Automated signals coming, end to traffic gridlock soon?

Bengaluru: For city's motorists, traffic gridlocks are an everyday reality. Traffic police officials claim that the proposed automated traffic signals could ease their woes to some extent. These signals are fitted with sensors and they can gauge the traffic density at a junction through heat, noise and humidity. They will automatically provide green signal for lanes where there is a longer pile up of vehicles. 

This system is in place at a few traffic signals, but currently they function only during peak hours. Now the traffic police department plans to make them work round the clock.  A senior police officer said, “The tenders are ready and we are waiting for the government's approval.” They expect to implement in six months. For the first phase, the traffic police have identified 100 signals in high traffic density areas, while in the second phase they will identify another 100.     

The traffic police department is ready to float the tenders, pending government approval.  Due to exponential increase in the vehicular population in Bengaluru, traffic congestion is a common sight across the city and motorists end up waiting for long time at various signals. Now these automated signals, fitted with sensors, will sense the traffic density at a junction and automatically provide green signal for lanes where there is long pile up of vehicles. 

This system was already in place at a few traffic signals, but has not been very effective, as it was modified to work only during peak hours. Now the traffic police department plans to make the automated signals work round the clock.  A senior police officer said, “The tenders are ready and we are just waiting for the government’s approval. Already a few private companies have approached us and we have tested a few signals and it has worked out well. Once we get the approval and from the Government, then within six months we will install these automated signals. In the first phase we have identified 100 signals and in the second we will identify another 100. We will be covering all the major signals where there is high traffic density.” 

“The private company which gets the tender will also be told to ensure that these systems are maintained on a regular basis and rectified immediately when they develop a snag. These automated signals will detect the density of traffic through heat, noise and humidity,” the officer added. Another officer, however, pointed out that several traffic signals in the city are not timed properly.

“For example the traffic signal at Swami Vivekanada Metro station where the moving signal timing for people commuting on Old Madras Road is more than 140 seconds while motorists coming from Indiranagar 80 Feet Road have a moving time of only 25 seconds and this results in huge traffic pile up, as the green signal duration is too short. There are many such signals in the city,” he mentioned. For now there are plans to install the automated signals in the Central Business District (CBD), Sony World Junction in Koramangala, Ejipura junction, K.R. Puram, C.M.H. Road, NGEF junction on Old Madras Road, Commercial Street, Peenya Main Road, Yelahanka, Sanjay Nagar, Sadshivanagar,         Palace Road and other places.

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