In an attempt to get rid of the innumerable traffic bottlenecks across the city during peak hours, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to undertake the city’s first traffic census over the next two months.
Under this, vehicular and pedestrian movement in traffic-laden pockets will be videographed over a period of time. Sitaram Kunte, BMC commissioner, said the census
will help ascertain parking requirements of the area or ways to improve traffic, by projects such as flyovers or foot overbridges.
Additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta said the census would help the corporation when they plan future projects. In the census, which will be undertaken in collaboration with the Mumbai Transformation Support Unit (MTSU), the BMC will scientifically compile data of the traffic flow at major junctions and roads. “This will be the first traffic census in the city and a Rs. 5 crore proposal has been finalised,” said Gupta.
The BMC has simultaneously planned a detailed micro-simulation study of traffic, which will form the basis of future plans to develop and build more bridges, subways and remove bottlenecks over the next two decades.
“Instead of acquiring data for individual traffic and parking related projects, we plan to conduct a comprehensive traffic snapshot of the whole city by acquisition of city-wide traffic data,” civic chief Sitaram Kunte had said in his budget speech this year.
The BMC had received proposals from four firms, of which three have been finalised to undertake the work. The IIT-Bombay will be also appointed to assume the role of the third party and review the work.
This detailed study will be digitised by the BMC for future reference. Transport experts welcomed the move, but demanded greater intervention into people’s vehicular patterns. “It is a good idea to conduct a traffic census.
However, apart from focusing on vehicles plying on the road, we also need to look at commuters’ choices of the modes of transport,” said traffic expert Ashok Dattar. “Based on this data, we will be able to come up with a more people-friendly plan for dealing with traffic situations in the city,” he added.