Published : Times of India
The citys traffic police are improving junctions to make the traffic flow easier and faster.B S Manu Rao reports
An important component of BTRAC – an initiative of the traffic police to improve the traffic conditions in the city – is junction improvement.Not much is spoken of this aspect of traffic management as it is not as visible as a grade separator or such major works,or as expensive for that matter.Unlike cameras,signal lights or interceptors,junctions dont draw the attention of motorists,but play a crucial role in making the flow of traffic smoother through crucial intersections.
The traffic police have been improving junctions in the city to make the traffic flow easier and faster through busy intersections.Incidentally,nowhere in the world does a traffic police department work on junction improvement projects other than here in Bangalore.
While the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and Bangalore Development Authority have undertaken major road development works such as widening and flyovers,the citys traffic police take care of modifying the geometrics of the junctions,a low-cost solution,that can make a big difference to the flow of traffic.Junction improvement works cost anywhere between Rs 2-5 lakhs.
There are two factors that determine the speed of traffic.One is the capacity of the road and the other is the capacity of the junction.A wide road is of no use if there is a narrow junction creating a bottleneck.Also,a wide junction will be of no use if the road leading to it is narrow.Now,while we cannot have flyovers everywhere,the alternative is to improve junctions,says Praveen Sood,Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic).
Explaining the concept of junction improvement,he demonstrates how it helps make the traffic flow smooth.We have designed bellshaped corners.This helps the traffic glide and merge with the flow on the next road.It is a lot easier to negotiate a bell-shaped corner than a sharp one,he says.
The Nanjappa Road junction near the hockey stadium is an example.
Another concept is the creation of traffic islands to direct motorists into a lane.When you have a wide junction,you need to channelise traffic,or else there will be chaos as no one will follow lanes.Therefore,we have created islands to channelise traffic,especially when there is a free left,or free right from a one-way road.These islands also serve as a refuge for pedestrians.It is difficult to cross a wide junction and the islands help pedestrians make it across safely.They are also useful for our constables to regulate traffic from,Praveen elaborates.
The islands near Chalukya Hotel – Basaveshwara Circle and next to Race Club are examples of this concept.
Another option used by the traffic police is flaring.Here,the road near the junction is broadened.When an entire stretch cannot be widened,we increase the width near the junction.Sometimes,all we need to do is take some space from the footpath.This increases the capacity of the junction to accommodate vehicles waiting for the light to turn green.Flaring is an effective way to quicken the flow of traffic at a junction,says Praveen.
More junctions to be improved
This year,as many as 50 junctions across the city,including some in residential areas,are going to be improved by the traffic police.We have improved 14 junctions in 2008 and 19 junctions in 2009.JSS and JBS junctions in Banashankari are notable improvements that streamlined the traffic flow.Lal Bagh West Gate junction improvement reduced the signal cycle time from 250 seconds to 150 seconds.Among the major junctions planned to be improved this year are the Race Course Road junction,DSouza Circle on Richmond Road and the one in front of Garuda Mall on Magarath Road,Praveen says.
Speaking on the success of the initiative,he says,the entire traffic pattern changed on Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road after a junction improvement there.The islands created there have speeded up the traffic considerably.Also,islands add beauty to a spot.We have ensured that not a single tree is cut to create an island.
Anything to speed up traffic is most welcome,especially initiatives such as this one that is easy on the budget and high in efficiency.
The islands on Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road have changed the traffic pattern,making it easier for motorists
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