Traffic chaos: Kotakpura's experiments with roundabout
Going a step backwards from the advanced technique of using traffic lights to manage vehicular movement, Kotkapura town seems to have relieved from the “mad race” at its Old Chowk. After some people approached the traffic police with a request to put traffic lights off for some days and start a roundabout on trial, the chaos has been reduced to some extent.
Some years ago, Old Chowk was removed and traffic lights were installed to manage traffic coming from four major directions - Faridkot, Muktsar, Jaitu and Moga roads. Traffic lights, however, led to some problems. “There was always a mad rush of vehicles. Vehicles would move at high speeds to cross the signal before it turned red. The bad condition of the roads added to the chaos,” said Rajinder Singh, a local.
“The green signal would last for 15 to 25 seconds and there were long queues of vehicles. So everyone tried to drive fast. But with roundabout trial, the traffic flow had become smooth,” a newspaper hawker said. “Heavy vehicles used to more take time to cross the lights.”
“Owing to narrow roads, not many vehicles were able to cross the lights at same time,” said Dharm Singh, a resident of Panjgrain Kalan village.
“The roundabout and traffic lights have their own pros and cons. For traffic lights the roads should be in good condition and people should be made to follow the traffic rules, which they do not do here,” said Chamkaur Singh, a teacher. “If lights are not appropriate mean to manage traffic, a small chowk should be built and the crossroad should be made spacious.”
Gursher Singh Brar, SHO city, Kotkapura, said, “Several residents approached me and with the permission of seniors I started roundabout on trial basis by erecting drums and switching off traffic lights for some days. The feedback is mostly positive and people say frequent stopping of vehicles at lights caused long queues and dangerous haste to cross the signal first.”
Parmjeet Kaur Dhillon, president of municipal committee, said the committee so far has not held any meeting about building a chowk neither it has any such proposal. “So far it is only a trial.”