With more number of vehicles being added to the city roads every day, traffic policing has gained focus, writes R. Sujatha
In the days to come, city residents making their way through congested roads may look for visible changes in the way traffic flow is managed. With more number of vehicles being added to the city roads everyday, traffic policing has gained focus.
New City Police Commissioner R. Sekar, who has served in various capacities in the traffic wing in the city, is known for putting in place systems to ease traffic congestion. He is credited with introducing one-way stretches on Sterling Road and in Purasawalkam, T. Nagar and Mylapore.
But these measures are not enough. On arterial roads such as Poonamallee High Road and Anna Salai, traffic pile-up is common not just during rush hour but also during afternoons. Several stretches in the city have been made one-way in the last one year but lack of regulation of these stretches and doubleside parking have left very little of the carriageway for vehicle movement.
The city’s traffic pattern has also changed over the years. Gone are the days when the roads were congested only from 8 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. Rush hour now extends almost throughout the day.
On some stretches of arterial roads, three rows of vehicle parking have taken up two-thirds of the carriageway. This delays traffic movement and adding to the problem are Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses that stop in the middle of the road instead at the designated bus bays.
“Now we have to think of ways to ensure a free flow of traffic on major arterial roads. The first move is to make roads free of obstruction.” Mr.Sekar says, adding that preventing double parking and monitoring of traffic jams would be among the priorities. The police are identifying underutilised roads that could be used to divert vehicular traffic.
Among the major concerns are traffic jams during hours when schools start and finish.
Getting traffic to move through the smaller underutilised lanes would ease congestion. One of the first measures he has suggested is ensuring that educational institutions and companies identify their own parking lots for their buses and vans.
Free traffic flow would mean the police would be able to concentrate on other things such as checking overloaded vehicles and drivers jumping signals.
“It is about good traffic management and not managing rush-hour traffic,” he says. Police patrolling would include personnel from the rank of Assistant Commissioner to the Sub-Inspector, he said.