Agonising wait at signals

Last Updated 21 April 2014, 13:55 IST
In a city with lakhs of vehicles plying on the roads daily, traffic jams are inevitable. 

But adding to the traffic congestion is the fact that the traffic signals are often poorly coordinated, with certain stretches being impossible to pass through especially during peak hours. 

One can clearly see this at junctions like Bhashyam Circle, Sony World signal (Koramangala), Sarjapur Road-Wipro junction, Trinity Circle, Mahadevpura, City Market etc.

Sibarshis Dutta, a corporate professional, says that he encounters a poorly managed traffic signal at Yelahanka New Town everyday on his way to work and back. 

“There’s a particular crossing where there are two different signals that don’t complement each other’s timing. So vehicles come from two different ends and always get confused at the U-turn, leading to chaos. The cops know about this problem and wait at the U-turn to fine the unfortunate confused motorist. The only solution could be if they could provide only one signal in the middle and if the cops guide the motorists rather than imposing fines,” he says. 

Sibarshis adds that the crossing at Mahadevpura before Phoenix MarketCity is another such signal. 

“There’s a small tunnel on the left before the road leading to the mall and people use that to avoid traffic. But this ends up causing more of a jam!” he adds.

According to Aditya Srivats, a biking enthusiast, traffic at junctions like Sony World, Domlur Flyover, Silk Board or Vellara builds up further because of signals being 

“At certain crossroads like Sony World junction, the roads are clogged for kilometres at a stretch and one is forced to wait for long intervals because they open the traffic once every three to five minutes. The signal can be opened for shorterintervals to allow a smoother flow of vehicles. Such signals make the ride home really stressful after sitting in the office for eight hours straight. Even small gullies that could have been shortcuts are blocked most of the time,” he points out.

When asked about the measures taken to improve traffic flow, additional commissioner of police (traffic and security) B Dayananda explains that signal coordination is based on a tried and tested method of vehicle movement monitoring, which is done at the traffic management centre.

“The traffic signals depend on the movement of vehicles from one direction to another.

So during peak hours, for instance, we have to keep the signal green for a longer 
time in the direction of the heavy flow. 
The ‘peak hour cycle’ of signaling is also done manually sometimes when the traffic clearance isn’t effective with the automatic signals. 

The ‘general cycle’ applies when the flow of vehicles isn’t much from any direction in particular. 

And the ‘night cycle’ has even shorter signals as there’s much less vehicle flow. 
Areas like ITPL, Whitefield and Electronic City are a priority when there’s heavy incoming traffic to and from the City,” he explains. 

Technology comes toone’s aid in traffic jams, says Shridhar, a student. 

“I often travel long distances to meet friends who stay far away. I plan my route looking at Google Maps, which has colour coding to show which areas have heavy traffic and estimates how much time it will take to get to a destination,” he notes. 

(Published 21 April 2014, 13:54 IST)

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