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To get to a design which is comprehensive and looks at all aspects of the road, we go about it in the following way.

First, we list all possible uses of a road. These include, but are not limited too vehicular (2,3 & 4 wheelers), bicyclists, pedestrians, bus-stops and other street furniture such as streetlights, electric lines, utility lines, drainage and sewerage, parking, hawkers etc. Make a comprehensive checklist to make sure all possible utilizations are included.

Next, for each of these uses, we list down all the requirements. To come up with these requirements, we need to place our selves in position of the user/utility provider and look at what would be required to meet the above mentioned objective. In addition, one needs to look at  specifications and guidelines of the IRC (Indian Road congress) and equivalent international standards. These will then be collated and organized in a systematic manner.

Once the requirements of each of the use cases has been obtained a detailed checklist needs to be formed, which would incorporate all the requirements for all the uses. As one goes through the process of road design, one should ensure at the end of it that the checklist is gone through and all have been met.

It would be cumbersome to do this process for each road that comes up. Not only this, if we come up with a different design each time, the lack of consistency will confuse road users and lead to further accidents. Hence, it is imperative that this be standardized to some extent. The way this can be done is to build a reference design. These essentially have the plan view and section view of a typical road section. For any new road, this should be adhered too.

Now obviously one reference design will not suffice for the variety of roads that are in use in a city. For example, a residential road will look quite different from an arterial road. Thus there is a need to make many such reference designs for a variety of roads. To do this, roads should be categorized depending on their primary use and width. A reference design should be then done for each of these road types. This becomes a template developed for these type of roads, and one would have a template for each road type.

Lastly, for this to have an impact city-wide, these templates should be mandatory part of the road specifications and tendering process. If the road developed is given to a private contractor, it should be ensured that the geometric design is specified and the given template is adhered too. Over time, this will ensure all roads have a basic uniformity, as well as are optimized to meet the local need and the broad objectives set out at the beginning of the document.

 

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