BTRAC-2010, does the phrase ring a bell? It is a Rs 350 crore (max) worth project funded 2006 through 2010 to reduce congestion and better manage traffic in the city. 2010 is here, how has BTRAC been so far?
Wait. Don't jump in with mere opinions. It will be good to look at their stated objectives. Here they are, straight from Bangalore Traffic Police (acronym BTP) website's BTRAC section (http://www.bangaloretraff...).
- Operational Objectives :
- Reduce traffic congestion by 30% in central area
- Reduction in Pollution
- Reduction in accidents by 30%
- Improved parking management
- Set up accident reduction and trauma care system
- Institutional Objectives :
- Co-ordinated and planned traffic management
- Robust revenue model based on traffic fines
- Legal and institutional reforms
- Capacity Building - modern Traffic Training Institute
- Strengthening of traffic police by augmenting infrastructure
And, the status ...
Do we have enough data in public domain to measure above? I think not. So we will have to use a mixture of opinions, observations and data to rate them.
- Reduce traffic congestion by 30% in central area: No official way of measuring congestion, but going by driving times on certain corridors I frequent (old airport road, bellary road, Hosur Road, Old Madras Road, Outer Ring Road) and discounting for Metro work, congestion has come down. by 30%? I don't know. Mixed
- Reduction in Pollution: Going by KSPCB data definitely not. On traffic front, we still don't have autos off 2-stroke engines, its been 8 years now since the plan to switch to CNG (and 4-stroke as well?) was announced. No
- Reduction in accidents by 30%: Thankfully, there have been no personal observations to report on this aspect :). But data says there is reduction (not 30% though). Observation wise, vigilence levels have definitely gone up, and would have shown results by way of fewer accidents in the night. Mixed
- Improved parking management: Some work done, there are corridors where I see impact. But overall parking enforcement levels (despite the new sign boards everywhere) are not yet strong. Mixed
- Set up accident reduction and trauma care system: Was this setup? I recall an announcement at Nimhans, and some work with Janaagraha, was that it? No
3 mixed verdicts, and 2 No out of total 5.
Talking of institutional objectives, what do we have there?
- Co-ordinated and planned traffic management: Lot of work done here to introduce automation based traffic management. Can tick this one up. Yes
- Robust revenue model based on traffic fines: Revenue from fines have gone up (by 80% 2009 compared to 2007). Without a numerical definition of what "robust" means, this too will have to be ticked as yes. Yes
- Legal and institutional reforms: Anything in last 4 years that could count as reform? No idea. No
- Capacity Building - modern Traffic Training Institute: Nothing new has been setup. No up trend in numbers at existing TTI (see http://www.bangaloretraff...). No
- Strengthening of traffic police by augmenting infrastructure: Vague one again, but I think this is where lane markings, better signages, road medians, signals etc come. Visible work done, and did have an impact on many corridors. Mixed
2 yes, 1 mixed verdict, and 2 No out of total 5.
Added up ...
So, it all adds up to:
- out of 10 listed objectives, you have
- 2 yes, 4 mixed and 4 Nos
This is in my book though. How about yours? Avoid general bitching, read BTRAC website, recall last 4 years, and then ... vent.
BTW, it will be really nice to sit with traffic police to look back at BTRAC-2010 and take forward some learnings.