Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bangalore Traffic - An unstoppable monster?

Bangalore traffic needs no introduction. Everyone in Bangalore experiences it everyday and knows that it is a menace. It makes it to the headlines every other day. The ruling party boasts of huge multi-crore plans to improve the situation. And the opposition always finds something to contradict that. The cops put the blame on the IT sector. So is it that nothing can be done to stop this menace?

I do agree that we need better infrastucture to cope up with the growing traffic. But I feel that many things can be done to improve the traffic situation. Here are a few :

  • The truck traffic causes a lot of hazards. Stop truck traffic during peak hours. Say from 8AM - 10AM and from 5:30PM to 7:30PM. This does not mean that the trucks should be stopped on the roads. Also make sure that the trucks do not enter major roads during peak hours. And because trucks move very slowly, trucks entering major junctions should be stopped bout half an hour before specified peak hours.
  • The BMTC bus drivers should be taught something called lane discipline. The BMTC does a great job by encouraging usage of public transport. But the BMTC drivers think they own the roads. They drive the buses on clogged roads thinking themselves to be superior than Micheal Schumacher. The BMTC buses must be made to stick to outer most lanes so that they dont have to cross lanes at bus-stops.
  • The local passenger buses should be banned during peak hours and so should be tractors. The local passenger buses do not have anything like defined stops and so they stop wherever they feel like. And the tractors can never move faster than 20 kmph.This causes major bottlenecks at many places.
  • The signals should not be manned by cops during peak hours by switching off the signal lights. The traffic lights do a better job in managing traffic than the cops any given day. The traffic cops do not know that something called arbitration exists and allow traffic to flow in one direction until they see no vehicles in that lane.
  • There should be a minimum lane speed imposed. Some vehicles move very slowly and cause bottlenecks. A minimum speed of 40 should be imposed for smoother traffic flow during peak hours.
  • Many roads in Bangalore are currently been re-laid. But the state of the roads at the junctions is still the same. The junctions where more than 3 roads meet are mostly in pathetic states. This takes a long time for the vehicles to convey through. The situation could be better if the junctions are also re-laid.
  • Major junctions have a lot of people crossing the roads. Overhead crossings should be provided for people so that vehicle flow is not disrupted.
  • The bus stops should be moved from present places to more convenient locations. Also, by-lanes should be provided for the bus stop. Most of the bus stops are just after a signal or just after a speed bump. This leads to clogging of traffic. Such stops should be moved further down the road.

I have tried to list some of the points which I feel would improve the traffic. But as it said, we need to change overselves first if we need to change the world. I feel that everyone of us should follow proper lane discipline and use proper indicators while driving. Everyone of us is in a hurry when we drive. So we need to co-operate with each other. Also, please try to use public transport or office transport. Vehicle pooling can also be done. If we wish, we can make a difference.

If you feel that there is more that can be done to improve the traffic situation, please comment.