Flexible traffic signals can solve congestion

It’s not an uncommon fact anymore that Bengaluru suffers from one of the worst traffic conditions in the whole country, where it can surprisingly take an hour to travel a distance as short as a few kilometres. While the daily victims of this grim state of affairs unsparingly blame the administration for the poor metro coverage, insufficient flyovers, dilapidated roads, and unprepared public transportation; here we propagate a specific issue which has seldom been discussed.

Bengaluru’s red lights at the traffic signals usually last for exorbitantly long durations that can be up to 5 minutes. Go to Koramangala sony signal any weekday evening if you don’t agree. Outwardly, this situation might seem irrelevant to the problem at hand as it doesn’t have any direct correlation with the number of vehicles or commuters, but that is not true. As it happens the duration for the signals increase as the overall vehicular traffic in the city increases and Bengaluru has seen it all. The surge in the time limit might be sensible during peak hours and on specific routes like those moving into the city in the evening after office and those moving out of the city to reach the office, but its futility in all other cases calls for a revamp.

The situation is like this: when the light stays green for literally five minutes or nearly five minutes, in most cases the last minute involves a free ride by commuters who did not have to wait at the traffic light as the light stayed green for too long. Due to this extra wasteful minute traffic gets clogged up and congestion increases on all other sides. If it’s a cross road junction then there well may be a splurge of extra 4 minutes in just one signal, do the math and one can imagine how travelling on the road becomes gruelling in Bengaluru.

These instances are more often repeated in the off hours when even though the number of vehicles is less the red light stays on tormentingly long, and hapless travellers curse Bengaluru traffic and then adjust with it because they feel incapable of amending it. Also, despite generating awareness for the same the drivers don’t generally turn their ignition off and burn the fuel away for minutes and minutes thereby opening the door to toxic pollution level in the city and hurting the global climate revival prospects.

This issue requires a flexible traffic signal system which can increase or decrease the duration of the time limit as per the time and the traffic situation. It is also imperative that timers are installed and attached to all popular traffic signals so that people know if they have enough time to switch their engines off. It doesn’t require setting up of any sophisticated machinery but only cleverness and efficiency. These trivial but critical reforms can alleviate the traffic problems by a considerable margin. After all, once the small things are taken care of the bigger things all start falling in place.

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1 Comment

  1. This concept of extended green is a primary cause of traffic in Bangalore. The people who need to understand this is the traffic cops. They seem to come from the school of thought of “clear at least one road completely”. I have been the first one waiting at the earlier signal at Graphite India junction and watched an over enthusiastic traffic warden doing his 10 minute thing. First teach their trainers, then the others will learn.

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