Need for long-term traffic planning and strategy

Burgeoning vehicle movement increases the pressure on

existing city

roads, writes

R. Rajaram

The rising traffic has increased the pressure on the existing road space calling for a long-term traffic planning and strategy to manage the traffic flow effectively and to ease congestion.

The rising number of two-wheelers and cars, which form the bulk of vehicles in the city, is evident from the number of vehicles registered in the Tiruchi Regional Transport Office (RTO).

Statistics provided by the Transport Department reveal that as many as 10,462 two-wheelers were registered during 2008-09. The number of new cars registered in the Tiruchi RTO was over 1,500.

The number of two-wheelers and cars registered till date in the current financial year has already surpassed the 2008 figures. The number of two-wheelers registered as of now is 12,116, while it is 1,884 with respect to cars.

On an average, about 70 new vehicles of different types are registered every day, says a senior official adding that majority of the vehicles registered in the Tiruchi RTO operate within the city.

This apart, scores of vehicles get registered everyday at the Srirangam RTO and Tiruverambur unit office.

Burgeoning vehicle movement on the existing city road space means more challenge for the law enforcers, especially those in the Traffic Wing, in managing the sheer volume of traffic and preventing congestion.

With residential localities proliferating on the one hand and the growth of industries and educational institutions (the city is poised to get an Information Technology Park and Indian Institute of Management soon) on the other, traffic is only expected to swell further.

Long-time city residents feel that given the pace at which vehicle population is booming the existing road space will simply be inadequate to take the huge volume of traffic besides posing problems for parking of vehicles in the future.

Given the increasing volume of traffic, the official machinery should devise a traffic planning action plan for the city for the next 25 years after obtaining inputs and suggestions from different agencies, says K.G. Muralidharan, an industrialist and a resident of the city.

The drive against encroachments along city roads should sustain to ease congestion, he said while suggesting development of satellite townships and reorienting traffic network. Shifting of central bus stand to a peripheral area would enable development of the area besides easing congestion at the present location, he adds.

The authorities concerned should seriously think of opening up the 100 Feet Road, that lies in disuse now on the Western side of the Thillai Nagar Main Road, to divert traffic flow, says retired Professor Rangarajan.

Time has come for the authorities to construct mini flyovers or subways wherever feasible within the city. A flyover or a subway could be thought of near the Main Guard Gate, says Prof. Rangarajan.

Town Planning earlier was not carried out in anticipation of the future rise in traffic in Tiruchi, he says while suggesting that parking provision should be made mandatory as part of the plan for construction of flats or shopping complexes henceforth.

Establishment of multi-level parking lots is another option that could be seriously explored by the authorities, he adds.

Basic infrastructure should be developed in the peripheral areas to enable people move to those places in order to reduce the pressure in the city's main areas, he said.