Gurugram traffic lights likely to return at key junctions on e-way
Traffic signals were removed from the three junctions after an underpass was constructed at each of these points in 2017-18 by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).Updated: Jul 31, 2019, 20:18 IST
Traffic signals are likely to be reintroduced at three junctions on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway — Hero Honda Chowk, Rajiv Chowk, and MDI Chowk — in a bid to reduce accidents and help pedestrians cross roads safely, the deputy commissioner of police for traffic, Himanshu Garg, said on Wednesday.
Traffic signals were removed from the three junctions after an underpass was constructed at each of these points in 2017-18 by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
While underpasses were constructed at the Hero Honda Chowk and Rajiv Chowk junctions itself, the underpass at MDI Chowk is located in the vicinity of the Signature Towers. With a flyover already existing at the junction and fast-moving traffic flowing from Signature Towers towards Atul Kataria Chowk, authorities had removed the traffic lights at the point last year.
Garg made the announcement on the resumption of traffic lights during a session on ‘Making Cities Safer by Design’ at the Nagarro office in Udyog Vihar.
“We are in talks with the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) for establishing traffic lights at each of these three points. Talks for traffic lights at MDI Chowk are at an advanced stage, and it will be established in the near future,” said Garg.
Traffic police officers said that while the straight route to the underpasses will remain devoid of traffic lights, the other converging points are being considered for the installation of traffic lights.
“Intersections are needed in every city. Flyovers and underpasses are more suitable for arterial roads outside city limits. Intersections help pedestrians cross the road, act as speed killers and also inculcate road discipline among commuters ” said Garg, referring to the plan in which Subhash Chowk was returned to a four-way intersection last month, which, according to him, has had a positive effect on the safety of pedestrians and traffic management.
For over a year, commuters travelling from Vatika Chowk and Rajiv Chowk could only go straight instead of taking a turn to head towards the direction of Hero Honda Chowk or Bakhtawar Chowk. The exit had been blocked with jersey barriers, acting as a makeshift median.
Garg further said that future road designs need to be sanctioned by a recognised agency, after a safety audit of each stretch is carried out to ascertain if the design adheres to safety norms for pedestrians and commuters.
“There is a need to include safety considerations at the design stage itself rather than taking corrective action after a few mishaps take place, which, at times, gets extremely difficult and complicated to modify,” he said.
During a road safety meeting on July 3, Haryana Vision Zero (HVZ) officials had announced that an experiment on traffic lights, in accordance with traffic police, will be conducted at Rajiv Chowk and Bakhtawar Chowk.
At Rajiv Chowk, HVZ officials and traffic police had planned to erect eight signals for streamlining traffic movement, on trial basis, and depending on its success, make it a permanent feature.
The trial is yet to be carried out, with HVZ officials stating that it will be done after monsoon.
“Removing traffic signals by constructing underpasses and flyovers, or blocking exits with jersey barriers and creating a U-turn, instead, is not a feasible solution to traffic management. It only shifts congestion from one point to the other and makes it difficult for pedestrians to cross in the absence of pedestrian bridges or subways, and only puts their lives at risk. Thus, it is imperative that traffic lights are reintroduced, to not only improve traffic flow, but also make it safer for pedestrians to cross the road,” said Sarika Panda Bhatt, program coordinator with HVZ.