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BTRAC, it is 2010 - report card for Traffic?

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Traffic

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...).

Stated Objectives

  • 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.

Comments

idontspam's picture

Road engineering and street

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Road engineering and street geometry missing/made vague in objectives itself. No wonder it still sucks.

s_yajaman's picture

SB - what a coincidence

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 I was scanning the same website just now and trying to objectively judge BTRAC's performance (and not just signage and lane marking which are visible).

I think it is quite commendable to even put out things like goals and numbers (even if they are not precise and perfect).  Very few govt. departments even bother.

Pollution is a very big grey area and seems to be kicked between RTO and KSPCB.  

For starters there is a functioning website which is updated periodically.  

From the website itself

a. Traffic fines from Rs.18.2 crores in 2007 to 32.20 crores in 2009.  That is an 80% jump.   Tick?

b. Cases booked - 1.34 million in 2007 to  2.31 million in 2009.  again an 80% jump.  

b. Accidents - 981 fatalities in 2007 to 761 in 2009.  8426 accidents in 2007 (fatal and non fatal) to 6875 in 2009.  If not 30% - it is a reduction.   

 

Other smaller things not easily visible.  

http://www.bangaloretrafficpolice.gov.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=60&btp=60

Details of all junctions with signals - what is the order, how long, etc.  Again quite a revelation that this is being systematically being recorded.  Need to check if it is updated as and when changes happen.

http://www.bangaloretrafficpolice.gov.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=66&btp=66

List of surveillance cameras. 

When I came back to Bangalore in 2007, the roads were an absolute nightmare.  I used to get abused for waiting at red lights.  Now that part has greatly reduced.  My own anecdotal experience tells me that things have improved even with vehicular traffic going up and lots of roads being disrupted by Namma Metro.

Hope the good work continues.

Srivathsa

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

murali772's picture

Raw deal for pedestrians

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The following is what has been stated on the B-TRAC site with regard to foot-paths -

"Junction improvements - It aims at improving the capacity of junctions by improving their geometrics like making them bell shaped, creating channelising islands, proper footpaths and proper markings etc"

- which shows a rather step-brotherly attitude towards pedestrians, even to begin with. And, whatever little improvement actually gets done, is immediately negated by this. Is there no control over these types at all?
 

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

As if to prove my point,

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As if to prove my point, brigade road (the less glamorous part) got fresh paint yesterday making it 2 lanes. Whats the catch? Each lanes starts of 30ft wide and ends at 15 ft on the top of the road. So the expert painters and engineers of BTP have managed another masterpiece rangoli which follows the shape of the road adding no value whatsoever to the road except make it have meaningless white streaks of paint.

Infantry road in front of the police commissioners office is another such masterpiece. The stretch has 2 lanes which are 30 ft wide each, carrying numerous micro lanes of traffic. No point achieved by the white broken line in the middle.

idontspam's picture

Signal free bellary road has

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Signal free bellary road has congestion

Why?

Because merge points have been created with no lane marking to channelize the traffic appropriately.

So a signal free road has jams at the very same points the signal was present ie, sanjaynagar junction, cauvery jn, BDA jn, WIndsor manor bridge, Basava bhavan jn. So no use removing the signals at all.

Cameras & blackberries are the easy part. Where is the road engineering?

Ravi_D's picture

Re: Signal Free Bellary Road

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Where is the road engineering? 

So far, in our dreams! :(

Ravi_D's picture

Road Engineering & Traffic Police

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Where is the connection between the two? Aren't they completely different fields of specialization? While Traffic Police certainly should have their say in the final implementation, why should we have this system where they are expected to make road engineering decisions? Are they trained enough to perform? 

Wonder which Govt organ is qualified and responsible for such engineering in B'lore. Would be interesting to see their contribution towards B-TRAC project.

s_yajaman's picture

Need a separate road engineering department

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 Need a separate road engineering department (BMLTA??) outside BBMP and BTP who will lay out specifications for roads, lane markings, junctions, pavements for arterial, sub-arterial and local roads.  BBMP's job is to execute.  BTP's job is to input and then enforce.  

Right now the responsibility lies all over the place.  

My two cents.

Srivathsa

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

silkboard's picture

BTRAC != traffic police only

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At least when it was launched, B-TRAC was not advertized as a traffic police only project. KRDCL was to be the implementation authority.

See http://www.bangaloretraff... and notice:

The implementation will be done by the Govt. owned Karnataka Road Development Corporation (KRDCL).

Also see the BTRAC page on KRDCL website: http://www.krdcl.co.in/ht..., and find a presentation there on BTRAC http://www.krdcl.co.in/ht... (Careful - 5 MB presentation file there)

Junction improvement was planned for 50 locations. Would be good to know

  • Which 50 were picked
  • How many were improved
  • What was the exact improvement plan?
  • Has the improvement helped?

 

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