Proper signage, CCTV monitoring missing on Delhi’s high-speed flyways
Traffic experts say there is no design flaw in projects such as the Barapullah elevated corridor and the Signature Bridge. The problem, the experts maintain, is rash driving and poor management of traffic movement.Updated: Jan 08, 2019 13:36 IST
The death of a 30-year-old woman, who fell off the Barapullah-I elevated road after being hit allegedly by a speeding SUV on Sunday night, has raised several questions pertaining to safety of commuters on high-speed flyways.
Traffic experts say there is no design flaw in projects such as the Barapullah elevated corridor and the Signature Bridge, which saw a similar accident a fortnight after it was thrown open to the public. The problem, the experts maintain, is rash driving and poor management of traffic movement.
To avoid such accidents, experts suggest measures such as strict monitoring of speed through CCTVs as is done on expressways, lane segregation for vulnerable commuters such as bike riders and cyclists and restricted carriageways for movement during nights and early mornings.
Sewa Ram, professor of transport planning at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), said accidents on such stretches mostly take place during off-peak traffic hours, especially nights or early mornings, as drivers tend to drive at high speed due to availability of wide and empty roads.
“Speed monitoring at such high speed corridors or flyovers with the help of CCTVs and traffic personnel is mandatory. Drivers should be informed that they are under watch and would be penalised if they exceed the speed limit. There should be a separate lane for two-wheelers to commute. Sadly no such thing is happening,” Ram said.
On Monday, Hindustan Times conducted a ground check of Barapullah-I elevated corridor and the Signature Bridge and found lack of speed monitoring measures, interceptor and traffic personnel along the stretches. Both the elevated road and the bridge also lacked measures to separate lanes.
Barapullah-I elevated road
During the spot check, HT found that there are no signage indicating curves and merging traffic on the Barapullah-I elevated road. Separate lanes for two-wheelers or speed monitoring measures are also absent on the corridor. Besides, streetlights on a good portion of the elevated corridor — almost 200 metres — are not functioning.
Barapullah-I elevated road, which was opened for traffic movement in 2010, has witnessed several accidents where bike riders have fallen off. While this raises a question regarding whether the height of the crash barriers should be raised, the Public Works Department (PWD) — which manages the corridor — ruled out the possibility.
“The height of the crash barrier on this elevated road is kept at 1.1 metre as per universal standards. In normal conditions, one cannot fall off the corridor. It can happen only after an impactful collision. At present, we are not thinking of raising the height of the crash barriers. We will install cautionary signage on the elevated road,” PWD’s chief engineer (projects), Umesh Mishra, maintained.
He also said that speed monitoring measures should be taken up by the traffic department to ensure that people are discouraged to drive rashly or speed on the stretch.
A commuter, Rohit Singh, said driving on the elevated road is not safe especially during nights as the curves on the stretch and the exits are not clearly visible.
After witnessing two back-to-back fatal accidents soon after its inauguration in November last year, speed calming measures were installed on the Signature Bridge. However, the newly opened bridge is still devoid of speed-monitoring measures. It also does not have a separate lane for two-wheelers.
“Frequent lane-changing and rash driving is one of the prominent reasons behind road accidents. Modern technologies such as Intelligent Transport System (ITS) solutions should be adopted to check speeding. Moreover, heavy fines should be levied on violators,” said S Velmurugan, senior principal scientist, Central Road Research Institute.
First Published: Jan 08, 2019 13:35 IST