Traffic Jam In Bangalore Essay Format

1. Overview

2. History

3. Data

4. Solutions

5. Examples

6. References

BBMP and Road Widening

Most aware citizens say that widening roads to fight traffic congestion is like buying larger clothes to fight obesity. BBMP and some others feel that some arterial roads are choked, and road widening is a must.

Such direct focus on roads, and so little on mobility has been a problem with Bangalore's planners for a decade now. But its only in early 2010, when a large road widening scheme from BBMP threatened to touch thousands of private properties that the debate has hit common citizens of Bengaluru.

Scientifically speaking, city roads needs consistent width - 4 lanes would do just fine - in corridors, better management of stopping and parking along the ribbons of corridors, width for pedestrians to keep them off the tar, and improvement at junctions to manage the flow.

At times, road widening is also discussed in the context of "Signal Free Corridors". But going by BBMP's plans, it is not clear if all road widening work has been planned as part of select few "signal free corridors". Even there, feasibility of creating a dozen signal free corridors inside the city area is itself a heavily debated subject.

How Wide is Wide?

Nomatter however the road is wide, there is always traffic jams. Still BBMP seems to have not analyzed the problem and expanding the roads by cutting trees and reducing pavements has become its endless project. Today morning I saw trees on the Maharani's College Road while getting down the Anand Rao circle which were 'alive' from 100s of years being cut to widen further. Already the road is 1 way and it is a 4 lane road. Why to loose our greenery unnecessarily. Also the pavements were narrowed still further. We all know, how matter the road is wide, still traffic will not reduce. Length of the jam decreases and width increases. We have seen the examples of Bangkok, as well as we have seen the roads of California. Its all so wide still there are lots of delays in traffic. Why to loose our precious trees which are seniors in terms of age for a foolish act of road widening which we all know is not going to give us any solution. Loosing the tree for a Metro Rail / Mono Rail is OK since it is minimal as well as it is definitely give us a solution. Still, alternative routes should be taken wherever possible to avoid tree cutting such as the case in Nanda Road. I think the act of BBMP to cut trees to widen road is just 'ridiculous'. What is our environmental agency 'Hasiru Usiru' doing?

Maharajah's 13 acre donation to Bangalore

I guess the Grand Poobah has consented to giving some of his palace land for greater good so we can now get back to solving the making-cauvery-junction-signal-free riddle from square one. Hope they will build a regular flyover now and close the current magic box for good.

So the chicken neck on Bellary Road is expected to be gone in 3 months. I am confident BBMP's road engineering techniques will ensure we will have the same jams we are having now as it will just be a sea of asphalt with no pedestrian sidewalk and road markings.

Mayor shelves road widening

Just happened to come across this news from couple of weeks ago. BBMP Mayor finally shelves the road widening plans. Temporarily? Your guess is as good as mine.

Aug/6 - Chronicle:  

Addressing a press conference Mr Nataraj said BBMP and property owners themselves were free to erase the red markings on buildings and houses in the core areas of the city for the time being. “Roads will be widened only in the newly added areas and where people themselves feel it is neccessary,” he said.

....... the mayor said he had written to the state government to earmark 20 per cent of BDA sites for a rehabilitation package for those who stood to lose 90 % of their property.

“If the government fails to respond positively road widening will be aborted,” he promised

So, does this mean they will proceed if government agrees to earmark BDA sites? What a contradiction. Our leaders have become the masters of saying both yes and no in the same breath, and we have become the masters of beliving what they say.

He also revealed that a scientific survey would be conducted from September onwards to zero in on the roads
that need to be widened. After the survey, members of Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) and others would be consulted before the work began.
“Only If 90 % of the people agree on widening a particular stretch, will it be taken up,” Mr Nataraj added.

Whether we believe or not, we should at least put pressure on them to follow their words. 

Mysore Road - Choke Point 1 - Guddadahalli Junction

The BBMP has propsed that the stretch from Sirsi Circle to Gali Anjaneya Temple on Mysore Road be widened. This involves chopping trees all along the stretch. These are already well-known plans from the news reports and praja discussions. There are a couple of estimates on the number of trees to be chopped some saying 50 and some 100+. But, lets not be get into the numbers. Whats important is to find ways to solve the bottleneck without chopping the trees, if any available.

Mysore Road starts from KR Market. Vehicles zip across from Town hall on the flyover for about 2.5 kms, pass over the Sirsi Circle, and get struck at the ramp of the flyover. Why ? There is a choke point immediately after the flyover (about 150mts away).

The picture above shows the road plan to the west of  Sirsi Circle. The Flyover bring in two lanes of traffic, the surface level slip road from Sirsi Circle brings another two lanes of traffic and there is two more lanes of traffic joining the 'intersection' from Chamarajapet, through the Albert Victor Road. That is six lanes of traffic merging into two lanes in space of about 100 mts. Add to this, there is a right turn into Old Guddadahalli immediately after, and hence the merged traffic should also re-align lanes so enable vehicles from AV Road to enter Guddadahalli Road.

There is a traffic signal installed about 200 mts from the end of flyover, only to enable the right turn into Guddadahalli. This means the traffic on the other side of the road - from Bapujinagar to Sirsi Circle/Flyover - gets stalled at the si. gnal. This creates long jams on both sides of the road. Peaks hours are terribly bad, Saturdays are worse!!

The solution to this issue lies in widening the junction to accomodate more vehicles. Long stretches of roads need not be widened for smoother traffic flow. Its time now for BBMP to widen junctions, as against road widening. This post has a plan to fasten the exit from this intersection.

Firstly, there are two small streches to be widened (marked in the picture above). On the northern side, the strech from DHL office to the burial ground - about 200mts - has to be widened.  On the other side of Mysore Road, the stretch from the end of Albert Victor road to the IOC petrol bunk (immediately after the present signal) has to be widened. This will mean loss of only 3 trees each on either side( two more have already been chopped off!!).

Another important change required at the junction is to remove the traffic signal. This can be achieved by a simple 7mts (two lane) magic box on the northern half of the Guddahalli-Mysore road junction. Illustration below.

 

This will assure uninterruped movement on the nothern side of the road - for vehicles from Bapujinagar side to Sirsi Circle. Post widening, there will be enough width (single lane)on the surface level for any vehicles from Bapujinagar to turn left into Guddadahalli.

For vehicles from Ch'pet or Sirsi Circle, removal of the signal will mean uninterrupted right turn into Guddadahalli. U-turns for the same vehicles will also become more faster, since they do not have to compete for the road space with the vehicles in other direction.

These two simple steps will help ensure fast movement of traffic, at only about 10% of the 17-crore budgeted for widening the road.

There are two further choke points - one near the Shell petrol bunk and another close to the Gali Anjaneya Temple. I will write on these two separately.

Road Widening Hits Road Block - PIL

Karnataka High Court admits PIL against Road Widening Projects in Bangalore

 

Issues emergent notices to Respondents

Mr. Chief Justice Cyriac Joseph and Mr. Justice A. N. Venugopal Gowda, constituting the Division Bench of the Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka, today admitted a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Environment Support Group and others against the ongoing irrational road widening projects of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP – Corporation of the City of Greater Bangalore). Appreciating the urgency for considering the need to protect avenue trees from needless felling and safeguarding various rights and priveleges of pedestrians, street vendors, etc., the Hon'ble Judges issued emergent notices to the Respondents while also allowing for serving of hand summons.

The PIL challenges BBMP's ongoing project of widening 91 roads (a number likely to increase) in Bangalore, running into a length of about 400 kms. across the length and breadth of the old city areas. This mega project is predicated on the premise that it would result in improved flow of traffic and reduce congestion. However, no evidence has been presented to prove that the result of widening would actually achieve these objectives. In contrast to the approach adopted by BBMP, experience from densely populated and leading cities from across the world prove that widening of roads is not the solution for easing traffic congestion. Instead intelligent design approaches, responsive (rather than reactionary) traffic management, enhancement of public transport, improvement in pedestrian zones, protection of livelihoods of vendors, and discouraging personalised modes of transport have successfully addressed the most serious traffic congestion problems of mega cities. Such approaches have also enabled the protection of cultural heritage, public spaces and urban greenery, significantly enhancing the environmental quality of urban areas.

 

The PIL makes a strong case against tree felling as the first step to road widening by demonstrating that the work undertaken by BBMP in several roads has proved unsuccessful in reducing traffic congestion. The Petitioners submit that the actions of the Tree Officer in authorising the felling of hundreds of avenue trees violate various provisions of the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, and is admittedly an action taken under duress. In most cases where hundreds of really old avenue trees have been felled, the stated object of widening has not been achieved even after years, as various utilities have not shifted out of the proposed right of way, or such spaces have been encroached by places of worship.

 

The PIL relies heavily on the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, the National Urban Transport Policy and a variety of circulars issued by the Union Urban Development Secretary that argue for a rational and intelligent approach to managing congestion in urban areas. In particular, it makes a case that the object of all travel is to ensure people move across cities in safety and comfort, thus necessitating privileges to pedestrian movement, non-motorised forms of transport and public transport. Contrarily, the BBMP's approach seems to arrogate a right for the private motor car over all other modes of travel, thereby extinguishing many fundamental rights, while also exposing the public at large to great discomfort and even harm.

The PIL presents a variety of evidence to argue that the road widening programme is illegal as it has skirted fundamental public consultation processes required per the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act. In addition the draft Comprehensive Development Plan -2005 (CDP) of Bangalore Development Authority, defining land use of the city, did not contain any proposal for widening roads on such a grand scale. Surprisingly, the final CDP – 2007 introduced plans for most inner city roads to be widened without in any manner informing or involving the public, an action that is patently illegal.

The PIL is a result of a long and deliberate series of proactive steps taken by the Petitioners along with Hasiru Usiru, anetwork of concerned groups and individuals in Bangalore. The Petitioners draw attention to the ruling of the Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka in 2005 (WP No. 14104/2005) in which the Government was directed to involve the public in decisions relating to road widening and tree felling. It is submitted that despite exhaustive efforts on the part of the Petitioners and Hasiru Usiru urging the Government and its agencies to engage with the public in evolving such schemes, the current road widening project has been rushed through disregarding the directions of the Hon'ble Court. In this context, it is prayed that the Hon'ble Court be pleased to strike down the road widening proposals, and the consequent tree felling orders. In addition, it is prayed that the Govenment be directed to evolve rational road development proposals that met with the highest standards of law, policy and urban planning.

