Your traffic signals will soon put on thinking caps. Well, almost.
In about a fortnight, south Mumbai motorists will spend less time at traffic signals. Traffic flow at busy intersections will get smoother as an ‘intelligent’ area traffic control system in place.
The technology-driven system will have data on road status. Underground sensors at each intersection will record the number of vehicles at the spot. This data will help manoeuvre traffic lights as required at the junction, and in sync with adjacent intersections.
After much delay, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has implemented on the Phase I of the system. It includes 53 junctions from Nariman Point to Mahalaxmi.
“Currently, these signals work on a fixed-time mode; they will now be linked with real time,” said a senior officer from BMC’s Roads Department. “Depending on traffic at an intersection, a traffic control room will increase or reduce signal time.”
But how will that help you?
“It will mean additional signal time at busy junctions. Where traffic is less, signal time will be reduced,” the officer said.
The civic body’s Chief Engineer (roads) Sridhar Joshi said there was good progress in the project. “We will be able to connect signals in south Mumbai by the July-end,” he said.
Besides cutting down travel time, the system is expected to reduce pollution and save fuel consumption.
The system will also assess traffic situations and relay alerts to signals ahead in case of congestion.
Two control rooms — one at BMC headquarters, another at Worli Traffic Police headquarters — will regulate traffic.
The project, estimated to cost around Rs 49 crore, is financed by the World Bank.
Its second phase involves having 200 such sensors in the suburbs. Work on Phase II has begun at 113 junctions. It is slated for completion by March 2010.
The traffic police plan to install closed circuit television cameras at heavy traffic junctions. This will be integrated into the traffic control system for better control.