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Updated: June 14, 2012 16:31 IST

Traffic study zooms in on city roads

Deepa H. Ramakrishnan
Comment (9)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
The Hindu

The study reveals vehicular population and pedestrian density. It has been commissioned by the Highways Department as part of project to upgrade 3 arterial roads. The Highways Department has asked the consultant to focus on pedestrian facilities and safety in more locations as well.

Do you drive along Anna Salai every day to get to your work place? Then your vehicle is among the 1.83 lakh that use the arterial road on a weekday. In close competition with Anna Salai are Poonamallee High Road that is used by 1.70 lakh vehicles and Jawaharlal Nehru Salai, which carries 1.85 lakh vehicles every weekday.

These statistics are the result of a traffic study by S.N. Bhobe & Associates, the Highways Department-appointed consultant, whose findings will help the department's initiative to upgrade the three arterial roads to international standards. During a recent meeting of senior officials, the company made a presentation about the progress of the study.

Importantly, the study looked at pedestrian crossings at 18 locations in the city and found that during peak hours, over 12,500 persons cross Poonamallee High Road near Central Station in an hour, 9,000 persons cross at Vadapalani, and 4,500 cross at Vijayanagar in Velachery. The Highways Department has asked the consultant to focus on pedestrian facilities and safety in more locations as well.

“We have suggested 20 more locations and also given different timings for CMBT, Central Station and Perungalathur and Tambaram bus stops. This will help us decide upon the kind of pedestrian facility required at those spots,” said a senior official.

The consultant has also been asked to provide different lane configurations for the carriageway, which is the area that has black tar topping. This is done based on traffic survey. “We have asked them to speed up the planning for Jawaharlal Nehru Salai as Metro Rail work is nearing completion,” said an official.

So far, the consultant, who has a total of nine months to complete its work, has finished collection of topographic details, studies on turning movement, origin and destination, slow versus fast vehicles, and accident data.

K. Parthiban, an autorickshaw driver from Adyar, who takes a passenger to Ashok Nagar daily, said traffic crawls on 100-Feet Road (Jawaharlal Nehru Salai). “There is a lot of dust and almost every stretch is a one-way on that road. Save for my regular customer, I mostly go on short trips. Five years ago, autorickshaws used to be able to nip into small gaps in the traffic and drive on. But now even ambulances get stuck, which is a very unfortunate situation,” he said.

A senior urban planner said the Metro Rail and a dedicated lane for a BRTS corridor would aid the cause of public transportation. “The growth of vehicles would be controlled. When public transportation improves, the 10 per cent growth rate would come down.”

However a retired traffic planner who has worked on government infrastructure projects in the city said that unless there is a guarantee that the design of the Highways would be replicated elsewhere, these three roads would remain a model. “What is required is course correction in codes of practice. The Chennai Corporation is also upgrading 30 roads. But they would follow different codes and there would be a different consultant with a different set of ideas. As an outsider, I would look for uniformity and an identity for the city. Take the simple matter of signages in the city — the corporation and highways have different boards. There has to be a change in the mindset of officials and engineers,” he said.

More In: Chennai

Of the1.8 lakhs vehicles on the Mount road, how many are two wheeler, cars, buses, and other vehicles. Depending on the ratio, carriage ways should be earmarked. How many pedestrian use the roads? Do we have the statistics, (the roads are used by pedestrians because they don't have a footpath to walk.)
There should be a Separate carriageway for the two-wheelers, and a useable footpath free of hawkers for the pedestrians.
And on top of it, HOW MANY FATAL ACCIDENTS HAVE OCCURRED IN THE LAST ONE YEAR IN EACH OF THESE ROADS. All these should be taken into consideration, and interaction with the public should be done in regular intervals for taking their inputs. After all, the public are the users of these roads. (The public also should not shy away from such interactions). The roads should be designed for accident free, flow of traffic.
Founder Member, Accident Prevention Association of India

from:  P. Karthikeyan
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 13:36 IST

Chennai is a nightmare for pedestrians and motorists both!lack of discipline is all over! traffic police are confused lot having no clues of what to do in a tight situtation!they need training! So many infrastructure projects at a time in the same area create only more congestion and confusion!once these projects are over, another govt will come up with another project and so on.public keep suffering all the time! in fact there was no need for a metro line through jn road.we will see that the facility will be grossly underutilised!usage of pedestrian walkways by the vendors and local traders should be strictly banned by the corporation and fined steeply.but who cares as long as the officials are corrupt!ultimately, the new facilities will be drain on the resources and pain for the public!we do not learn to do things properly!fate of india!but only indians can live in india,truly!

from:  Rajendran
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 11:08 IST

Our Indian drivers need to be a self disciplined lot.They should follow the rules.One of the needs would be to have traffic cameras on the different high density roads & junctions to monitor high speeding vehicles, more boards indicating speed limits put in a visible manner,and heavy fines for violators. Yes this is possible if we have a corruption free police force.Once it is on camera, the information can be sent to the person in whose name the vehicle is registered.Why not the transport minister of Tamil Nadu visit atleast UK. Here for example the fine for a person who has entered a no entry road is 130 pounds. i pound is nearly Rs 83/-.Unless we implement this in a strong manner, traffic jams will continue.

from:  G. Vaidyanathan
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 10:54 IST

One of the main issue is not using metro train combo with MTC buses. For
example all the buses going to OMR should start near Thiruvanmiyur
station. There is lot of place adjutant to the canal after crossing the
road. The buses should start from that place to OMR instead of
Thiruvanmiyur. There is no need of buses going up to Thiruvanmiyur bus
depot. Simlarly in evenings all the buses can end in taramani terminal
so that all of them catch the train quickly..

from:  Murali Alwar
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 10:34 IST

All these studies cover only arterial roads. The authorities rarely bother about other main roads and smaller roads. Traffic is often diverted through smaller roads in residential localities without any consideration for the local residents and pedestrians. And lastly will our motorists ever learn driving desciplin?

from:  Giri
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 09:11 IST

The real issue is that movement from Tiruvotriyur to Tiruvanmiyur on the eastern end of Chennai to western suburbs continues to be a bottleneck.
What government is doing is, it continues to invest on the same 3 Arterial corridors, instead of finding a solution for East to west movement.Can we expect a serious action on this important issue.

Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 09:02 IST

Before improving walkways, it must be ensured that the encroachments of
any sort would be dealt with severe punishment. Money spent on walkways
only facilitates encroachers.

from:  R.Ganesan.
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 04:14 IST

If people drive better, traffic moves faster and existing infrastructure is used better. Is there any effort to imrove driving habits - sticking to a 'lane' (even if there is no marked lane) and not weaving in and out of traffic; waiting your turn in the lane instead of passing all waiting vehicles to get in front, and so on.

from:  I.C.Nito
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 20:16 IST

These statistical details offered by S.N. Bhobe & Associates on traffic pattern are highly commendable. But, studies such as these have no bearing in India. I hold no grudge against Chennai, but the situation is same in all major cities in India. All these expensive studies notwithstanding, the problem in India is more of institutional type backed by lot of apathy. My larger point – the time lapse from the point these studies are carried (or commissioned) to the point of implementation? Sometimes, the government changes and studies such as these carry no value to the new administration and never followed through. Because these suggestions are not implemented with alacrity, a new traffic pattern emerges with another moribund study that goes nowhere and so the cycle continues. We need infra structure improvement on a constant basis irrespective of the political party in charge and that is not happening in Chennai. Clogged up traffic are serious issue and a health menace.

from:  Raman
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 17:02 IST
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