Smart signals in Gurugram win citizens’ approval, wait time reduced to almost half
After the inauguration of the smart signal system ‘ARTEMIS’ from Kanhai Chowk, cops and commuters attested that the waiting time at traffic signals was reduced to almost half.gurgaon Updated: Feb 14, 2019 15:41 IST
The pilot project of installing smart signals at four intersections between the Huda City Centre and Bakhtawar Chowk— Kanhai Chowk, Sector 30/31 dividing road, Sector 31/45 traffic light and at Bakhtawar Chowk signal—paid off within hours of being launched on Wednesday afternoon.
According to the traffic police, the 3.5-km stretch, one of the busiest in the city, sees the highest volume of traffic and snarls between the morning rush hours (8.30am to 10am) and evening rush hour (5pm to 7pm) due to the presence of a large number of corporate offices in the area. But after the inauguration of the smart signal system ‘ARTEMIS’ from Kanhai Chowk, cops and commuters attested that the waiting time at traffic signals was reduced to almost half.
Commuters said they didn’t face any snarls or jams on the stretch on Wednesday evening. “There were no jams on the stretch and traffic was well managed. I saw many traffic police officers on the stretch today so that may have also helped,” said Sushil Arora, a resident of Sector 30. Arora, however, said he had no knowledge about the signal. The police said people weren’t aware of the automatic signals in place, and that it may take time before people become aware.
Vikas Singh, a sales executive who uses the stretch for his daily commute to work, said that the newly installed signals cut his waiting time by more than half on Wednesday, and that he reached home faster. “Until yesterday, I would have to wait for around 50 seconds for the signal to turn green. Today, it took less than 20 seconds,” Singh said.
The ‘ARTEMIS’ signal control system, installed and maintained by Japanese firm Kyosan Electric Manufacturing Company Limited, optimizes signaling by predicting the traffic volume from upstream intersections to reduce congestion, by automatically turning the signal green depending on the volume, and consequently air pollution.
The MCG and the concessionaire have been looking to install this feature since August 2016. The two parties had looked at introducing this system at three signals on a portion of the Golf Course Road—between the DLF Phase 1 intersection and Ghata crossing. But, the proposal was shelved as the stretch did not have optical cable. Later, the HCC to Bakhtawar Chowk stretch was selected as optical cables had already been placed here.
The MCG plans to observe the functioning of this system, which, if found successful, would be implemented at other congestion-prone areas of the city.
“The plan to install automatic traffic signals has been in the pipeline for long. Depending on the success of this project, similar projects will be implemented elsewhere in the city,” MCG commissioner Yashpal Yadav said.
Meanwhile, traffic police personnel said that with this new system in place, their work is also expected to get easier during rush hours.
“Earlier, we would have to manually recalibrate the cycle times of the signal. We would fix the time for a particular duration but that isn’t ideal as the traffic volume keeps fluctuating throughout the day,” said a traffic police officer posted at Kanhai Chowk who wished to remain anonymous.
The system was inaugurated by Union minister Rao Inderjit Singh and Mayor Madhu Azad.
First Published: Feb 14, 2019 15:41 IST