have seen in Bangalore over 3 years.  

a. More roads have lanes marked.  Even roads in residential areas have lanes marked and edges marked.  However no arrows at junctions.  Lane widths also need some rationalization.

b. Dividers have come up on busy stretches.

c. Signage - marginal.  Still not enough signage on directions.

d. Adherence to lights - improved significantly.  When people stop at Arekere Gate at 8:00 a.m. you know things have improved.  

e. Honking at lights when the lights turn green has reduced a fair bit.  Now it's mostly the yellow boards.  Is this because of BTRAC - I don't know.

f. Good amount of crackdown on drunken driving.  Again when I see cops checking at 1:00 a.m. you know they are at least trying hard.

I hope they continue and crackdown hard on yellowboards - who seem to go from bad to worse.

Srivathsa

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

idontspam's picture

T-Rex RTO

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We often see zig zag driving especially by the cabbies. Can B-TRAC introduce some sort of discipline in it

This is RTO territory and this dinosaur has been the same since time immemorial. The computer weilding technicians seems almost like an ugly wig on an old woman who are the aged retiring workers. Nothing but a complete and total outsourcing will help this useless monolith.

My experience with RTO is fresh from last week and not pleasant at all. I will leave that story for later.

idontspam's picture

BTRAC & Road engineering

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B-TRAC did some good...

some improvements are noticeable...

Some improvements I have seen in Bangalore...

Let me rephrase... BTRAC efforts towards Road engineering and Geometry has been a failure. Apart from some paint on the roads where roads have already been built evenly, you will notice where the road widths are uneven the painters, have been equally confused and lost.

Naveen's picture

RTO Outsourcing

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Nothing but a complete and total outsourcing will help this useless monolith.

Based on pre-determined levels of quality for certification, no. of certifications, & additional incentives based on actual stats as proof for improvements on the streets, such as reduction in accidents, reduction in the no. of violations, etc.

But then, who is to enforce these ? The same old woman with a wig who will take bribes & fudge figures !

idontspam's picture

Somebody else

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But then, who is to enforce these ? The same old woman with a wig who will take bribes & fudge figures !

How about BMLTA? Or some coordination committee? Or a private consultant like E&Y etc who can advise not just the process but also follow thru with implementation of the same. The payment should be tied to the success of the new young lady they will create.

Naveen's picture

Politics will spoil it

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Take it higher - quite right, but there might be obstacles.

Private carrier owners, bus /truck drivers, taxi owners /drivers, autos - these groups will go on strike as costs will rise up & their present driving techniques will be seriously challenged. It might be seen as "use of force" - & might not be politically easy to go through with. The ruling class will thus try to avoid such hard decisions.

silkboard's picture

Why will the costs rise?

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Naveen, I would bet that overall cost will come down if the job of figuring geometry and painting and installing signboards is simply outsourced with clear quality criteria.

As it is our RTO and traffic police keep complaining that they don't have enough resources to do their core job. Why spend any resources at all on painting and measuring type of work? Release the quality specs, outsource measurable chunks of work, set a date, and just watch it happen.

We keep complaining about shortage of quality skills for govt/administrative/public work. Unless you create demand, how will you get supply? Outsource more to build an ecosystem of quality suppliers. If your tender asks for painters, you will get painters. If your tender asks for 3 kilometer stretch of world class road with IRC signages and standards, you will get something close that. Check BTRAC tenders and see what they have been asking for (mostly).

It just needs a change of mindset. In this case (traffic management), open it up, and you will see start-ups building smart self-managed mesh of traffic signals, automated lane marking vehicles, satellite imagery based traffic junction management, and what not. Keep it closed and old fashioned, and you will have amateurs like you and me cooking up ideas, or enthusiast pro-bonos like X and Y feeling good about doing solid work with RTO/traffic police while people like Mr Sood play lone warriors in their departments (yaaru illa who understands all this well, remember?)

Naveen's picture

Possible, yes, but not simple

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It just needs a change of mindset

This is where we seem to be stuck. Mindsets will not change easily when there are economic hardships. Day to day living needs dominate for very large sections of the populace, & they will refuse to change if it results in even short term losses. They do not care about tomorrow - today is far more important, if not now. This perhaps is one of the main reasons why people tend to circumvent anything & everything possible. To save on bucks that are hard to earn - they must reach their destinations as soon as possible - every time, else it might result in lost opportunities !

