This piece of writing is incited by a constant, ever-growing problem of traffic congestion that we witness everyday while traveling to and from place of work. As Bangalore gears up to the challenge of meeting the growing needs of huge volume of traffic by initiatives like Blackberrys for cops, Bharti Airtel’s tie-up with local administration to provide sms alerts on traffic information and GPS installation in buses, we, the people, need to realize that common sense can also relieve us from our daily woes. Besides that, there are open discussions on radio and other media, which are constantly building up consensus on how to smoothen the traffic flow on city roads.

There is a big difference between “traffic jams” and heavy flow of traffic, both in the cause and its ripple effects. Interestingly, there was this news that Microsoft has introduced a tool called “Clearflow” which directs drivers with route plans in a situation. Microsoft researchers can get away with algorithms designed to serve residents of Seattle, but what about Bangalore?? Ehh…that would take further research on city planning and even more complicated algorithms. Nonetheless it is a good attempt by the software giant to utilize artificial intelligence.

Please follow the link to vote on ways to relieve traffic chaos in Bangalore:

Let us come back to ground realities……on the streets of Bangalore. With more mobile penetration in the city population, consumer demands are increasing on traffic information, according to analysts. Thus it might be a feasible for service providers to integrate real-time traffic information into mobile devices (which apparently “Clearflow” does not possess). Anyways, let us see what the impacts of a typical congestion are:

  • Fuel waste due to idling, accelerating and braking, which contributes to increased emissions leading to global warming
  • Time delays – most of our potentially productive time is lost in the roads
  • Personal losses due to mishaps
  • Increase in stress levels of motorists

Now, aren’t these problems handful to spur us finding some solution? It is. I have listed some key points that need to be addressed at the administrative levels. And, organizations like ours can play a vital role in encouraging healthy practices of commute and ensure that we contribute our bit on this issue of traffic. Car-pooling, mass transport facilities are some of ways to mention.

Below are areas of concern, the sooner they are addressed by the concerned authorities, the better it is.

Road infrastructure

  • Increasing lanes
  • Improving secondary roads
  • Identifying new routes
  • Increasing road capacity

Parking improvements

  • Multilevel parking
  • Incentives and disincentives on parking
  • Generating awareness

The unplanned nature of growth in the city resulted in massive traffic gridlocks that the municipality attempted to ease by constructing a flyover system and by imposing one-way traffic systems. Ahh…..there it goes again. Problem of one-ways….well, reversible lanes/ways/roads based on peak and non-peak hours of traffic is indeed an alternative. Overall, the responsibility lies on each of us. How soon we realize the menace and act against it will depend on initiatives at an individual level. Anyways, that’s all I could sum up as of now……will keep posting on latest traffic solutions soon.

Debanjan Chakraborty