Traffic rules no match for vehicle pressure

NEW DELHI: With more people in the city relying on personal transport, the density of traffic in the city is increasing, joint commissioner of police Maxwell Pereira said.

"There's a limit to regulation. Unless we have an adequate public transport system that is regular and convenient, the congestion will remain." Pereira told The Times of India.

Yet, the traffic police have been implementing innovative traffic circulation schemes - doing away with right turns, enabling U-turns and installing traffic control devices at major intersections - to decongest the roads, he said.

"With the Metro, the decongestion on roads will start, but only when it graduates as an alternate mode of networking," said Pereira

The onus of traffic regulation can't be placed entirely on the police, says Rohit Baluja, president of the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE).

According to Baluja, "Ten factors should be taken into consideration: encroachments, condition of roads, signals, signals' timing, traffic volume, hindrances, peak time, type of traffic, pedestrian/cyclist lanes, and crisis management. If there's trouble on one of these fronts, chaos ensues."

"Traffic management is a science. It begins with road engineering. Hawkers and unauthorisedly parked vehicles are encroaching most arterial roads. Bus-stops near intersections also hold up the traffic. This is not proper engineering. There should be demarcation for everything," said Baluja.

He added that rumblestrips near intersections have contributed to the mess. Unless civic authorities ensure that there is no commerce on the roads and repairs the rumblestrips, the situation will not improve.

At the roundabout near the Kalkaji bus depot, signages are being obliterated by hoardings. With pipelines blocking the cyclist track and the pedestrian lane, the main road is fair game for schoolchildren, jaywalkers, cyclists and motor vehicles.

On this issue, Periera said there is a constant endeavour to interact with the local bodies. "Wherever signages are being blocked by foliage or poles, we are trying to realign them." Amit Uniyal, a resident of Janak Puri, said: "A profusion of signages at an intersection only confuse the commuter. At major intersections like the Moolchand flyover, the only signages one can see are hospital boards. Information regarding particular destinations are not prominent."

Drivers having a bad sense of direction increase the volume of vehicular traffic at such junctions, Baluja said.

Stoplines: At 220 intersections across the city, 52 per cent of the stoplines are absent, 18 per cent have faded out and only 30 per cent are present, according to a survey by the IRTE.

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