Kanpur , Faridabad, Varanasi , Gya, Patna, Delhi, unknow , Agra, Muzzafarpur & Gurgaon these are one of the most polluted city in India.. The latest traffic report said that three Indian cities are in top 10 rank at global traffic congestion ranking in the world. the traffic condition in four big Indian cities- Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Pune is crawling back close to the pre-pandemic label.
City traffic and congestion is an old issue that’s only getting worse. Even with the presence of public transportation systems, vehicles remain necessary, and in many cases, a city’s infrastructure just can’t keep up with the volume of vehicles. If you’ve ever tried to travel through a city during rush hour, you know the frustration of city traffic and congestion.
It is often incorrectly suggested that congestion may be solved with one big idea, such as Widening the roads, Adding New bus lanes, Building a tunnel, Build a new ring road, Build a light rail network, Ban bullock-cart, Ban cycling, Ban cars from city centers, Build more car parks, Build more park-and-rides etc.
None of these can deliver a complete solution, and most of them provide only temporary relief until induced demand fills up the road space once more. Road pricing (which we cover later) is the nearest to a one-hit solution, but it still needs to be paired with big improvements to public and active transport options.
Heavy-engineering measures, such as bus lanes, street-running trams, and tunneling, can attract support from politicians, mindful of their legacy. But such projects typically require years of highly disruptive work, destroy fragile streetscapes, and undermine the viability of other public transport options. Widening a road to add a bus lane makes it more difficult for pedestrians to cross, and may compromise the quality of cycling infrastructure that can be accommodated. A tram line or park-and-ride can cannibalize the patronage of rural bus services. Business cases need to be built up carefully, and only after ‘softer’ measures have been implemented, or at least modeled in detail.
So, How do we solve this issue? It will take some significant changes, that many are working on helping to improve congestion and traffic. the problem of traffic needs to be handled at a four-corner approach. solving the technical issues as well as providing awareness to the road users. It’s a well-known fact that many Indians are not properly trained and a very bad road users. let’s have a look at the solution part.
1. Ride Sharing and Ride Hailing Apps
Ridesharing and ride-hailing apps came with the promise to help to reduce congestion and traffic in cities. Though ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft provide an alternative transportation option for city-goers, they often ADD cars to the road. In New York city alone, an estimated 100,000 cars were added to the roads via these new services, as often times residents use them INSTEAD of public transportation.
The good news? Companies like Gridwise (a fellow Techstar mobility company) are building platforms that helps rideshare drivers to better manage their business and decrease the time waiting (and circling) for passengers. Community, our fellow SXSW accelerator company is optimizing mobility for commuters, enterprises and business districts. The company captures holistic commuting data and generates recommendations while measuring time, cost and carbon efficiencies.
2. Implementing Adaptive Traffic Signals
If you’ve ever sat in traffic watching the light turn green, then red, then green, then red without ever being able to move because of gridlock, then you know how impractical traffic signals can be at times. Traffic signals, particularly those that aren’t properly adjusted to traffic conditions, contribute to city congestion. Traffic signals can cause and worsen gridlock, but implementing adaptive traffic signals can improve the issue.
Adaptive traffic signals could be adjusted to the congestion of a particular intersection. Their patterns and the duration of each signal could be altered for more optimal performance, so gridlock isn’t such a headache and more vehicles are able to navigate the intersection with a minimal wait time.
3. Drones to the Rescue?
Could using drones to deliver products within cities help to cut down on traffic congestion? Possibly. According to a study conducted by the RAND Corporation, there could be several benefits to turning to drones for deliveries. The study states that it would take 100 drones to approach a volume that’s comparable to city traffic, making for a quieter delivery option. And with companies like Amazon, the United Parcel Service, DHL, and even Google testing out drone delivery, it’s likely that we’ll see this technology in cities sooner rather than later.
New Zealand Transport Minister Simon Bridges views drone deliveries as a potential solution to Auckland’s congested traffic. Bridges noted that drones meant less delivery trucks and less drivers on the road. He included the idea in his 30-year transport plan for Auckland. But likely not an immediate fit.
Perhaps the most effective way to reduce city traffic congestion is also one of the simplest solutions: Carpool! Carpooling reduces the number of vehicles on the road, which helps to reduce traffic issues. It also has the benefits of reducing emissions and wear and tear on city streets. Many urban areas allow vehicles with multiple passengers to use high-occupancy vehicle lanes, which are typically less congested, further improving the fuel economy.
Often overlooked is the fact that not only commuting to work via tools like Scoop will ease traffic, but parents are causing up to a third of the morning rush hour traffic. Our mission here at GoKid is to change this pattern.
Thanks to GoKid, setting up carpools for kids is easy. GoKid allows you to easily schedule carpools with other parents, so you all split the driving and can get kids to and from sports events, afterschool activities, and even summer camps. Carpooling doesn’t just make your life easier, saves your thousands of hours, but you’ll be helping to reduce traffic, too.
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5. Optimise traffic-light management
Urban Traffic Management Control (UTMC) systems such as SCOOT can be very effective in maximising road capacity by varying the timing of traffic lights to match demand in real time. When lights are all co-ordinated responsively to demand, incidences of ‘blocking back’ (vehicles stuck injunctions) leading to gridlock can be minimised. Traffic planners can also prepare and model programs to cope with specific scenarios (such as an incident on an arterial road), which can then be loaded into the UTMC immediately they’re needed.