 

The petitioners Environment Support Group and CIVIC Bangalore were represented by Advocate Mr. Sunil Dutt Yadav and Mr. Leo F. Saldanha, Coordinator, Environment Support Group, appeared in person. A copy of the PIL is accessible online on ESG website.

Road Widening hits a road block?

Today’s Sunday times had the head line on road widening ahead of Food Ball news for a change.

Your house cannot be taken forcibly under TDR.

“As per the rules, BBMP can take up road widening only under the Transferable Developments Rights Scheme (TDR). If the private property owner does not cooperate in giving away his land for road widening the process cannot be taken up legally”

The only option for BBMP is to forcibly acquire the property by paying current market rate under Karnataka land acquisition act. What then was the relevance of BBMP TDR in the first place? Was it to take away the property without proper compensation? 

Road Widening in Bangalore - City convention on 4th July

Hi All,

"Save Bangalore committe" has taken up for a city convention about road widening in Bangalore.

Thought of sharing the information with all of you. Please go through the attachment for the details.

Thanks,

Manoj

Hi All,

"Save Bangalore committe" has taken up for a city convention about road widening in Bangalore.

Thought of sharing the information with all of you. Please go through the attachment for the details.

Thanks,

Manoj

Road widening - Futility & Alternatives

Road widening - Futility & Alternatives

Background

BBMP listed 217 roads to be widened. This has caused much worry among citizens as it entails widespread destruction of both greenery & property. Why do so many roads need to be widened? What are the characteristics of congestion on this road? What are the traffic patterns on these roads? Should congestion be reduced by widening or by any other strategy? Are already widened roads being used efficiently? Have we addressed the efficiency of current road widths? This paper attempts to focus on the efficiency of current available road space and put widening into perspective as a long term strategy.

Futility

The simple truth is that building more highways and widening existing roads, almost always motivated by concern over traffic, does nothing to reduce traffic. In the long run, in fact, it increases traffic.

A recent University of California at Berkeley study covering thirty California counties between 1973 and 1990 found that, for every 10 percent increase in roadway capacity, traffic increased 9 percent within four years' time1.

Yet another study, on why building wider roads isn’t the answer, in analyzing sixty road closures worldwide, found that 20 percent to 60 percent of driving trips disappeared rather than materializing elsewhere2.

USA Today published the following report on Atlanta: "For years, Atlanta tried to ward off traffic problems by building more miles of highways per capita than any other urban area except Kansas City…As a result of the area's sprawl, Atlantans now drive an average of 35 miles a day, more than residents of any other city."· This phenomenon, which is now well known to those members of the transportation industry who wish to acknowledge it, has come to be called induced traffic.

The phenomenon of induced traffic works in reverse as well. When New York's West Side Highway collapsed in 1973, an NYDOT study showed that 93 percent of the car trips lost did not reappear elsewhere; people simply stopped driving.

This condition is best explained by what specialists call latent demand. Since the real constraint on driving is traffic, not cost, people are always ready to make more trips when the traffic goes away. The number of latent trips is huge--perhaps 30 percent of existing traffic. Because of latent demand, adding lanes is futile, since drivers are already poised to use them up.

Automobile use is the intelligent choice for most people because it is what economists refer to as a "free good": the consumer pays only a fraction of its true cost.  We learn in first-year economics what happens when products or services become "free" goods. The market functions chaotically; demand goes through the roof. In most cities, parking spaces, roads and freeways are free goods. Local government services to the motorist and to the trucking industry--traffic engineering, traffic control, traffic lights, police and fire protection, street repair and maintenance--are all free goods.3

A piece of statistic from the Mumbai Traffic Police web site illustrates the magnitude of the problem: While length of roads in Mumbai increased two times between 1951 and 2007, the population increased 5.4 times and the number of vehicles a whopping 43 times.

Another way of widening or adding lanes is to build elevated roads. Essentially it is another way to add bandwidth which is similarly destructive. In fact most countries are today opting to pull down the elevated highways they have built, following are some examples

Elevated roads already removed

Elevated roads being removed

Removals proposed by citizens

Portland, OR: Harbor Drive

Rochester, NY, Innerloop

Baltimore, MD, Jones Falls Expressway

San Francisco, CA: Embarcadero Freeway

Trenton, NJ, Route 29

Seattle, WA, Alaska Way Viaduct

San Francisco, CA: Central Freeway

Akron, OH, Innerbelt

Bronx, NY, Sheridan Expressway

Milwaukee, WI: Park East Freeway

Washington, DC, Whitehurst Freeway

Buffalo, NY, Route 5

Toronto, Ontario: Gardiner Expressway

Cleveland, OH, Shoreway

Hartford, CT, Aetna Viaduct

New York, NY: West Side Highway

New Orleans, LA, Claiborne Expressway

Louisville, KY, Interstate 64

Niagara Falls, NY: Robert Moses Parkway

Nashville, TN, Downtown Loop

Portland, OR, I-5

Boston, MA: Interstate 93 (moved underground)

New Haven, CT, Route 34 Connector

Chicago, IL, Lakeshore Drive

Paris, France: Pompidou Expressway

Montreal, Quebec, Bonaventure Expressway

 

Seoul, South Korea: Cheonggye Freeway

Tokyo, Japan, Metropolitan Expressway

 
 

Sydney, Australia, Cahill Expressway: (Moving to underground)

 

 

What do we want?

The important question is not how many lanes must be built to ease congestion but how many lanes of congestion would we want? Do we favor four lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic at rush hour, or sixteen? So what are we trying to do with these road widening projects? Are we looking to loosen the belt to accommodate the flab or do we have a plan in place to address the bulge?

There will pretty much always be a latent demand for more driving. Much of that demand is discouraged or diverted by congestion. Much of the discouragement goes away when the road is less congested.  

The key is not to strive to reduce congestion. A healthy city must provide alternatives to congestion: convenient bicycling/walking/transit, compact development, pricing roads/parking, etc. And all of these healthy alternatives are much more likely, politically, when there is a lot of congestion. It is no coincidence that those cities with the worst congestion have the best transit.4

Alternatives

Many cities have set modal share targets for balanced and sustainable transport modes, particularly 30% of non-motorized (cycling and walking) and 30% of public transport. A larger plan on limiting road facilities has to take into account provisions for public transport & NMT as well. The modal share of NMT is pretty abysmal for a populated country like ours. Today no road widening includes a default NMT/PT lanes. If transport involves moving humans from place A to place B in the most sustainable way we are exactly not doing that.

In the short term a lot of wastage in built out bandwidth is seen. This leads to traffic jams in addition to volume induced congestion. The effect of this suboptimal usage of bandwidth compounds the feeling of congestion and hence making us feel it is much worse than it actually is

Using existing road width efficiently

In India specifically, today there are many causes of misuse of the current bandwidth. The 3 E’s of traffic namely Engineering, Education & Enforcement are broken. This contributes to traffic jams which take the form of abrupt slowing down of traffic just to sort themselves out on the streets hence causing backups taking a while to unclog. Lets look at the following factors which slow down traffic

Bad Engineering

Inconsistent Lanes – Most lane markings on the roads are ill defined. The lane sizes vary anywhere from 3.5 to 4 meters or more in most stretches and are not consistent all along. Effects of this are merging, severe slowdown of movement and lower than average speed resulting from encroachment into each other’s lanes & fight over road space. This is undesirable as the road engineers have lost control of the traffic & have left the road users to define the space & fend for themselves.

The lane widths need to be  tighter at 3.3 meters & consistent all along.  Especially the outer lanes, toward the curb, tend to hold all excess road space as a part of the lane.  These extra space needs to be blocked for vehicular access by turning them into well marked space for parking or for pedestrians/NMT. The lanes are also discontinuous in most parts. All lanes need to have continuity and any break or merge needs to be properly marked with clear advanced instructions in the form of well-placed signboards

AdHoc Parking – Free parking as currently practiced in the city is a major contributor to this congestion in fact it has been observed in places like palace road that roads have been widened only to accommodate parking. If we have to make any impact in managing traffic we need to impose true cost of parking on the users. These free goods only compound the inducements already provided by widening.

Poor Quality roads – World Bank studies have confirmed that the economic losses due to insufficient  pavement  thickness  and  poor  riding quality is estimated to be of the  order  of  Rs. 30000 crores (300 billion) per annum. This is only the vehicular operation cost and does not include cost of traffic jams caused due to slowdowns & congestions It is clear that interruptions like potholes on the road slow down vehicles causes a backup & jams. Ensuring unscientific speed breakers & potholes are removed from the road

Insufficient traffic Channelizing – Traffic channelizing is the essence of traffic engineering. It is essential to tackle junctions & merges in such a way that there are no impediments to the speed of travel. The average speed of travel can be increased by keeping traffic flowing smoother at lower speed than by having a high speed corridor with many interruptions which bring down the average speed.  Junction optimization with synchronized signaling & vehicle actuated traffic lights can cut down on travel time significantly on key corridors

Bad driver Education

While Engineering lays down the standard for how the traffic should flow it is entirely useless of the drivers who use them are not aware of the appropriate driving practices. It has been found that drivers in the cities are from a lower socio economic background and arrive from places outside the city which do not have a high standard of road infrastructure. It is important then that these people are trained & certified/recertified on the upgraded infrastructure separately. A written & driving test in an RTO office should be made mandatory for people who have obtained license from outside the city. Transport department officials, Police & training institutes should have their staff certified by the Engineering team for proper usage of infrastructure. The transport department needs to also ensure basic vehicle conditions like tail lights & mirrors are in use and not broken or unusable.

Bad Enforcement

Enforcement in India is characterized by low fines leading to callousness by the vehicle user. Fines need to be increased to make  it a viable deterrent & respect needs to be inculcated for Pedestrians & Bicyclists. Transportation is heavily influenced by peer behavior as it is a social exercise. If people notice some people getting away with violations they are encouraged to do the same. Hence visible policing is important to set example and induce proper driving behavior.

