Thanks to large number of traffic signals, one-way traffic arrangements and heavy volume of traffic

Travelling on city roads has become a time-consuming affair, thanks to the installation of a large number of traffic signals, one-way traffic arrangements and heavy volume of traffic.

Earlier, H. Arvind Mahesh, a resident of Velachery who works at a private firm on Greams Road, was able to reach his office in little over half-an-hour. But now it takes him more than one hour during rush hour, as several new traffic signals have come up. Pointing to a few “unnecessary signal installations” that are of little help, he has to cross a total of 19 signals to reach his office.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M. Ravi, citing that traffic signals in several cities abroad are installed at every 100 metres with a pelican signal for pedestrian crossing located in between, says that traffic signals are less in number in the city.

He also said that the implementation of the Intelligent Traffic System (ITS), which has been put in place in 13 locations on Anna Salai and Kamaraj Salai, has helped ease flow of traffic between signals.

In the ITS, a traffic signal grid forms a virtual loop system, where in the signals will be linked to a master control room through wireless technology, seeking to aid efficient traffic management.

A retired official of the Highways Department said that traffic management is a scientific process involving traffic engineering, education and enforcement.

The study of traffic engineering considers vehicle count during rush hour and otherwise for providing signal timing, vehicle pollution and the number of road accidents factors for good traffic management.

Faulty signal design and one-way traffic management had created heavy artificial traffic causing losses comprising money, time and environment, says the traffic expert.

Citing the wrong traffic arrangement at the Eldams Road junction, he says vehicles coming from Eldams Road and proceeding to Pondy Bazaar had such a simple way of crossing the junction, but today vehicles have to take a detour to reach Pondy Bazaar.

The traffic police in the year 2000 had implemented the Green corridor project from Pallavan Salai to Peters Road-Anna Salai junction to enable motorists to travel without halts at traffic signals.

The Rs. 15-lakh project was sponsored by the Indian Oil Corporation.

Explaining the background of the designing of Green corridor, the retired Highways official said synchronising of traffic signals by determining the vehicle speed from one junction to another with minimum delay in each junction allowed motorists to drive at a steady speed without having to stop between the signals of the Green corridor.

The ITS, said to be an advanced version of the concept, has been tried out earlier, too.

In the eighties, the Highways Department, with funds from World Bank, had installed vehicle detectors at Arunachalam Salai and Swamy Sivananda Salai of the Periyar Statue traffic junction, which work just like the ITS.

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