Problems with Existing Intersection/Junctions

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Problems with Existing Intersection/Junctions
1) Loss of time:

The public is acutely aware of the needless delay at red lights, when we have to wait while no one is using the green. Requests to the Department for Transport, and local authorities under the Freedom of Information Act have failed to establish a justification for needless delays. (If a passenger loses 1 minute per day, the total annual loss is 700000 years)

The needless delay at a red light is an obstruction, an offence for which citizens get fined. To forbid licensed motorists to cross a road against red when an 8-year old school kid is allowed to do so is an insult to the intelligence and a sign of contempt for our civil right to use the road without getting endangered and obstructed by a system that was meant to assure safe and expeditious travel.

2) Loss of fuel:

It is quite obvious that there will be a considerable amount of loss of fuel at traffic junctions and intersections.

At an average, a vehicle loses 1.6 liters of fuel at traffic intersections daily.

An official report attributed 40% of fuel consumption in US urban areas to the inefficiencies of the traffic signals.

As fuel is considered to be the non-renewable source of energy it is our concern to reduce the wastage of fuel, at least to some extent.

3) Accidents at traffic lights:

Road accidents are a human tragedy. It involves high human suffering and monetary cost in terms of premature deaths, injuries, loss of productivity etc. Most deaths and injuries due to road accidents are invisible to society. They are a hidden epidemic. In the last few years traffic on the National Highways/State Highways increased manifold and so have the accidents. Every year more than 1.00 Lacs fatal accidents occur on Indian roads, more than 4.00 Lacs persons are injured and the economic loss due to road accidents is estimated to be over Rs. 36,000 crore. 40% of these accidents take place on National Highways. It will be pertinent to compare the number of people murdered and the people who die in accidents every year. About 20,000 people are murdered in a year in India. It is evident that the number of people killed in accidents is five times more than that those are murdered.  On the National Highways/State Highways passing through the State of Haryana, more than 4,000 persons are killed and nearly 8,000 injured every year. The vehicular population in the country has also increased manifold. Thus, it is very much necessary to regulate the traffic movement on National Highways.

The traffic light turned out to be one of those medicines that cures one disease and gives you another. It was known by the mid-1930s that traffic lights increased accident frequency. They compress an hour's traffic into half an hour of green time and thereby halve all headways. They then make drivers go fast and keep close to the vehicle in front for fear of missing the green light, with their eyes up in the air rather than on the road. The combination of high speed, tailgating, diverted attention and sudden stops causes front-to-rear crashes. The Highway Code calls for moderate speed and extra care at junctions, and for safe following distance at all times. Like the major road, the traffic light encourages a disregard of the most elementary safety rules. The RSGPG says that traffic signals cause accidents to pedestrians, particularly in congested conditions, and advises their use should be avoided where possible. In London, 19% of road accidents occur at signaled junctions. An Australian study called signalized intersections the most dangerous sites on the road.

4)Loss of capacity: 

Less obvious to the public than the needless delay is the reduction in junction capacity and the resulting congestion caused by traffic lights. The system severely reduces capacity just when we need more of it in heavy traffic. The greater the proportion of right-turners, the lower is the vehicle-carrying capacity of a junction. The right-turn problem originates from the rule that gives the through-driver from the opposite direction priority and obstructs the right-turning vehicle from leaving the junction, so that those who want to go straight ahead get blocked behind it. The remedy of installing traffic lights makes the problem worse, more so when right-turn lanes and multi-phase signals are added. If the opposing traffic stream gave way to the right-turners, the problem would be gone. That’s how roundabouts work.

5) Environmental problems and increase in stress:

Most intensive exposure to air pollution happens at traffic junctions. It is mainly due to the ‘stop and go’ nature of the traffic flow. This severely affects the health of the people. It may also lead to major respiratory problems.

One other major issue which often goes unnoticed is Noise pollution. Noise pollution, such as jack hammers or constant tapping, can cause stress, headaches, impair hearing, and disturb every day life.
These days, mental stress on human beings is increasing in many ways. Traffic Jam is one of the root causes for increased stress levels in humans. Such problems exist predominantly in many cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi.
During peak hours, it takes a couple of hours to drive a stretch of 10 to 20km. Traffic jams appear at almost every kilometer in major cities. Most people increase stress levels while waiting at traffic jams on their way to work, meetings, trainings or interviews.
6) Problems with traffic junctions with statistical analysis

Generally to avoid traffic congestions and accidents traffic junctions are provided. Traffic junctions are generally controlled by traffic policemen or traffic sensing signal lights. Consequently, there is a huge loss of time, loss of fuel. It also results other problems like pollution and increased stress levels. This could be partially reduced by introducing flyovers and underpasses. But it is still restricted only to a minimum number of intersecting lanes.

Here are some stats regarding some major Mumbai traffic junctions

Number of vehicles and passengers which pass through some major junctions in Mumbai

All Buses

Cars / Taxis

Auto Rickshaws

2 wheelers

Comm. Vehicles

Total PCU



Passengers In**











4 wheelers

2 wheelers








Chembur- Akbarally's

Curr. Actual











Mahim Church

Curr. Actual











Dar Consultants

In 2005











Haji Ali

Curr. Actual











Agripada (CES)






Above working leads to following hypotheses:

The locations chosen for traffic & passenger count are among the high volume junctions. It means that current pass volume in peak hr/peak direction is nowhere more than 20,000. This "high figure" is on western exp highway with 6-7 lanes in each direction. It is incorrect to justify very high cost metro/mono rail projects for these volumes by assuming a secular growth in traffic at 5% plus on these arteries. As more economically and environmentally sustainable land use can reduce the traffic growth while improving on economic growth.

Final verdict:

Today’s urban traffic control does not move traffic safely and expeditiously with minimal negative environmental impact at an economic cost. A system that causes accidents, delay and congestion is not fit for purpose. Elevated speeds, needless stops and delays, and the priority of drivers who enter a junction over those who are trying to exit have inflicted untold damage on society for the best part of a century.

Hence to come out of these problems we are proposing a model

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