Prioritization

Prioritizing road widening projects that are already on stream needs to be completed, their results studied before moving forward and starting other similar projects. Corridors need to have a meaning and not every road which has traffic becomes a corridor. Certain so called corridors like Sankey road already have alternate roads under widening mode. Redundant corridors should not be built as it dilutes the purpose and focus of corridors

Measurement of traffic also has to be done using PCE units rather than PCU units as the weightage for heterogeneous traffic has to be considered. Passenger Car Equivalent (PCE) is essentially the impact that a mode of transport has on traffic variables (such as headway, speed, density) compared to a single car. Typical values of PCE (or PCU) are:

  • private car (including taxis or pick-up) 1
  • motorcycle 0.5
  • bicycle 0.2
  • horse drawn vehicle 4
  • bus, tractor, truck 3.5

Congestion charging

Congestion pricing or congestion charges is a system of surcharging users of a transport network in periods of peak demand to reduce traffic congestion. Traffic in central London post congestion charging went down by about 21 per cent, and traffic speeds went up by about 10%.  reports from the cities that have implemented congestion pricing schemes show traffic volume reductions from 10% to 30% as well as reduced air pollution. Singapore ERP pricing has been effective in maintaining an optimal speed range of 45 to 65 km/h for expressways and 20 to 30 km/h for arterial roads.5

References

1 Carol Jouzatis. "39 Million People Work, Live Outside City Centers." USA Today, November 4, 1997: 1A-2A. As a result of its massive highway construction, the Atlanta area is "one of the nation's worst violators of Federal standards for ground-level ozone, with most of the problem caused by motor-vehicle emissions" (Kevin Sack. "Governor Proposes Remedy for Atlanta Sprawl." The New York Times, January 26, 1999: A14).

2 Jill Kruse. "Remove It and They Will Disappear: Why Building New Roads Isn't Always the Answer." Surface Transportation Policy Project Progress VII:2 (March 1998): 5, 7.

3 Stanley Hart and Alvin Spivak. The Elephant in the Bedroom: Automobile Dependence and Denial; Impacts on the Economy and Environment. Pasadena, Calif.: New Paradigm Books, 1993, 122.

4 An excerpt from Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck North Point Press, 2000, pp. 88-94.

5 Wikipedia

Save these trees - road widening?

BBMP/BWSSB are at it again. I am surprised at the ease with which they go about cutting the trees.

This time it is the stretch of road between BDA junction and Cavery Theater junction (New Airport Road). Some one really very creative is at work here - they are finding new innovative ways to cut down trees and this time BWSSB has chipped in to help them.

In this particular case - BWSSB dug deep trenches just next to the trees (they are laying a pipe line). With in days most of the trees tilted dangerously towards the trench. A couple of days latter all these trees were cut down - may be citing treat to life and property. Surprise surprise, a few days latter, the foot paths are decreased and work is on to increase the width of the road - all this natak for a few extra feet of road (for a road which is already wide enough). Most of these tress were atleast 50-60 years old.

Anyways this thing has not stopped yet. This "Kill Tree" operation is on in full swing. BWSSB has gone ahead and started digging along the entire stretch. It is only a matter of days before the trees on the whole stretch will either be cut off or they will fall on their own.

The next picture shows the extent to which these trees have tilted. All that is needed to complete the "Kill Tree" operation is just a few strong winds.

Notice the deep trenches and the tilting of the trees in these pictures

I am not anti-development. BWSSB i am sure had valid reasons to put the pipe line. But what surprises me is, why they choose this side of the road? The other side has relatively (alomost none) less no of trees. Yes the would have had to dig the road at one or two places - was the cost of relaying the roads more than the life of these well grown 20-30 trees. BBMP seams to have messed up their priorities - completely.

The damage is already done. But certainly everything is not lost. Can we force BWSSB to stop this digging? I am hoping with some support structure these trees can still be saved.

I tried calling Mr S Shekar - Deputy Conservator of Forest (BBMP) on 9739042158, with out any luck. There is also a tree officer in BBMP - he can be reached on 22485317. Prajagale, please spare a few minutes and each one of you call this person to force him to do an inspection of this stretch. Also spread the word :) I am hoping against hope to save these trees.

Rithesh
Prajasevaka :)

Bangalore and Signal Free Corridors

Public transport die hards don't want any of this. Car lovers want them. But many believe that some solution is required in Bangalore to improve radial connectivity across ends of Outer Ring Road.

  • BBMP has been trying to improve radial connectivity by widening some corridors, and planning more flyovers etc at busy signals.
  • BBMP has tried doing this on Belary Road via Magic Boxes.
  • Some people have proposed tunnel roads to connect CBD with Outer areas.
  • BDA is converting Outer Ring Road to a signal free corridor
  • CTTP 2007 had proposed long elevated roads above 4 key radial corridors.

Let us outline detailed posts on the subject under this book. This is a wiki post anyway, so if anyone wants to add more to this page itself, just edit it instead of adding comments.

"Signal free" Hosur Road: opportunity or nightmare?

Just caught this in the news; BBMP's plans to convert Hosur road to a Bellary road like "signal free" stretch (read more here).

This is another series of traffic engineering nightmares just waiting to happen (narrow underpasses, plain bad design, non-existent pedestrian infrastructure). Ironically, they actually have cited Bellary Road as the model to emulate. There must be some way to get in on this and at least attempt to get things done more holistically. RTI the design plans? Another meet with BBMP? Two things that I could immediately think of:

  • Given BMTC's "Kendriya Sarige" plan, isn't there some way we can get the BMTC and BBMP to work together on this one and create a (curbside?) bus lane. If it works, we'll have a bus lane from Vellara junction to CSB. It's ambitious I know, but it's worth a shot.
  • Integrate creation of pedestrian infrastructure in all plans (pedestrian subways, broader pavements, guard rails)

Thoughts? Ideas?

transmogrifier

BBMP has grand plans for the city

The transport minister has come out with a mega proposal for Bangalore.  

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/23637/mega-revamp-plan-city.html

Some highlights - 

"With a massive financial outlay of Rs 22,000 crore, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) plans to drastically change the face of the City’s roads, drains and lakes in three years."

"To make 12 key corridors signal-free, the plan is to equip over 100 junctions with grade separators. The total road length covered under this project will be 122 km, a network connecting the Central Business District (CBD) with Outer Ring Road and Radial Roads."

"Another important proposal is the construction of three elevated corridors, in the City’s north, south and east to decongest traffic. The south corridor will run from Vellara junction to Silk Board, the north corridor from Minsk Square to Hebbal flyover and the east corridor from Vellara junction to Kundanahalli junction."

Some questions and I think we should try and meet Ashwin Mahesh as soon as possible

a.  Are they planning to demolish the current magic boxes between Hebbal and High Grounds to construct the elevated corridor?

b.  The south elevated corridor and the east elevated corridor both end at Vellara junction.  How are the roads leading out of this junction - Richmond Road towards Richmond Circle and Brigade Road/Museum Road going to handle this flood of vehicles?  

c. Do roads also include sidewalks as part of them?

d. Does this interfere with Phase 2 of the Metro which supposedly will connect Yelahanka with E-City.  Where will the viaducts for the Metro come up?

e. Given BBMP's track record of finishing grade separators, what is the execution plan that will enable this to be finished in 3 years.  For the record - the 15th Cross underpass that was to have been completed in March 2009 is still not finished and this is on the ORR.

Srivathsa

 

 

 

Elevated Corridors - green light

Source Deccan Herald, CM Gets Cracking on City's Woes: "Yeddyurappa showed the green signal to BBMP to take up two elevated corridor projects: the 16-km North-South corridor connecting Hebbal to Madivala through Minsk Square and Vellara junction and the 12-km Bangalore East corridor connecting Kodihalli and Kundalahalli through Vellara junction..."

More on DH: Elevated corridor projects to ease traffic : "... The project has been conceived in the wake increasing traffic density in North due to International Airport at Devanahalli ... detail project report is yet to be prepared to identify location of loops along the corridor. ... Palike has found the project is the only way to provide signal-free movement of traffic between South and North. As the road will be built over existing roads the project does not require land except around Vellara Junction. The road covers Sankey Road, Bellary Road up to Hebbal ... Swiss Challenge method ... IDEB has taken up the challenge. ... already submitted technical proposal, which is being studied by the Palike... project is expected to begin in 2009 September... Yeddyurappa said the proposed project solves major traffic problems of the city."

From The Hindu: Focus on Infrastructure Development : "Yeddyurappa on Tuesday announced the construction of two high speed corridors — Hebbal to Madiwala (16 km) and Kodihalli to Kundalahalli (12 km) — to enable fast motor traffic movement in Bangalore. ... apart from the two ... corridors a section of the outer ring road, Central Silk Board Junction to Bellary Road Intersection, would be made traffic signal-free ..."

Find the bigger picture, covering all currently porposed elevated roads of Bangalore here - Bangalore Elevated Roads.

Elevated Inner Core Ring Road - whats up?

Remember the Inner Core Ring Road (ICRR) project? Find some documents here in case you need to jog your memory. BBMP and newspapers haven't talked much about it lately, and then The Hindu carried this piece (steel structures favoured for ring road) a few days ago.

There was one thing that struck me as odd in that news peice. Chief Engineer (Infrastructure) of the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike is advocating use of steel structures to build the expressway and is also dreaming up a 3 level road:

"it could have three levels for vehicles to travel — the existing ground level, one for two-wheelers and another for four-wheelers, he said."

But then, two execution models are suggested:

"The project could be proposed under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission or be given out to private companies on a Build Own Operate Transfer basis."

BBMP's engineers are clearly thinking design, that probably tells us we shouldn't assume that ICRR will be developed on a BOOT basis. Is BBMP thinking of doing the project itself?

Please. No! BBMP, you have zero experience building and managing such roads. Don't think of doing it yourself.

KR Circle to be Signal free

Read this in today's paper.

http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/30/stories/2009033059820400.htm

"Bangalore: Bangalore will soon have its widest magic box underpass for vehicular movement at K.R. Circle.

The underpass, to be built across the road leading into Cubbon Park at K.R. Circle, will have a width of seven metres. It will connect Ambedkar Veedhi with Nrupatunga Road and make the junction signal-free."

Anyone knows anything more about this grand plan?  This is called kicking the can down the road.  All the traffic piles up on Nrupathunga Road (near the signal at Hudson Church).  Or do they plan another magic box so that this traffic keeps flowing?  Imagine Cubbon park; it will become impossible to walk inside as traffic will flow non-stop.  And it's not that all this will make car drivers more patient.  They take uninterrupted travel as a birthright and BBMP panders to them. 

Well managed signals can lead to smoother traffic flow.  The problem with our traffic lights is that people don't wait in lines and in the correct lanes and hence traffic jams occur at the signals itself.   This small fact seems lost on BBMP and its engineers.  Any such structural intervention should follow detailed analysis.

How are pedestrians going to cross?  There are colleges and plenty of government offices there.  I plan to write to the ACP Traffic police and let's see how he responds.

Srivathsa

More signal free madness

More signal free madness from BBMP.  And this is going to cost Rs.2500 crores.  Saw this in bangalorebuzz.blogspot.com but could not source the newspaper.

http://bangalorebuzz.blogspot.com/

"Commuters who have to put up with tiresome waiting at traffic signals in the city, could be in for some relief.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) hopes to make 12 major corridors, including Cubbon Road and Rajkumar Road, signal-free for improved traffic flow in the city.
The initiative, which is likely to cost it Rs 2,500 crore, could help save vehicles travel time and fuel, and reduce noise and air pollution."

 

"The 12 corridors which will be made signal-free are the Dr Rajkumar Road from Yeshwanthpur Junction to Okalipuram (5 km), Chord Road, from Mysore Road Junction to CV Raman Road (10.5 km), Magadi Road, from Chord Road to Outer Ring Road (3.5 km), from Mysore Road Junction to Central Silk Board Junction (14.5 km), Central Silk Board Junction to Vellara Junction ( 6 km), Bannerghatta Road, from IIM-B to Wilson Garden (9.5 km), Vellara Junction to Whitefield via Varthur and HAL (13.5 km), Agara lake to Sirsi Circle via Lalbagh Fort Road (8.5 kms), City centre to Kengeri via Sirsi Circle (15.5 km), Yeshwanthpur industrial area to Hebbal, between NH 4 to NH 7 (6.5 km), Mekhri Circle to Benniganahalli via Jayamahal Road (12.5 km) and Cubbon Road to ORR via Kamaraj Road, Buddhavihar Road and Hennur Road (7 km)."
 

a. What e.g. happens at Vellara junction?  what happens at Kamaraj Road/MG Road jn?  All the traffic will pile up there as it happens today at Nrupathunga Road/KG Road jn.

b. Mysore Road to Silkboard - we are still stuck with incomplete underpasses at JP Nagar and Kadirenahalli. 

c. Where does this leave the pedestrian?  I have seen the plight of pedestrians trying to cross Bellary Road near HQ Command and just before Mekhri Circle. 

As usual BBMP views our city as a network of roads and a thoroughfare with little regard for aesthetics.  Just look at the Basaveshwara Circle or KR Circle today.  

Srivathsa

 

Mysore road expansion - how can you remove the bottleneck?

Do planners in Bangalore realize that bottlenecks are the main source of traffic problems? It doesn't matter if you have a 5km long 8 lane road at the end of which has a bottleneck which reduces to 2 lanes. 

It looks like that the Mysore road is going to be widened. The govt will end up spending crores of money and cause inconvenience to lot of riders during this widening spree. We'll also lose all the trees which so far have kept the Mysore road a complete canopy. But the Bapujinagar bridge is a huge bottleneck. If nothing is done to widen at this point, the whole effort is meaningless. Given that we have the Masjid and the GhaaLi Anjaneya temple on either side, we can imagine that this part of the road can never be widened. 

Do the officials even think about this before going about doing their job of road widening? 

Namma Raste - road use efficiency

Read in an email this morning that on 19th July 2008, a workshop on “Reclaiming Bangalore’s roads: Namma Raste” was jointly organized by Environment Support Group (ESG), CIVIC Bangalore and Alternative Law Forum at Vidyadeep, Ulsoor Road, Bangalore.

The context for this meeting was the PIL against BBMP over widening of 91 roads. Apparently, the claim is that the widening projects will increase average vehicle speeds from 8-10 km/hr to 40 km/hr (ref: material from ESG/HU - these should soon be up on ESG website, so I will save myself copy paste jobs here).

The workshop had over 90 participants, ranging from representatives of traders’ associations, resident association federations, and organizations working with the differently abled & for the urban poor, groups working on pedestrian rights, architects, schools, colleges and members of Hasiru Usiru.

I know there is a set of people who consider extreme environmental activism as anti-development. Put those biases aside for just a moment, and think about road widening efforts or flyovers that have come up in your area. Then, if you commute more than 5-6 km, tell us if your commute time has improved. Think and tell if there is enough proof that these projects help. Save for just a few flyovers, they don't!

I can give you an example from my area. My wife takes 45 mins today to do 9 km from Whitefield to IRR/Domlur area. It used to take asbout the same time (50 mins) to do Whitefield to Langford town two years ago. What has happened over last two years? Well, let me list them all

  • Airport is gone, and hence a lot of vehicles.
  • There is a new 6 lane railway overbridge at Marathahalli
  • Marathahalli market area road has now been 'widened'.
  • Airport road itself saw some limited 'widening'
  • The road from Kundalahalli to Marathahalli too has been 'widened'

Despite all this, the speeds have reduced, ~ 20 kmph, to 10 kmph in this example. When you discuss this with self proclaimed urban development experts, the reason given is - there are more people and vehicles now.

Okay, alright. But isn't that the problem we should be attacking here!? More you build, more they come - that just can't be the excuse for misguided investments with undefined RoI (return on investment). The effort has to be to reduce usage of private vehicles for office commute. Investments have to be go towards managing whatever road resources we have. Past all that, we can look at adding more road area.

Lets put a number to the efficiency with which we use our road resources (I will post a whole lot of pictures to prove this point). Remember our talk of entropy, turbulence and all that? Every 200 meters, you either have

  • encroached or missing pavement, leading to pedestrians on the road
  • car parked on the arterial road (tons at Marathahalli)
  • Some construction happening, with construction material spilling on to the road
  • Bikers riding wrong side, autos criss crossing, blah blah blah - you know all this too well.

I would say that Bangalore's road use efficiency is probably about 40%. What I mean to say is that if the traffic and road space was managed to perfection, we can handle the same number of vehicles with 40% of road space.

Now, do widened roads add to this efficiency? 5% increase in road area gives you 2% increase in capacity to handle vehicles. That 2% increase in capacity to handle vehicles can come from efforts to increase road use efficiency itself. The question of course is -

  1. How I arrived at these numbers, plus
  2. would it cost less to increase road use efficiency.

Lets collaborate on a paper right here to arrive at rough numbers on road use efficiency. But I am willing to bet that #2 is true. Its not just that it will cost less to invest in increasing road use efficiency, but, this approach has better guarantee of success than investing in widening more roads and building more meaningless flyovers.

I have not rested my case yet. I need help to build that road use efficiency number :)

 

Rethinking road-widening - Tunnels?

One of the core infrastructural issues we are facing is an inability of our arterial roads and highways to provide rapid cross-town access. Globally, city and highway planners recognize and create different infrastructure for highways and city roads. See Dr. Joglekar’s posts here for a succinct description of this problem plaguing most Indian cities. A simple schematic (full size image here)and an inventory of city highways reveals the problem.

Thru Highways:

  1. NH7 (in blue)
  2. NH4 (in red)

Terminal Highways:

  1. NH-209 (in yellow)
  2. SH-17 (in green)

While the ORR and the planned PRR attempt to relieve through-traffic, these highways ironically remain some of the fastest cross-town routes. Recognizing this, infrastructural planners have expanded/widened roads leading into the city where land was available and have built (BETL, Mysore Rd flyover), are building (Nelamangala expressway) or planning to build (Balabrooie-Hebbal) long flyovers to ‘jump’ the bottlenecks. As we all know though, these just move the bottlenecks. And so, the ever-unpopular (and time-consuming) appropriation of massive amounts of land and road-widening is being touted as the panacea. There might be another way though.

An alternative

One option might involve reconnecting NH-4 and NH-7 using a belowground access-controlled (NOT signal-free) highway that cuts through the city and ensuring that NH-209 and SH-17 don’t ‘dump’ traffic in the middle of the city (full size image here).

Specifically:

  1. Travelling south, NH-7 would move completely off the existing Bellary Rd after the Mekhri circle underpass moving onto Palace ground property (that might be available). At Cauvery theatre, it would join an emerging NH-4 and then ‘dive’ underground just before Palace Road ‘emerging’ near (or after) the Military school on Hosur Road.
  2. Traveling east, NH-4 would go underground near the IISc Gymkhana ground (potentially before the MS Ramaiah Rd intersection). It would emerge near Cauvery theatre (on Bellary Rd) and join NH-7. After ‘re-submerging’ near Palace Rd, it would travel along with NH-7 branching off (belowground) to emerge near the Bhaskaran Rd/Kensington Rd intersection
  3. Traveling north, SH-17 would go belowground at the foot of the Sirsi Circle flyover  and join NH-4/NH-7 underground.
  4. NH-209 would terminate at ORR leaving users the option of using SH-17 or NH-7 for a cross-town commute.

The project would function best if expressway design standards are consistently adhered to. All project roads should maintain a constant width (preferably 4 lanes + 2 emergency lanes) widening to 6 lanes only in sections where highways combine (e.g. NH-4 and NH-7). A limited number of surface exits could enable rapid access to different points in the city (K.G. Road, Kanteerava stadium, Millers Road/Vidhana Souda, HSRL terminal/M.G. Rd, Kamaraj Rd, Richmond Rd etc). Further appropriately designed interchanges (dark brown squares in pic) would be required to connect highways underground.

Pros, cons and disclaimers:

  • Cost: Similar projects across the world have cost anything from Rs 280 crore (for Sydney’s 2-lane Cross City tunnel to a staggering 66,000 crore (for Boston’s 10-lane Big Dig. However, BBMP’s existing road-widening plan on 6 corridors already calls for an investment of 597 crores.
  • Time: Similar projects have taken anything from 2 years (Cross City tunnel) to 22 years (Boston’s Big Dig)
  • With adequate planning, inconvenience to road users can be minimized with tunneling work starting in areas where no current roads exist (e.g.  Palace Grounds, Ulsoor Lake, SJ Park) emerging onto the surface nearer the completion date. After cross-town connections are complete, exits to surface streets (e.g. K.G. Rd, M.G. Rd) can be added on.
  • Other arterial corridors can (in some cases) be redesigned to filter onto ‘reconnected’ highways. For example, Old-Airport Road can be connected to NH-4 using Suranjan Das Road.
  • This project would not address existing bottlenecks outside the project area (e.g., the Bennigannahalli bottleneck on Old Madras Rd). However, using a consistent road-width 4 (travel) +2 (emergency) lanes and strict access-control throughout would make the highways effective travel corridors.
  • The project does not address surface streets or public transportation. However by reducing current traffic loads on surface streets, roads can be engineered to maintain a consistent (4-6 lane) width, turning refuges and better pedestrian infrastructure. Existing one-ways can be reverted to two-way traffic or provide contra-flow bus lanes.

These ideas are not new to city planners as cities the world over have demonstrated the use of this technology. Will it work for us?

(Image courtesy: Wikipedia)

transmog

Signal Free Corridor projects - need scrutiny (updated)

Vinay S, an active member at Hasiru Usiru has obtained detailed information from BBMP on upcoming signal free corridor projects. Many people think that the project(s) need some serious scrutiny for the returns they promise on investments. Its one thing to make a relatively new road like Outer ring road into a signal free corridor, and another to talk about turning more than half dozen radial roads signal free without a clear plan for each and every interesction that lies on the way, or more important, without commensurate or alternate investments on public transport (like priority lanes for Big10 routes). Many feel that without such clarity, these corridor projects may end up being "bottleneck shifting" or "more parking space for free" projects.

Vinay has promised to mail over all documents he has obtained (will upload them here as soon as I get hold of them). We may need to scan and upload some sketches as well.

BTW, use google/yahoo map and check out San Francisco, supposedly an official "sister-city" of Bangalore. Take a look and tell us all how many signal free corridors you find criss-crossing that city . Not many, and not even to zip through the heart of this city in a very car friendly state.

The Sankey Road case study

Wiki page to hold together related posts on Sankey Tank Bund Road widening related developments. The project should be a good case study to understand how BBMP conceives, communicates and executes transportation related projects. Citizens of the impacted area say the project is not justified, BBMP says otherwise. Both sides say they have data on vehicle traffic to defend their stands.

BBMP and advisers - Sankey Tank Road Widening

<This is a post from an anonymous user who has chosen not to reveal his/her identity>

Dear Praja friends, as you already know, these are the days of advisory councils and committees. Their grip is complete, top to down, one advisory council is sitting at national level (NAC), and we also see and hear of a few at the lowest (our city government) level.

I am here to write about BBMP's technical advisory committee, mention of which I saw in today's DNA Bangalore newspaper. A column was authored by Dr Ashwin Mahesh, who has been listed as a member of "BBMP's technical advisory committee".

In the column, Dr Mahesh is critical of BBMP's Sankey Road widening project. Everyone is advised to read the column I am mentioning to confirm what I am saying here is right - Dr Mahesh, a member of BBMP's Technical Advisory Committee is strongly opposing Sankey Tank Road widening project, and also BBMP's approach to similar projects.

Now, my questions to you all, BBMP, and Dr Mahesh

Questions specific to the committee (to BBMP, and Praja friends)

  1. What is the role and purpose of BBMP's Technical Advisory Committee
  2. How many members does it have
  3. How many of BBMP's projects have these "members" advised on
  4. How much remuneration and what perks are paid to the advisers?
  5. Who pays this? If BBMP, then what budget does the money come from
  6. What are the responsibilities of the advisers on this "committee"
  7. Who bears accountability on quality and bias aspects of advice that the committee offers? Advisers? Or BBMP? If some advice offered is accepted and later found to be disastrous, will BBMP keep the blame, or passed to the advisers?
  8. If the committee members are being openly critical of some high visibility projects like Sankey Tank Road widening, why do you still have them on it?

Corresponding questions for Dr Mahesh

  1. Are you "inside" BBMP or "outside" BBMP?
  2. Is it true that most of your advice is turned down by the BBMP? That is the feeling one gets after reading your articles in newspapers etc related to local projects?
  3. If above is not true then are there examples of advices that you offered and BBMP did not turn down? Would you be open to sharing the "hit rate"?
  4. In case the hit rate is low or very low, if BBMP anyway doesn't follow your advice on contest-ably futile projects like Sankey Tank Road Widening, why are you still on this "committee"?
  5. What responsibilities do you carry as member of the committee? Advise on a specific number and type of projects? Attend a specified number of meetings?

My dear friends, learned sirs and madams, judging by blogs and comments here, many of you know Dr Ashwin Mahesh. Would you be able to get some answers to above. Just like you all, I also want to understand account-abilities in functioning of BBMP.

My questions are simple and genuine. I share them here anonymously so that these are not seen to be personal.

love bangalore,
RFOB (a Real Friend of Bangalore)

Sankey Road Trees Chopped-off overnight after a secret auction

Sadly and expectedly BBMP has gone ahead and done what its best at. It has in a unilateral, self-serving, authoritarian manner chopped off 17 of the 19 beautiful trees on Sankey Road starting as early as 1:30 am on Friday morning before a stay could be obtained on the remaining 2 trees by 6pm.

The reasoning of the BBMP, Local Councillors and Police would probably have been that the green activists and Members of Malleswaram Swabhimaana Sangha would cry hoarse for a few days at best, but immediate money could be made in collusion with the Timber mafia and ofcourse the panacea of all traffic problems in Bangalore - "Road Widening", could be realised on Sankey Road.

Full article here http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Bangalore/article2151390.ece

In a rare gesture and in the interest of time, high court judges visited the spot in a personal vehicle and ascertained the location and the geography before passing the order but it was too late by the time a stay could be obtained.

It just might be too late before our councillors and corporators realise what they are doing/have done to Bangalore. Sigh!

p.s. The learned "authorities" at BBMP might even start using the latest Digital Media act to prevent protests in the online medium, just like they arrested 12 protesters at the site on friday. Praja admins, watchout and welcome to the newest Banana republic fellow PrajegaLu!

Sankey Road to lose trees

The Arterial Sankey Road, from Cauvery Theatre Junction to Yeshwantpur Circle Junction is going to be widened and going to lose all the green cover it has. It is going to become a major disaster given that Sankey Tank and surrounding regions cannot withstand such a large amount of vehicular pollution.

All those trees on Chowdiah Road which is close to Indian Institute of Science are going to go the way of Seshadri Road.

This is just a disaster waiting to happen to Malleswaram, Sadashivanagar and IISc. One of the oldest areas in the city is being murdered in broad daylight. Instead of concentrating on proper signals and road dividers on Sankey Road and Sir C V Raman road, it is going to be destroyed like Race Course Road was.

"On condition of anonymity, a BBMP Executive Engineer of the Road Widening Committee, said, “The entire stretch of road from the Cauvery Theatre Junction till the Yeswanthpur will be widened as part of 91 arterial roads expansion project. The Road Widening Committee has already placed the plan, as this road is the crucial connecting road to NH 4 (National Highway). Based on the priority, the road will be demarcated and widened as scheduled”.

http://www.deccanherald.c...

Say no to widening of trees-lined Sankey Road Petition

The proposed six-lane corridor is expected to result in chopping of about 150 well-grown trees. The widening entails felling of about 150 trees on both sides of the stretch, besides occupying a good portion of the historic tank. It'll/It'd destroy the beauty of one of the posh localities of the City.

There's a concern over the threat faced by pedestrians, especially students of four major schools located in the vicinity or close to the proposed corridor - Stella Maris, Poorna Prajna Education Centre, Kendriya Vidyalaya and the Government Boys' School. The safety of schoolchildren on the six-lane high speed corridor would be a major challenge.

The widening will cause damage to the existing green cover on the Sankey Road. The long-term benefits of this corridor are questionable especially when the metro, monorail and HSRL corridors are being planned in the vicinity. The project would cause damage to Sankey Lake. The axing of 150 trees will/would affect the sensitive biodiversity in and around the Sankey Tank.

The rationale of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike or BBMP in constructing a six-lane high-speed corridor in a residential area is questionable and we're yet to know whether pedestrians' safety has been factored in while designing the project plan. The Forum had sought Detailed Project Report from BBMP under Right to Information Act and nothing has been heard even after lapse of three weeks.

Tree-felling should not be a solution to avoid traffic jams. Tree-feeling would lead to ecological imbalance in the surrounding areas.

The cost of the project had allegedly escalated from Rs. 30 crore to Rs. 33 crore due to re-tendering.

Link to e-Petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/4/say-no-to-sankey-road-widening

Traffic Signal Modeling - Sharing a Case Study

Attached is an interesting case study for geeky types on Praja, related to modeling and optimization of Traffic Signal Syncronization in Bangalore.

Title: Modeling Urban Traffic Planning through Strategic Decisions – A case from Bangalore, India
By: S Srinidhi, N R Srinivasa Raghavan, R Srinivasan
Department of Management Studies,
Indian Institute of Science

For the record, found this case study on this website.

Ravi

Bannerghatta Road Alternatives

Exploring ideas about a radial corridor from BTM layout to points further south. This corridor will act as an alternative to Bannerghatta and Hosur Roads.

Banerghatta Road to Hosur - shortcut?

We all know how bad the area round 19th main intersection is. (marker #1 in the map below). So it is not a surprise, that a shortcut to get to Hosur Road is getting pretty popular. I am guessing markers #2 and #3 are it. Or is it a set of roads further south, someone correct or confirm please.

Javascript is required to view this map.

If a shortcut and alternative road to Electronics City is what people want, why not look at bettering this route? BMIC Peripheral expressway is a bit too south from here, and ORR up north is crowded. This route would sit right in the middle and take some load off ORR. I am guessing that the costs of doing a flyover on ORR at BTM 19th main and augmenting an alternative route like this would be pretty similar.

Let us ask BDA/BBMP?

Our long term goal at Praja is to do more than blogs and discussions. For that, we first have to grow into a larger community of like minded concerned residents of this city. While we are not there yet, how about we try this experiment on the subject of alternate routes from Bannerghatta Road to Hosur Road.

What we need is a good connection somewhere between NICE Peripheral Road and Outer Ring Road. For a start, how about we post a suggestion cum question to BDA/BBMP, and do it this way:

- frame one short and precise paragraph on this - find email id or sarkaari website where we could post this - at least 20-30 of us will post this exact query

Then, let us see what we hear back. If 20-30 of us do this exact thing one same day, good chances that we will get replies.

Going down the route of trying to uncover illegal occupation etc is like getting into a conflict with BDA/BBMP guys. That way, we won't see them cooperate. We want an alternate route, thats it. So let us try different ways of reaching those who can do something about it and hear out their answers or excuses.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Please reply with your comments on who to write to or if you would participate in this simple exercise. If you have contacts (like some big guy in BDA, or that area's MLA), even better.