As regards cost increases - there are two or possibly three important factors. An increase in quality levels would translate to higher costs (all other things remaining same). However, an increase in volume or an increase in efficiency will obviously result in reduced costs.

We know that RTOs operate very inefficiently with low quality, whilst they have the volumes.

If private firm/s are roped in, quality & efficiency are expected to improve, but they will not initially have volumes (they will all be starting afresh from zero), & setting up investments will need to be recovered. Thus, they will try to overcharge the initial set of customers. However, as things progress, costs will come down because efficiencies would be very high & volumes would also increase, but how they charge would depend on various factors. If there are no checks & balances or no other competition, they would obviously try to overcharge !

Naveen's picture

Blackberries are back

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All traffic officers upto the rank of Assistant Sub-Inspector getting black berry and bluetooth-supported printers today, city traffic police will move into a paperless regime of enforcement.

Click here for full text of the article.

Transmogrifier's picture

Wonder why planners don't see

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Wonder why planners don't see the convalescence from NM (construction phase) to completion as affording us a great chance to make a paradigm shift in street architecture and engineering... and so take us from this.... (source: DH

to this...

----

TM

idontspam's picture

 @TM: Simple things innit?

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 @TM: Simple things innit? The only hope is to make a detailed drawings for each case and take it to the AE and work long and hard on the details. There is no other way. The generic instructions arent getting thru. 

silkboard's picture

Nice Pic TM

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TM, IDS, Tarle (if you are still reading this) Carry or revive this entropy discussion via a new thread? Things have changed in 2 years, see some footpath work at least in some localities, some junctions have been improved via signals, flyovers have certainly fallen out of flavor, and we have at least some road signs and lane markings due to BTRAC. I would say may be 10% reduction in entropy has been achieved over last 2-3 years.

idontspam's picture

 Things have changed in 2

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 Things have changed in 2 years

I agree, on the pedestrian side, the raised ped crossings are showing up in more places. The audible beeps @ signals helps everybody (not just visually impaired) that the ped signal is working. I just hope when they increase the ped green man sign from 12 to 20 secs on wide roads they include a flashing green man for 5-8 seconds to indicate those beginning to cross to not start the crossing. I am never able to guess how long the sign has been on before I got there and get stuck in the middle of the road. It can be dangerous for older peds as my parents found out. But sidewalks are coming up only around some localities. Most of Bangalore has only got drain covers to protect drains from clogging, not to aid people to walk.

On the traffic side I have been able to spot more people stopping at intersections & giving way to the main road traffic, or when turning right to wait for a break in oncoming traffic, the roundabouts are still messy though. Lanes are adhered to if there is less traffic but at signals & crowded times the lane markers are totally ignored. Traffic is a lot organized than 3 years ago but roads have gone bad to negate the improvement. I am see lesser 2 wheelers. Seems to have gone down a bit cant be too sure.

pathykv's picture

CMH Road

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The pictures are nice. The second picture shows 'widened foot path'. Is this a wishful thinking?

As it is, Mr. Praveen Sood has annonced that this road will be opened for two-way traffic from Nov.1st.

It is still incomplete without proper 'widened' foot paths, in spite of representations to BBMP and BTP. They probably will wait for some serious accidents to pedestrians before thinking about foot paths, crossings etc. in this road with heavy pedestrian traffic due to shops and the new Metro station.

K.V.Pathy

Naveen's picture

CMH rd sidewalks non existent

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In order to make the stretch passenger-friendly, the police are planning not to allow parking on both sides of the road.

What does this mean for pedestrians ? Who are these passengers ? Are they bus passengers ? With almost non-existent sidewalks along the road & no parked vehicles, their hardships will worsen since moving vehicles will leave them exposed to more danger & even less room than if there were vehicles parked.

I think they should increase the width of sidewalks substantially first before allowing any traffic on the road.

pathykv's picture

RECLAIMING PEDESTRIAN SPACE IN DELHI

Naveen's picture

Nice article

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Great that Delhi's pedestrian facilities are being thought of. When will bangalore do it ? Hopefully, the arrival of Metro will bring about a shift in thinking & attention shifts away from cars & roads & flyovers.

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