24 I INTELLIGENT TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

Smart roads
Intelligent traffic management systems are up and running in Delhi and Bangalore, with police reporting a resulting reduction in congestion and fatal accidents. Other cities are likely to follow suit soon
Words

I Arnaud Renard

nme- and fuel-consuming jams in Delhi have forced a significant percentage of people to leave their private vehicles for public transport

Over the past few years, the density of traffic in India's major cities has soared, bringing with it inevitable gridlock and a pressing need to resolve the situation. As incomes in the country have risen, so, too, has the car manufacturing industry taken off. Indians bought 1.5 million cars in 2007 more than double the number m 2003, while in 2007 2008 alone, 9.6 million vehicles were sold in the country In six Indian cities - Mumbai

Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad - traffic is growing four times more quickly than the population. But nowhere is this increase more acute than in Delhi. The capital is now said to have as many cars as Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai combined. With the increased vehicle numbers comes the need to keep them moving, and so the government has responded with the introduction of an intelligent traffic management system (lTM).

Tackling traffic issues in Delhi The city was forced into action prior to hosting 2010's Commonwealth Games Features that were introduced to help the free flow of traffic during the Games mcluded dedicated lanes for athletes travelling to and from venues, live monitoring of vehicular flow and the installatlon of 'intelligent' cameras at intersections. This year, Delhi police's budget allocation has been increased by more than Rs500

Intertraffic World India I Special Issue 2011

INTELLIGENT TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT 25

crore to Rs3,340 crore, with Rs 99 crore already being devoted to the current plan, and around Rs 82 crore of this being used to fund the ITM system. The initial budget allocated for the scheme had been Rs 200 crore. A similar scheme has also been implemented in Bangalore, where the state government has promised to spend Rs 79 crore to help Bangalore police improve traffic management. In Delhi, though, the project will cover approximately 220lan of urban major roads, with approximately 240 signalised intersections. The main components include a traffic control and management centre, a disaster recovery centre, an incident detection system on expressways, and adaptive signal control of at-grade intersections. It will also include a CCTV camera system, traffic information system with variable message signs, adaptive speed control on national highways, speed and !j3d light violation cameras and a parking management system. "Traffic management is critical to the city,' a senior member of Delhi Police's administrative department said. "With the new system, CCTV footage will be recorded and it will help us tackle the growing terror-related activities." It is hoped that the new system will also help tackle the congestion problem as well as improve road safety and reduce time spent travelling across the City Furthermore, it is thought the reduction in vehicles stopping and starting at intersections will help to reduce pollution in the City Mobile police patrolling, real-time traffic information and participation from the population via social networking sites and SMS are all expected to contribute to Delhi's traffic solutions. The use of social networking has proved to be a particularly popular aspect of the scheme, with Delhi Traffic Police's Facebook page so far attracting nearly 44,000 members, who are given access to updates on the latest diversions and roadworks. Throughout 2011, Delhi police plan to install 1,700 cameras covering all intersections in the city.

remotely manages the city's traffic. "We're monitoring nearly 120 cameras put up at different junctions remotely," explains one of the traffic management team. "When we see a violation at a signal, we zoom into the vehicle, capture images of its numberplate and issue a fine." Online ticketing facilities, video footage and technology-led surveys monitor signals across the city, as well as offences such as illegal parking and speeding. Alongside the automated services, policemen on foot use BlackBerry phones and Bluetooth printers to register offences, "We have set a target of reducing congestion by 3090 in central areas, reducing accidents by 300 0 and improving parking management," says Praveen Sood, additional commissioner of traffic for the Bangalore police. The effectiveness of the system is clear: statistics show that before the introduction

of B-TRAC in 2007, traffic police recorded nearly 1.4 million offences; this had gone up to 3.3 million three years later. Out of 300 traffic signals in Bangalore, 163 have already been co=ected to the traffic management centre. Of these, 120 are vehicle-activated, meaning that if there is a four-second period where no vehicles pass through, the signal automatically turns to red.

I

Free flow Is the aim of India's new ITS strategy

Spreading the technology India has an existing partnership with the Netherlands in the form of a group set up to facilitate road safety and traffic management. Past meetings have discussed issues including traffic jams, road safety, pollution control and the use of information technology in maintaining traffic management. The meetings, headed by the Netherlands Minister of Infrastructure and Environment, Melanie Schultz Van Hagen and Indian Road Transport and Highways, Minister Dr G.p. ]oshi, also discussed India's road safety awareness campaign. Although some features of Delhi's intelligent traffic management system have already been introduced, there has been some frustration at the lack of success in finding a suitable company to implement the project. Bidding is expected to take place again later this year, after previous tender requests failed to find a suitable bidder, A worldwide call for companies to register their interest in the project initially produced 21 firms but none was deemed to have the necessary credentials. With eight cities in India with a population of over three million, it seems only a matter of time before the likes of Mumbai follow the example set by Delhi and Bangalore and adopt the intelligent traffic management technology. •

[]

Traffic management in Bangalore According to police statistics, the constant patrolling around major intersections that has already been actioned has brought down the number of fatal accidents in Bangalore to go o. The traffic police in the city receive a grant of Rs 40 crore a=ually for the city's traffic management, with operations run from a dedicated Traffic Management Centre, a technology centre at the heart of Bangalore's police where a team

Police in Bangalore are modernising slgnallsed Intersections and have a seen a safety benefit

Special Issue 2011

I Intertraffic World India

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful