Unmanaged traffic in metro business districts? Here’s how to wriggle out!

Picking up from my last post, Integrated Traffic & Urban Scape Management Model for Metro Business Districts, this outline solution attempts to address a variety of issues we are facing related to our poor environmental conditions, traffic situation and urban scape in most of our rapidly evolving cities. The Integrated Solution has two broad aspects to it viz. (1) Traffic Management and (2) Urban Scape Management. I shall touch upon some key elements of the Traffic Management aspect in this post and cover the latter in my next post.

Traffic Management

One of the most critical problems identified is traffic and jams on the road. Excessive and unmanaged traffic on the road is a big cause of problems such as pollution, accidents etc. Also, one of the big causes of traffic congestion is that most of the road widths are being occupied by parking.

The first part of this model attempts to address the parking issue. Besides being a big occupier of road and causing traffic congestions, the other reasons why it is felt important to address this issue foremost are:

  • The current pattern of having all the car parking on-surface in all public areas, markets, commercial zones etc. is severely detrimental to the environment as all these large paved/ concreted areas contribute tremendously to the ‘heat island effect’ in our city.

  • Due to the unorganised parking lots across the city, a lot of fuel is wasted and pollution generated due to sheer maneuvering attempts to park cars.

  • Unorganised parking and parking unavailability causes of a lot of frustration among people leading to road rage incidents on the road.

    Multi-level car parking systems have been often seen and resorted to, as the most obvious solution to the parking problem. But these have not been implemented on a large scale across the city, understandably due to overall financial viability and thus lack of interest from private players.

    It is suggested that automated (mechanical) state-of-the-art high capacity multi-level car parking blocks be strategically placed and built in each business district; for the purpose of this scheme, these units shall be referred to as ‘Green Hubs’.

    Each business district, based on the traffic capacity it needs to cater to and availability of land, to create Green Hub(s) or overall urban sprawl shall be designed to have one or multiple Green Hubs located such that these can service commercial zones during the day and residential areas during the night.

    Following shall be the salient features of the suggested Green Hub:

      • The lower levels of the Green Hub shall provide leasable space for business requiring service areas for vehicles such as Car Wash, Car & Two Wheeler tyre and accessories shops and service stations / workshops.

      • The next few floors shall be designated for two wheeler parking spaces.

      • The higher and upper floors of the Green Hub shall provide mechanised/ automated car parking and the entry/ exit pods for such car parking system shall be at the ground floor itself.

      • The Concessionaire shall generate revenue through above functions. It is suggested that the car parking services are provided at a moderate to high rate with the following view:

        > The people would be mandated to use these hubs as against on-surface parking being used as on day, thus parking tariff should appear moderate enough to promote use of the hubs.

        > At the same time, it is the need of the hour that rate of increase of vehicles on the road be cut down. This can be done by making owning and running vehicles unaffordable and by sprucing up the public transport system.

      • The Green Hub should be designed, planned, executed and operated so that it has a net zero impact on the environment.

      For Green Hubs to function adequately there are additional suggestions of the traffic systems that can be put in place to deal with the commuting problems:

      • The Concessionaire shall provide for free-of-cost battery operated Last Mile connectivity (LMC) System like bus/mini-bus shuttle service throughout the business district. The frequency and size of these buses shall be worked out based on overall demographics and should be a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for the Concessionaire. This and other KPIs listed below shall impact (positively or negatively) the overall revenue of the Concessionaire.

      • The LMC system shall have varying frequency and capacity based on peak and off-peak hours and should also be available to users of Green Hub during night hours.

      • The networks and routes of battery operated system should be integrated with the nodes of other mass transit & public transport systems such a Delhi Metro & DTC bus network. In turn DTC bus routes should be modified to run only on the main arterial roads and not deep into the commercial/ residential zones. The spared bandwidth of the DTC buses can help increase frequency and routes in the city.

      • The on-surface parking should be limited to a very meagre number, say 8-10 per stretch per block throughout the business & residential district. Such on-surface parking should be allowed to be used on a short term basis only thus, should be priced high.

       

      About the author

      Saurabh Singh, leads the Design & Build (turnkey) portfolio for Colliers Project Management in India. He is an Architect with a specialisation in building engineering & management. At Colliers, Saurabh has been working closely with clients to create workplaces that keep employees engaged and productivity bars raised.

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