“If you can drive in Ahmedabad, you can drive anywhere in the world!” – I have been told this not once but a few thousand times, not as a compliment for my driving skills but as a taunt for the lack of driving discipline we as a community have in Ahmedabad. Everyday when I am driving on the wonderful roads in Ahmedabad, I see driving etiquette crimes committed by far too many people. I cringe and at times commit the same mistakes too! Nudging pedestrians, tailgating, double parking, leaving high beams on, honking, not using indicators – just a few crimes wherein we have been both the victim and villain as well. Enough complaining… is there anyone taking any action to change this situation? Yes!
Ahmedabad Traffic Police (ATP) in joint association with city based non-profit organization, Centre for Green Mobility (CGM), has initiated a Right Steps Programme to improve traffic management at intersections for all road users.
As part of the programme, major traffic intersections are being surveyed in the city, results are analyzed to improve management and traffic behavior. Harikrishna Patel, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said, “ATP is doing innovative work to address growing traffic issues in the city. We have partnered with CGM for their Right Steps Programme which emphasizes on proper planning & management of traffic flow in the city.” According to CGM, the initial survey of studied traffic intersection revealed prolonged traffic signal cycle, lack of refuge point for pedestrians, illegal parking, poor marking of signs & signage and confusing left turn markings infrastructure, resulting in unsafe behavior of motorists and difficulties pedestrians in crossing the stretch. Speaking about the initiative, Executive Director, CGM, Anuj Malhotra said, “These changes are not only important from the perspective of traffic management, but are hugely important in terms of increasing safety of users, whether it is car users or pedestrians.” About thirty traffic intersections have been identified in Ahmedabad wherein traffic management is essential.
As a pilot test, Vijay char rasta traffic intersection has been taken on a priority. Harikrishna Patel said, “As part of the exercise, intersections designing & planning are high on our agenda. CGM has done initial surveys and suggested improvements which we will be implemented on a temporary basis to see the difference. ATP focus is on increasing safety at the intersections. It will help in reducing waiting minutes at the traffic junctions and also to improve the safety aspects of vulnerable road users like pedestrians & cyclists”
Items being executed for the Pilot Study at Vijay Char Rasta
1. Lane marking for channelizing traffic on street and on intersection.
2. Lane protection with the help of temporary barricades and cones.
3. Marking of parking spots.
4. Marking of rotary and temporary barricading.
5. Temporary signage.
6. Signal timing change as per new design to test refresh rates.
7. Marking of bus lane.
The temporary design intervention at Vijay Cross Road has addressed the issue of over speeding of buses at the crossing. It also ensures safety of traffic police, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.
Both the scenarios, existing & temporary changes will be compared to see what works best in easing traffic congestion. In a city where 600 vehicles are added daily and over 22 lakh vehicles run on city roads, it is essential to take some actions. The Ahmedabad Blog wishes Ahmedabad Traffic Police (ATP) and Centre for Green Mobility (CGM) a good luck for their pilot test. We look forward to more positive changes in Ahmedabad traffic situation.