Alternate Road to Bannerghatta Road - Continued

Last week, there was a good post suggesting an alternate route to Bannerghatta Road (see here). Today i am raising the same topic in a little more detailed way. The photo below shows the map from google maps.

The line in green is an existing road, and the green circle at the bottom of the photo is the Vijaya Bank colony. There is a nice double road till the Vijaya Bank colony, but unfortunately that road ends couple of hundred meters past Vijaya Bank colony. Yellow line shows how that road can be connected.

I heard from couple of people that, there was a litigation over a piece of land on which the road was to be constructed. I also heard from people that an un authorized building has been built which is obstructing the path. Because of this land litigation {Or i can say due to foolishness of one of the apartment builder and some BMP officials who have pocketed money}, thousands of people are going to sacrifice their peace, money and petrol to cover couple of extra miles daily to reach Bannergahtta road and once again join back the BTM road (shown in green lines) which touches BTM lake and intersects Hosur road much ahead of BTM petrol bunk.

Can we build a road as shown in the yellow line, may be more diversions are needed.

I will post some more photos of where the road has been ended... watch this column.

Hats off to those who have been a part of this...

--Cheers Bangalorean

Some Photos of Where the Road Ends

A complete dead end to all the work.

"Traffic jam" redirects here. For other uses, see Traffic jam (disambiguation).

Traffic congestion is a condition on transport networks that occurs as use increases, and is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular queueing. When traffic demand is great enough that the interaction between vehicles slows the speed of the traffic stream, this results in some congestion. While congestion is a possibility for any mode of transportation, this article will focus on automobile congestion on public roads.

As demand approaches the capacity of a road (or of the intersections along the road), extreme traffic congestion sets in. When vehicles are fully stopped for periods of time, this is colloquially known as a traffic jam or traffic snarl-up. Traffic congestion can lead to drivers becoming frustrated and engaging in road rage.

Mathematically, congestion is usually looked at as the number of vehicles that pass through a point in a window of time, or a flow. Congestion flow lends itself to principles of fluid dynamics.

Causes[edit]

Traffic congestion occurs when a volume of traffic or modal split generates demand for space greater than the available street capacity; this point is commonly termed saturation. There are a number of specific circumstances which cause or aggravate congestion; most of them reduce the capacity of a road at a given point or over a certain length, or increase the number of vehicles required for a given volume of people or goods. About half of U.S. traffic congestion is recurring, and is attributed to sheer weight of traffic; most of the rest is attributed to traffic incidents, road work and weather events.[2]

Traffic research still cannot fully predict under which conditions a "traffic jam" (as opposed to heavy, but smoothly flowing traffic) may suddenly occur. It has been found that individual incidents (such as accidents or even a single car braking heavily in a previously smooth flow) may cause ripple effects (a cascading failure) which then spread out and create a sustained traffic jam when, otherwise, normal flow might have continued for some time longer.[3]

Mathematical theories[edit]

Some traffic engineers have attempted to apply the rules of fluid dynamics to traffic flow, likening it to the flow of a fluid in a pipe. Congestion simulations and real-time observations have shown that in heavy but free flowing traffic, jams can arise spontaneously, triggered by minor events ("butterfly effects"), such as an abrupt steering maneuver by a single motorist. Traffic scientists liken such a situation to the sudden freezing of supercooled fluid.[4]

However, unlike a fluid, traffic flow is often affected by signals or other events at junctions that periodically affect the smooth flow of traffic. Alternative mathematical theories exist, such as Boris Kerner's three-phase traffic theory (see also spatiotemporal reconstruction of traffic congestion).

Because of the poor correlation of theoretical models to actual observed traffic flows, transportation planners and highway engineers attempt to forecast traffic flow using empirical models. Their working traffic models typically use a combination of macro-, micro- and mesoscopic features, and may add matrix entropy effects, by "platooning" groups of vehicles and by randomising the flow patterns within individual segments of the network. These models are then typically calibrated by measuring actual traffic flows on the links in the network, and the baseline flows are adjusted accordingly.

A team of MIT mathematicians has developed a model that describes the formation of "phantom jams," in which small disturbances (a driver hitting the brake too hard, or getting too close to another car) in heavy traffic can become amplified into a full-blown, self-sustaining traffic jam. Key to the study is the realization that the mathematics of such jams, which the researchers call "jamitons," are strikingly similar to the equations that describe detonation waves produced by explosions, says Aslan Kasimov, lecturer in MIT's Department of Mathematics. That discovery enabled the team to solve traffic-jam equations that were first theorized in the 1950s.[5]

Economic theories[edit]

Congested roads can be seen as an example of the tragedy of the commons. Because roads in most places are free at the point of usage, there is little financial incentive for drivers not to over-use them, up to the point where traffic collapses into a jam, when demand becomes limited by opportunity cost. Privatization of highways and road pricing have both been proposed as measures that may reduce congestion through economic incentives and disincentives. Congestion can also happen due to non-recurring highway incidents, such as a crash or roadworks, which may reduce the road's capacity below normal levels.

Economist Anthony Downs argues that rush hour traffic congestion is inevitable because of the benefits of having a relatively standard work day[citation needed]. In a capitalist economy, goods can be allocated either by pricing (ability to pay) or by queueing (first-come first-served); congestion is an example of the latter. Instead of the traditional solution of making the "pipe" large enough to accommodate the total demand for peak-hour vehicle travel (a supply-side solution), either by widening roadways or increasing "flow pressure" via automated highway systems, Downs advocates greater use of road pricing to reduce congestion (a demand-side solution, effectively rationing demand), in turn plowing the revenues generated therefrom into public transportation projects.

A 2011 study in The American Economic Review indicates that there may be a "fundamental law of road congestion." The researchers, from the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics, analyzed data from the U.S. Highway Performance and Monitoring System for 1983, 1993 and 2003, as well as information on population, employment, geography, transit, and political factors. They determined that the number of vehicle-kilometers traveled (VKT) increases in direct proportion to the available lane-kilometers of roadways. The implication is that building new roads and widening existing ones only results in additional traffic that continues to rise until peak congestion returns to the previous level.[6][7]

Classification[edit]

Qualitative classification of traffic is often done in the form of a six letter A-F level of service (LOS) scale defined in the Highway Capacity Manual, a US document used (or used as a basis for national guidelines) worldwide. These levels are used by transportation engineers as a shorthand and to describe traffic levels to the lay public. While this system generally uses delay as the basis for its measurements, the particular measurements and statistical methods vary depending on the facility being described. For instance, while the percent time spent following a slower-moving vehicle figures into the LOS for a rural two-lane road, the LOS at an urban intersection incorporates such measurements as the number of drivers forced to wait through more than one signal cycle.[8]

Traffic congestion occurs in time and space, i.e., it is a spatiotemporal process. Therefore, another classification schema of traffic congestion is associated with some common spatiotemporal features of traffic congestion found in measured traffic data. Common spatiotemporal empirical features of traffic congestion are those features, which are qualitatively the same for different highways in different countries measured during years of traffic observations. Common features of traffic congestion are independent on weather, road conditions and road infrastructure, vehicular technology, driver characteristics, day time, etc. Examples of common features of traffic congestion are the features [J] and [S] for, respectively, the wide moving jam and synchronized flow traffic phases found in Kerner’s three-phase traffic theory. The common features of traffic congestion can be reconstructed in space and time with the use of the ASDA and FOTO models.

Negative impacts[edit]

Traffic congestion has a number of negative effects:

  • Wasting time of motorists and passengers ("opportunity cost"). As a non-productive activity for most people, congestion reduces regional economic health.
  • Delays, which may result in late arrival for employment, meetings, and education, resulting in lost business, disciplinary action or other personal losses.
  • Inability to forecast travel time accurately, leading to drivers allocating more time to travel "just in case", and less time on productive activities.
  • Wasted fuel increasing air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions owing to increased idling, acceleration and braking.
  • Wear and tear on vehicles as a result of idling in traffic and frequent acceleration and braking, leading to more frequent repairs and replacements.
  • Stressed and frustrated motorists, encouraging road rage and reduced health of motorists
  • Emergencies: blocked traffic may interfere with the passage of emergency vehicles traveling to their destinations where they are urgently needed.
  • Spillover effect from congested main arteries to secondary roads and side streets as alternative routes are attempted ('rat running'), which may affect neighborhood amenity and real estate prices.
  • Higher chance of collisions due to tight spacing and constant stopping-and-going.

Road rage[edit]

Road rage is aggressive or angry behavior by a driver of an automobile or other motor vehicle. Such behavior might include rude gestures, verbal insults, deliberately driving in an unsafe or threatening manner, or making threats. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults, and collisions which result in injuries and even deaths. It can be thought of as an extreme case of aggressive driving.

The term originated in the United States in 1987–1988 (specifically, from Newscasters at KTLA, a local television station), when a rash of freeway shootings occurred on the 405, 110 and 10 freeways in Los Angeles, California. These shooting sprees even spawned a response from the AAA Motor Club to its members on how to respond to drivers with road rage or aggressive maneuvers and gestures.[9]

Positives impacts[edit]

Congestion has the benefit of encouraging motorists to retime their trips so that expensive road space is in full use for more hours per day.[10]

The standard response to congestion is to expand road space somehow, perhaps by widening an existing road or else by adding a new road, bridge or tunnel. However, that could well result in increased traffic flow, otherwise known as induced demand, causing congestion to appear somewhere else. Moreover, Braess' paradox shows that adding road capacity might make congestion worse, even if demand does not increase.

It has been argued that traffic congestion, by reducing road speeds in cities, could reduce the frequency and severity of road accidents.[11]

Countermeasures[edit]

Road infrastructure[edit]

  • Junction improvements
  • Reversible lanes, where certain sections of highway operate in the opposite direction on different times of the day(s) of the week, to match asymmetric demand. These pose a potential for collisions, if drivers do not notice the change in direction indicators. This may be controlled by variable-message signs or by movable physical separation
  • Separate lanes for specific user groups (usually with the goal of higher people throughput with fewer vehicles)

Urban planning and design[edit]

City planning and urban design practices can have a huge impact on levels of future traffic congestion, though they are of limited relevance for short-term change.

