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Damned in a Jam: City Looks For a Way Out

Published: 24th August 2014 06:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2014 06:31 AM   |  A+A-

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BANGALORE: With a recent study by the Consortium of Traffic Engineers and Safety Trainers (CTEST) revealing that the average vehicular speed in central parts of the city is just 9kmph, traffic experts have suggested various means to decongest the roads.

According to traffic expert Prof M N Sreehari, who also heads the Consortia of Infrastructure Engineers, the study was conducted in the month of June/July on major roads which are in a 5-km radius of Vidhana Soudha.

The average speed of vehicular movement is 9 kmph on these roads. On some of the roads like Silk Board Junction to Outer Ring Road, Musuem Road and St Mark’s Road, the average speed is just above 4 kmph.

There are close to 54 lakh vehicles in Bangalore and around 1,250 new vehicles are added every day.

According to BBMP road history data, there are 93,000 roads in Bangalore measuring 18,000 km. Prof Sreehari said that existing Bangalore roads have a capacity of 15 lakh vehicles only. More than 60 per cent of roads in the city are narrow.

Explaining further, he blamed non-availability of traffic policemen at traffic signals, work undertaken by BBMP and other civic agencies for slow-moving traffic. “If it continues, in another four to five years, walking will be faster than vehicular movement,” he rued.

‘Trains Can Help Ease Traffic’

Prof Sreehari suggested making use of South Western Railway’s service. “There are railway lines connecting Bangalore to Ramanagaram, Tumkur, Hosur, Kolar and other places. Trains can be operated between city central to Kengeri, Bidadi and Yelahanka. If trains are run on these lines, traffic burden on roads can be reduced drastically.”

Speaking on lack of traffic police, he said there are 48,000 junctions across the city, where at least two roads intersect. Of this, 6,000 junctions are problematic which need a control device or a traffic policeman for better management of traffic. There are around 400 traffic signals. “One policeman is monitoring one traffic signal for the entire day. The State government should recruit them in more number,” he said. If more number of policemen are visible on roads, traffic violations leading to traffic congestion can be reduced, he added.

Congestion Tax

Sreehari suggested that the state government impose a congestion tax on major and busy roads across the city. “If they start charging a fee to use roads, the number of vehicles will reduce. However, one should not charge for public transport vehicles, which, in turn, will encourage people to use them,” he said.

Urban Expert V Ravichander suggested expansion of the public transport system and said more people need to leave their private vehicles at home. He also felt that car pooling could help. This apart, Ravichander said, staggering school and office timings will help in reducing traffic congestion during peak hours.

Efforts to Reduce Traffic

District In-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy said they are making efforts to reduce the traffic burden. At present, Metro work is going on at many places. Once all the routes are functional, traffic burden on roads will reduce, he said. Signal-free corridors are also being made to make traffic movement easier. However, he said, public should also co-operate. “They should switch to public transport,” he said.

He also said when he was a Palike councillor in the 1980s, he used to travel in the then BTS buses. “If we insist on our councillors, who will listen to us?” he questioned.

What Can be Done

■  Use of public transport

■  One car per house

■   Car pooling

■  Changing school and office timings

 



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