Sunday, July 28, 2013

Traffic count@ Hinjewadi Chowk - Pune

Finally I took some time off to do what I have always wanted to do. I went to Hinjewadi Chowk to count the vehicular traffic. Now you must be wondering why would any one want to do that! Traffic counting is boring and taxing! What would it be used for?

Well at this point, you would have lost interest in this post and moved to another interesting thing to read..for those of you who are still on this post here are the reasons for doing traffic count:

1. We need traffic counts for traffic signal timing

A traffic junction "chowk as it in known in India" has atleast 8 turning movements. In order to plan the signal timing it is important to understand the volume of traffic for each turning movement. This helps us to time the traffic signal accordingly.

2. For assessment of roadside air pollution

Air pollution models need hourly traffic counts to assess the emissions which are then fed in to models to predict the impact of traffic on the pedestrians and people staying in nearby properties/

3. We need traffic counts to plan out required road width

Roads are designed to handle a specific capacity of vehicles. City planners use predicted future traffic data to design roads. However in India it is not unusual for roads to have exceeded their planned capacity.

 So with the above reasons, I went for counting the traffic at Hinjewadi Chowk. Here is what is the preliminary conclusions of our count observations:

1. Road capacity had been exceeded causing increase in wait times at signals. 9-10.30 am is the worst time to be caught here. Expect minimum of 20-30 minutes to navigate this patch. At evening 7-8.30 pm is bad.

2. There are equal numbers of two-wheeler and 4 wheelers. Most 4 wheelers have single drivers

3. Impact of polluting gases is on pedestrian and roadside establishments, bus passengers and two wheelers. - One hour at this junction is enough to make your head ache - Usual suspects SOx, NOx, Ozone and PM10 to blame - Detailed air pollution predictive modelling will be required to estimate the actual levels of pollution here.

4. Munipal Buses run in more than full capacity - very few in number.

5. Company Buses are a norm and comprise of more than 80% of the total bus count.

6. Buses and 6 seaters give out visibly bad exhaust gases - PUC not applicable to them :-(

.... its a crazy junction - noise pollution exceeding with car owners incessantly honking so that pedestrians move out! Currently road is full of this is pain chowk so to say........Turning movements here are interesting..I will post more interesting points about this in next blog - keep reading......

I haven't seen any study of traffic count or air pollution being done here... if you find any recent study pl let me know.