  • Grid plans including fused grid road network geometry, rather than tree-like network topology which branches into cul-de-sacs (which reduce local traffic, but increase total distances driven and discourage walking by reducing connectivity). This avoids concentration of traffic on a small number of arterial roads and allows more trips to be made without a car.
  • Zoning laws that encourage mixed-use development, which reduces distances between residential, commercial, retail, and recreational destinations (and encourage cycling and walking)
  • Carfree cities, car-light cities, and eco-cities designed to eliminate the need to travel by car for most inhabitants.[12][13]
  • Transit-oriented development are residential and commercial areas designed to maximize access to public transport by providing a transit station or stop (train station, metro station, tram stop, or bus stop).

Supply and demand[edit]

See also: Transportation Demand Management

Congestion can be reduced by either increasing road capacity (supply), or by reducing traffic (demand). Capacity can be increased in a number of ways, but needs to take account of latent demand otherwise it may be used more strongly than anticipated. Critics of the approach of adding capacity have compared it to "fighting obesity by letting out your belt" (inducing demand that did not exist before). For example, when new lanes are created, households with a second car that used to be parked most of the time may begin to use this second car for commuting.[14][15] Reducing road capacity has in turn been attacked as removing free choice as well as increasing travel costs and times, placing an especially high burden on the low income residents who must commute to work.[citation needed]

Increased supply can include:

  • Adding more capacity at bottlenecks (such as by adding more lanes at the expense of hard shoulders or safety zones, or by removing local obstacles like bridge supports and widening tunnels)
  • Adding more capacity over the whole of a route (generally by adding more lanes)
  • Creating new routes
  • Traffic management improvements (see separate section below)

Reduction of demand can include:

  • Parking restrictions, making motor vehicle use less attractive by increasing the monetary and non-monetary costs of parking, introducing greater competition for limited city or road space.[16] Most transport planning experts agree that free parking distorts the market in favour of car travel, exacerbating congestion.[17][18]
  • Park and ride facilities allowing parking at a distance and allowing continuation by public transport or ride sharing. Park-and-ride car parks are commonly found at metro stations, freeway entrances in suburban areas, and at the edge of smaller cities.
  • Reduction of road capacity to force traffic onto other travel modes. Methods include traffic calming and the shared space concept.
  • Road pricing, charging money for access onto a road/specific area at certain times, congestion levels or for certain road users
    • "Cap and trade", in which only licensed cars are allowed on the roads.[19] A limited quota of car licences are issued each year and traded in a free market fashion. This guarantees that the number of cars does not exceed road capacity while avoiding the negative effects of shortages normally associated with quotas. However, since demand for cars tends to be inelastic, the result are exorbitant purchase prices for the licenses, pricing out the lower levels of society, as seen Singapore's Certificate of Entitlement scheme.[20]
    • Congestion pricing, where a certain area, such as the inner part of a congested city, is surrounded with a cordon into which entry with a car requires payment. The cordon may be a physical boundary (i.e., surrounded by toll stations) or it may be virtual, with enforcement being via spot checks or cameras on the entry routes. Major examples are Singapore's electronic road pricing, the London congestion charge system, Stockholm congestion tax and the use of High-occupancy toll lanes, predominately in North America.
  • Road space rationing, where regulatory restrictions prevent certain types of vehicles from driving under certain circumstances or in certain areas.
    • Number plate restrictions based on days of the week, as practiced in several large cities in the world, such as Athens,[21]Mexico City, Manila and São Paulo.[22] In effect, such cities are banning a different part of the automobile fleet from roads each day of the week. Mainly introduced to combat smog, these measures also reduce congestion. A weakness of this method is that richer drivers can purchase a second or third car to circumvent the ban.[citation needed]
    • Permits, where only certain types of vehicles (such as residents) are permitted to enter a certain area, and other types (such as through-traffic) are banned.[22] For example, Bertrand Delanoë, the mayor of Paris, has proposed to impose a complete ban on motor vehicles in the city's inner districts, with exemptions only for residents, businesses, and the disabled.[23]
  • Policy approaches, which usually attempt to provide either strategic alternatives or which encourage greater usage of existing alternatives through promotion, subsidies or restrictions.
    • Incentives to use public transport, increasing modal shares. This can be achieved through infrastructure investment, subsidies, transport integration, pricing strategies that decrease the marginal cost/fixed cost ratios,[24][25] improved timetabling and greater priority for buses to reduce journey time e.g. bus lanes or bus rapid transit .[26][27]
    • Cycling promotion through legislation, cycle facilities, subsidies, and awareness campaigns.[28]The Netherlands has been pursuing cycle friendly policies for decades, and around a quarter of their commuting is done by bicycle.[29][30]
    • Promotion of more flexible work place practices. For example, a flexible workplaces pilot was undertaken in Brisbane, Australia during 2009 to test the applicability of a voluntary travel behaviour change program to achieve transport system outcomes, particularly as they related to managing congestion, either through mode shift or peak spreading. During the one-month Pilot, amongst almost 900 Brisbane CBD workers across 20 private and public sector organisations, shifts of more than 30% out of the morning and afternoon peak travel was recorded.[31]
    • Telecommuting encouraged through legislation and subsidies.[32]
    • Online shopping promotion,[33][34] potentially with automated delivery booths helping to solve the last mile problem and reduce shopping trips made by car.[35]

Traffic management[edit]

Use of so-called Intelligent transportation system, which guide traffic:

Other associated[edit]

  • School opening times arranged to avoid rush hour traffic (in some countries, private car school pickup and drop-off traffic are substantial percentages of peak hour traffic).[citation needed]
  • Considerate driving behaviour promotion and enforcement. Driving practices such as tailgating and frequent lane changes can reduce a road's capacity and exacerbate jams. In some countries signs are placed on highways to raise awareness, while others have introduced legislation against inconsiderate driving.
  • Visual barriers to prevent drivers from slowing down out of curiosity (often called "rubbernecking" in the United States). This often includes accidents, with traffic slowing down even on roadsides physically separated from the crash location. This also tends to occur at construction sites, which is why some countries have introduced rules that motorway construction has to occur behind visual barrier
  • Speed limit reductions, as practiced on the M25 motorway in London. With lower speeds allowing cars to drive closer together, this increases the capacity of a road. Note that this measure is only effective if the interval between cars is reduced, not the distance itself. Low intervals are generally only safe at low speeds.
  • Lane splitting/filtering, in which some jurisdictions allow motorcycles, scooters and bicycles to travel in the space between cars, buses, and trucks.[38][39]
  • Reduction of road freight avoiding problems such as double parking with innovative solutions including cargo bicycles and Gothenburg's Stadsleveransens.[40]

By country[edit]

Australia[edit]

Traffic during peak hours in major Australian cities, such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, is usually very congested and can cause considerable delay for motorists. Australians rely mainly on radio and television to obtain current traffic information. GPS, webcams, and online resources are increasingly being used to monitor and relay traffic conditions to motorists.[citation needed]

Bangladesh[edit]

Traffic jams have become intolerable in Dhaka. Some other major reasons are the total absence of a rapid transit system; the lack of an integrated urban planning scheme for over 30 years;[41] poorly maintained road surfaces, with potholes rapidly eroded further by frequent flooding and poor or non-existent drainage;[42] haphazard stopping and parking;[43] poor driving standards;[44] total lack of alternative routes, with several narrow and (nominally) one-way roads.[45]

Brazil[edit]

According to Time magazine, São Paulo has the world's worst daily traffic jams.[1] Based on reports from the Companhia de Engenharia de Tráfego, the city's traffic management agency, the historical congestion record was set on May 23, 2014, with 344 kilometres (214 mi) of cumulative queues around the city during the evening rush hour.[46] The previous record occurred on November 14, 2013, with 309 kilometres (192 mi) of cumulative queues.[46]

Despite implementation since 1997 of road space rationing by the last digit of the plate number during rush hours every weekday, traffic in this 20-million-strong city still experiences severe congestion. According to experts, this is due to the accelerated rate of motorization occurring since 2003 and the limited capacity of public transport. In São Paulo, traffic is growing at a rate of 7.5% per year, with almost 1,000 new cars bought in the city every day. The subway has only 61 kilometres (38 mi) of lines, though 35 further kilometers are under construction or planned by 2010. Every day, many citizens spend between three up to four hours behind the wheel. In order to mitigate the aggravating congestion problem, since June 30, 2008 the road space rationing program was expanded to include and restrict trucks and light commercial vehicles.[47][48]

Canada[edit]

According to the Toronto Board of Trade, in 2010, Toronto is ranked as the most congested city of 19 surveyed cities, with an average commute time of 80 minutes.[51]

China[edit]

The August 2010 China National Highway 110 traffic jam in Hebei province, China, is considered the world's worst traffic jam, as traffic congestion stretched more than 100 kilometres (62 mi) from August 14 to the 26, including at least 11 days of total gridlock.[52][53][54] The event was caused by a combination of road works and thousands of coal trucks from Inner Mongolia’s coalfields that travel daily to Beijing. The New York Times has called this event the "Great Chinese Gridlock of 2010."[54][55]

The city of Beijing started a license plate rationing since the 2008 Summer Olympics whereby each car is banned from the urban core one workday per week, depending on the last digit of its licence plate. As of 2016, 11 major Chinese cities have implemented similar policies.[56] Towards the end of 2010, Beijing announced a series of drastic measures to tackle the city's chronic traffic congestion, such as limiting the number of new plates issued to passenger cars to 20,000 a month, barring vehicles with non-Beijing plates from entering areas within the Fifth Ring Road during rush hours and expanding its subway system.[57] In addition, more than nine major Chinese cities including Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hangzhou started limiting the number of new plates issued to passenger cars in an attempt to curb the growth of car ownership.[58][59] In response to the increased demand to public transit caused by these policies, aggressive programs to rapidly expand public transport systems in many Chinese cities are currently underway.[60]

See also: Chunyun

A unique Chinese phenomenon of severe traffic congestion occurs during Chunyun Period or Spring Festival travel season.[61] It is a long-held tradition for most Chinese people to reunite with their families during Chinese New Year. People return to their hometown to have a reunion dinner with their families on Chinese New Year. It has been described as the largest annual human migration in the world.[62][63] Since the economic boom and rapid urbanization of China since the late 1970s, many people work and study a considerable distance from their hometowns. Traffic flow is typically directional, with large amounts of the population working in more developed coastal provinces needing travel to their hometowns in the less developed interior. The process reverses near the end of Chunyun. With almost 3 billion trips[64] made in 40 days of the 2016 Chunyun Period, the Chinese intercity transportation network is extremely strained during this period.

