A high-powered committee set up by the Union urban development ministry on decongesting traffic in Delhi has recommended that construction of signal-free corridors, flyovers, underpasses or footover bridges should not be taken up unless these are over a river, a natural barricade or a railway track. The committee has said that these constructions should be done only if there is no other solution possible to ease traffic in the national capital.
In its 126-page report, the committee, set up under the chairmanship of the urban development secretary, has said that street (road) density should be increased per square kilometre rather than increasing street area of a single street. It said street widening should be avoided and smaller grid of streets should be carved out of the existing easements as this would enable people to take shortcuts for short trips without congesting city-level arterial roads.
Among the agencies which participated in bringing out the report include Central ministries of railways, road transport and highways, defence, home affairs, other Central organisations like the Delhi police, DDA, NCRPB, IUT, DMRC, NHAI and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi which was represented through the PWD, transport department, DIMTS, NDMC, MCD and DTC.
The report said that geometry of all junctions should be retrofitted for safety of pedestrians and cyclists. It said that signalled crosswalks should be located every 80-250 km with medium cuts, properly aligned zebra crossings, sidewalks with signals wherever required. “All junctions should be retrofitted with number plate-recognition and other IT related hardware to enable efficient traffic enforcement.”
The committee has recommended that all junctions should have zebra crossings and a dedicated pedestrian signal for easy crossing of pedestrians and cyclists, especially in a commercial and recreational areas. It said roundabouts should be provided wherever feasible to provide greater traffic safety during off-peak hours, especially on low-traffic volume streets. “Junctions to have appropriate traffic calming measures such as table top crossings, paving variations, mastic strips, signage, mini-roundabouts. Finer street network creates more junctions which allow better dispersal of traffic with moderate speeds.”
The committee has strongly recommended freight audit study of the city. It said that the audit should cover the current and future cargo flows to and from Delhi and also the freight movement within the city. “It should cover the transport facilities that are available in Delhi and also the freight movement within Delhi. Based on the freight audit, a freight master plan for Delhi needs to be prepared, based on international best practices adopted to Indian conditions and ensuring that the freight movement happens to and from Delhi and inside Delhi in a sustainable, people and environment-friendly manner.”
The report pointed out that Delhi had developed as a seamless city with an urban continuum, comprising of a number of rapidly growing towns in Haryana and UP. This has added to the flow and movement of traffic within Delhi. Despite measures by way of increasing the length of the road network and road surface space through widening, construction of a number of flyovers/ grade separators, and launching of the Metro, the traffic congestion has continued to increase unabated.
The Delhi Metro is currently about 211-km-long with another 300 km under various stages of construction and carries about 26 lakh passengers per day. Buses in Delhi carry about 52 lakh passengers per day. In spite of this, Delhi faces huge congestion issues.
Source: Asian Age
Dated: 5th June 2016