New system in the pipeline to cut waiting time at signals

New system in the pipeline to cut waiting time at signals

New system in the pipeline  to cut waiting time at signals
From just one lakh in 1976 to about 60 lakh in 2016, the vehicle population in Bengaluru has grown at an alarming rate of about 700 per cent in 40 years. But the condition of roads remains the same, especially in the Central Business District (CBD).

So, what is the solution? The traffic police, besides encouraging public transport (BMTC buses and Metro), are examining the feasibility of implementing the Area Traffic Control system for smooth movement of vehicles.

The system will control the duration of red and green signals based on the density of vehicle population. “We have asked technical experts to study the system and will implement it depending on its feasibility. This is in the initial stage,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M A Saleem told Deccan Herald.

Under the system, a group of traffic signals in an area will be co-ordinated and their settings optimised to reduce vehicle delays and stops. This will create even distribution of traffic. The timing plans of traffic controller change automatically to reduce stoppage time, which in turn reduces the overall journey time, he said.

The traffic police had earlier introduced synchronised traffic signals, but the results were poor given the high vehicle population. Vehicles often get blocked from one signal to the other. The volume of traffic is higher than the capacity of roads, Saleem said. The average vehicle speed in Bengaluru has dropped from 20 kmph in 2010 to less than 9 kmph at present. While two-wheelers (40 lakhs) form the higher portion of vehicle population, there are 11 lakh passenger cars (light motor vehicles). Considering that almost 3,000 vehicles are registered every day, the vehicle speed may go down to 5 kmph, which is almost equal to walking.

Urban expert Ashwin Mahesh feels the government has done little to improve the public transport. He said that while half of Bengaluru’s commuters depend on 6,500 BMTC buses, the remaining half uses more than 54 lakh vehicles. This means that the solution to traffic congestion lies in improving the public transport. The government should triple the bus fleet. Bengaluru needs no less than 15,000 BMTC buses, he stressed.

Lokesh Hebbani, Transportation Programme Manager at the Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning at IISc, said the government must implement staggering work hours in Bengaluru. Companies could offer incentives like free bus tickets to encourage staff to use public transport, as is done abroad. BMTC buses should get priority on roads, with dedicated lanes in peak time, he added.
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