India[edit]

The number of vehicles in India is quickly increasing as a growing middle class can now afford to buy cars. As a result, India has launched various rapid transit efforts, such as the Kolkata Metro, in Kolkata, and the Rapid Metro, in Gurgaon.

India's road conditions are expanding and improving in proportion with the increase in vehicle numbers. Kerala is a small southern state having the above characteristics. Its roads are around 30m wide, less than the average width of major highways in the nation (45 m), though the roads in Kerala are better surfaced and maintained. This causes considerable difficulty to the road users and causes frequent mishaps, though road discipline and adherence to traffic rules (and enforcement) are considered better in Kerala.

Various causes for this include:

  • Private encroachments
  • Commercial / religious establishment's location hampering road expansion, and rampant lobbying for this
  • Unscientific road design
  • Lack of free ways / exit ways where local roads and main roads intersect
  • Lack of demarcated foot paths
  • Lack of bus bays
  • Lack of cycle tracks
  • Lack of coordination among various government departments (e.g. digging of roads by telecom/water department and leaving it open)

Indonesia[edit]

According to a 2015 study by motor oil company Castrol, Jakarta is found to be the worst city in the world for traffic congestion. Relying on information from TomTom navigation devices in 78 countries, the index found that drivers are stopping and starting their cars 33,240 times per year on the road. After Jakarta, the worst cities for traffic are Istanbul, Mexico City, Surabaya, and St. Petersburg.[65]

Daily congestion in Jakarta is not a recent problem. The expansion of commercial area shows worsening daily congestion in Jalan Jendral Sudirman, Jalan Thamrin, and Jalan Gajah Mada in mid 1970s.[66]

In 2016, 12 people died as a result of traffic congestion in Java. They were among those stuck in a three-day traffic jam at an intersection in Java called 'Brexit'. The traffic block stretched for 21 km here and thousands of cars clogged the highway. Many people died because of carbon monoxide poisoning, fatigue or heat.[67]

New Zealand[edit]

New Zealand has followed strongly car-oriented transport policies since after World War II (especially in Auckland, where one third of the country's population lives, is New Zealand's most traffic congested city, and has been labelled worse than New York for traffic congestion with commuters sitting in traffic congestion for 95 hours per year),[68] and currently has one of the highest car-ownership rates per capita in the world, after the United States.[69] Traffic congestion in New Zealand is increasing with drivers on New Zealand's motorways reported to be struggling to exceed 20 kph on an average commute, sometimes crawling along at 8 kph for more than half an hour.

Philippines[edit]

Further information: Traffic in Metro Manila

According to a survey by Waze, traffic congestion in Metro Manila is called the "worst" in the world, after Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Jakarta.[70] It is worsened by violations of traffic laws, like illegal parking, loading and unloading, beating the red light, and wrong-way driving.[71] Traffic congestion in Metro Manila is caused by the large number of registered vehicles, lack of roads, and overpopulation, especially on Manila, Pateros and Caloocan.[72] Traffic caused losses of ₱137,500,000,000 on the economy in 2011, and unbuilt roads and railway projects also causes worsening congestion.[73] The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) feared that daily economic losses will reach Php 6,000,000,000 by 2030 if traffic congestion cannot be controlled.[74]

Turkey[edit]

In recent years, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has made huge investments on intelligent transportation systems and public transportation. Despite that, traffic is a significant problem in İstanbul. İstanbul has chosen the second most congested[75] and the most sudden-stopping traffic in the world.[76] Travel times in Turkey’s largest city take on average 55 percent longer that they should, even in relatively less busy hours.[77]

United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom the inevitability of congestion in some urban road networks has been officially recognized since the Department for Transport set down policies based on the report Traffic in Towns in 1963:

Even when everything that it is possibly to do by way of building new roads and expanding public transport has been done, there would still be, in the absence of deliberate limitation, more cars trying to move into, or within our cities than could possibly be accommodated.[78]

The Department for Transport sees growing congestion as one of the most serious transport problems facing the UK.[79] On 1 December 2006, Rod Eddington published a UK government-sponsored report into the future of Britain's transport infrastructure. The Eddington Transport Study set out the case for action to improve road and rail networks, as a "crucial enabler of sustained productivity and competitiveness". Eddington has estimated that congestion may cost the economy of England £22 bn a year in lost time by 2025. He warned that roads were in serious danger of becoming so congested that the economy would suffer.[80] At the launch of the report Eddington told journalists and transport industry representatives introducing road pricing to encourage drivers to drive less was an "economic no-brainer". There was, he said "no attractive alternative". It would allegedly cut congestion by half by 2025, and bring benefits to the British economy totalling £28 bn a year.[81]

A congestion charge for driving in central London was introduced in 2003. In 2013, ten years later, Transport for London reported that the scheme resulted in a 10% reduction in traffic volumes from baseline conditions, and an overall reduction of 11% in vehicle kilometres in London. Despite these gains, traffic speeds in central London became progressively slower.

United States[edit]

The Texas Transportation Institute estimated that, in 2000, the 75 largest metropolitan areas experienced 3.6 billion vehicle-hours of delay, resulting in 5.7 billion U.S. gallons (21.6 billion liters) in wasted fuel and $67.5 billion in lost productivity, or about 0.7% of the nation's GDP. It also estimated that the annual cost of congestion for each driver was approximately $1,000 in very large cities and $200 in small cities. Traffic congestion is increasing in major cities and delays are becoming more frequent in smaller cities and rural areas.

30% of traffic is cars looking for parking.[82]

According to traffic analysis firm INRIX in 2013,[83] the top 65 worst US traffic congested cities (measured in average hours wasted per vehicle for the year) were:

  1. Los Angeles, California: 64.4 hours
  2. Honolulu, Hawaii: 59.5 hours
  3. San Francisco, California: 56.1 hours
  4. New York, New York: 52.9 hours
  5. Bridgeport, Connecticut: 42.1 hours
  6. Austin, Texas: 41.2 hours
  7. Houston, Texas: 40.6 hours
  8. Washington, D.C.: 40.3 hours
  9. Boston, Massachusetts: 37.9 hours
  10. Seattle, Washington: 37.1 hours
  11. San Jose, California: 34.7 hours
  12. Chicago, Illinois: 34.2 hours
  13. Dallas, Texas: 33.5 hours
  14. El Paso, Texas: 32.6 hours
  15. Denver, Colorado: 31.7 hours
  16. New Haven, Connecticut: 31.2 hours
  17. Fort Worth, Texas: 30.6 hours
  18. Albuquerque, New Mexico: 29.3 hours
  19. Detroit, Michigan: 28.5 hours
  20. Colorado Springs, Colorado: 26.8 hours
  21. St. Louis, Missouri: 25.6 hours
  22. Indianapolis, Indiana: 24.9 hours
  23. Baltimore, Maryland: 23.4 hours
  24. Las Vegas, Nevada: 22.1 hours
  25. Salt Lake City, Utah: 21.9 hours
  26. Lubbock, Texas: 21.5 hours
  27. Provo, Utah: 21.2 hours
  28. Aurora, Colorado: 20.7 hours
  29. New Orleans, Louisiana: 20.2 hours
  30. Arlington, Texas: 19.8 hours
  31. Hartford, Connecticut: 19.6 hours
  32. Miami, Florida: 19.5 hours
  33. Tampa, Florida: 19.4 hours
  34. Daytona Beach, Florida: 19.2 hours
  35. Boise, Idaho: 18.7 hours
  36. Rio Rancho, New Mexico: 18.4 hours
  37. Wichita, Kansas: 18.1 hours
  38. Mobile, Alabama: 17.6 hours;
  39. Fort Collins, Colorado: 16.9 hour
  40. Kansas City, Missouri: 16.7 hours
  41. Columbia, Missouri: 16.3 hours
  42. Abilene, Texas: 16.1 hours
  43. Sacramento, California: 15.8 hours
  44. Midland, Texas: 15.4 hours
  45. Westminster, Colorado: 14.7 hours
  46. Plano, Texas: 14.5 hours
  47. Temple, Texas: 14.2 hours
  48. Loveland, Colorado: 13.8 hours
  49. Amarillo, Texas: 13.2 hours
  50. Odessa, Texas: 12.8 hours
  51. San Antonio, Texas: 12.7 hours
  52. Galveston, Texas: 12.6 hours
  53. Golden, Colorado: 12.3 hours
  54. Greeley, Colorado: 11.8 hours
  55. Santa Barbara, California: 11.6 hours
  56. Anchorage, Alaska: 10.9 hours
  57. Olympia, Washington: 10.7 hours
  58. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: 10.6 hours
  59. Columbus, Ohio: 10.4 hours
  60. Portland, Oregon: 10.2 hours
  61. Redding, California: 9.8 hours
  62. Frederick, Maryland: 9.7 hours
  63. Castle Rock, Colorado: 9.6 hours
  64. Frisco, Texas: 9.4 hour
  65. Trenton, New Jersey: 9.3 hours

The most congested highway in the United States, according to a 2010 study of freight congestion (truck speed and travel time), is Chicago's Interstate 290 at the Circle Interchange. The average truck speed was just 29 mph (47 km/h).[84]

See also[edit]

Congestion on a city road in Moscow
Traffic jam in Los Angeles, 1953
India's economic growth has resulted in a massive increase in the number of private vehicles on its roads overwhelming the transport infrastructure. Shown here is a traffic jam in Delhi.
A frustrated driver in a traffic jam
Metered ramp on I-894 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. The queue of cars waiting at the red light can be seen on the upper portion of the picture.
The HOV lanes in Highway 404 in Southern Ontario are separated by a stripped buffer zone that breaks occasionally to allow vehicles to enter and exit the HOV lane.
During rush hour, right turns onto the side street shown here are prohibited in order to prevent rat running.
Bike lane constructed in congested areas to encourage use of the alternative transportation
Traffic congestion detector in Germany
Highway 401 in Ontario, which passes through Toronto, suffers chronic traffic congestion despite its width of up to 18 lanes, due to bottlenecks with much fewer lanes.[49][50]
Parking space at the Mysore zoo
Traffic congestion on EDSA
Congestion on the shopping high street of Keynsham, a small town in United Kingdom
Rush hour traffic in Interstate 95 in Miami

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