UTMC can help prioritize buses by synchronizing light phases to the movements of buses. Modern systems can even see whether a bus is running on or behind schedule, and vary the amount of priority it gives accordingly (e.g. by limiting green time from cross roads).
The non-linearity of the relationship between traffic ‘flow’ and ‘delay’ means that relatively small reductions in flow (say 10-15%) can result in very large reductions in congestion. In Cambridge this is experienced as a ’half term effect’: flow reductions of under 15% during school holidays lead to an almost congestion-free peak hour.
6. Use CCTV to monitor road conditions
Use of CCTV at junctions allows traffic managers to see breakdowns, collisions and other causes of congestion. Combined with good communication systems with Highways England, the police and major road users (such as airports, train stations, retail parks), this can ensure traffic managers receive advance warning of issues that will impact their network.
Any CCTV equipment installed should comply with the minimum standards required to support legal enforcement.
7. Enforce existing road traffic laws
Illegal parking, waiting, loading/unloading obstructs traffic flow, reduces capacity at junctions, holds up buses, and increases danger to those walking or cycling. Blocking junctions, which is illegal where there’s a yellow box, can cause gridlock across a wide area of the road network.
Driving at an inappropriate speed, jumping red lights, or driving through restricted areas all contribute to fatalities, injuries and an unwillingness for people to walk or cycle, or to allow their children to do so unaccompanied.
There is currently an acceptance that it’s OK for delivery vehicles to park up on the pavement outside a shop, even when there’s a safer alternative. The convenience of the delivery driver outweighs convenience and safety of pedestrians, wheelchair users and those with infant buggies.
The government is currently reviewing the law around pavement parking. It may decide to extend to the rest of the country the ban that exists in London, but that will still require enforcement. Penalty Charge Notices currently given for illegal unloading are seen simply as a cost of doing business, so perhaps an escalating penalty for repeat offences should be considered.
8. Charge for workplace parking
Free parking at employment sites attracts traffic and therefore contributes indirectly to congestion. Nottingham has led the way in introducing a workplace parking levy (WPL). The effect on congestion is relatively small, but significant. More importantly it incentivises employers to help their employees find alternative ways to get to work. Measures may include:
- Re-allocate car parking for cycle parking
- Set up or join a car-share scheme
- Pay for taxis as a back-up when car-sharing does not work out
- Provide financial assistance (e.g. loans) to buy train or bus season tickets
- Build a changing room and showers
- Assist with subsidising public bus services to extend the hours of operation
- Where there is no (nearly) suitable public bus service, run a works bus.
9. Improve cycling infrastructure
“Build it and they will come” is as true of cycle paths as of roads – as long as they provide a continuous connection between places that people want to travel between, without dangerous junctions or road crossings.
The keys to good design that is attractive to people of all ages and abilities are:
- Build protected cycle lanes, with as much separation as possible from busy roads and, where possible, from pedestrians
- Design segregated crossings at busy junctions, where potential conflicts between cars, cycles and pedestrians are reduced to a minimum
- Introduce the Turning the Corner simplification of the Highway Code and underlying law (essentially, turning vehicles and cycles must give way to all cars, cycles and pedestrians proceeding straight on), as proposed by British Cycling, the AA and RAC Foundation
- Create and sign cut-throughs to create networks of quiet routes that connect up residential areas, schools, libraries, shops and other amenities
- Remove physical obstacles, especially if they require people to dismount. Research by academic Rachel Aldred has found that many people with impaired mobility get around on bicycles and tricycles but are unable to negotiate steps.
10. Road pricing
There is no doubt that road pricing can work: in Singapore, for instance, a network of ‘gates’ that charge a toll that varies in relation to demand successfully keeps a lid on congestion. But there is a complex debate to be had around designing and implementing road pricing: the social, political and technical challenges are huge and will take years to resolve. That process needs to start now.
- Physical cost (building, repairing and renewing roads and associated infrastructure)
- Environmental cost (pollution, noise, vibration caused)
- Social cost (e.g. in contributing to congestion, delaying other drivers)
- Social benefit the driver is providing (e.g. a health worker)
- The driver’s need to use a vehicle (e.g. health-related or no access to public transport)
- Commercial benefit derived from driving, especially at peak times
The name of the game is ‘modal shift’. Long-term reductions in congestion require people to switch to more sustainable, space-efficient modes of transport: walking, cycling, buses, trams and trains. Though some relief may be gained from increasing the efficiency and capacity of the road network, this will always be short-term: the iron law of induced demand will see to that. People will simply adapt to prevailing road conditions, choosing whichever route is quickest, and increasing driving distances as road speeds increase.
To achieve modal shift in towns and cities we need to invest in improving sustainable transport modes and, at the same time, reduce capacity, access and convenience of urban road networks for motor vehicles. This requires a revolution in transport planning: no longer can the motor vehicle be king of the city. We must design urban roads and streets to be attractive and convenient places to walk, cycle and use public transport. Where compromise is necessary, because of lack of space or safety concerns, it is motor vehicles that must give way: diverted away from sensitive streets or slowed down.
For this not to be portrayed as a “war on motorists”, we must find ways to filter motor vehicles so as to deter people from driving who have alternatives, but without severely inconveniencing those who, for personal or business reasons, have no alternative. Transport professionals must adjust the way they refer to people, not as ‘motorists’ or ‘cyclists’, but as people who drive, cycle, walk, take a bus, etc. Change is not a zero-sum game: someone’s gain is not necessarily someone else’s loss: we all stand to gain from having more travel options.