Improving Road Safety and Implementing ITS Strategies for Aggressive and Mixed Traffic Conditions in New Delhi - Experience in Implementing and Optimising Operations and Traffic Modelling for the First Bus Rapid Transit Corridor in India



Improving Road Safety and Implementing ITS Strategies for Aggressive and Mixed Traffic Conditions in New Delhi - Experience in Implementing and Optimising Operations and Traffic Modelling for the First Bus Rapid Transit Corridor in India

Authors

S Ahuja, Capita Symonds, UK

Description

This paper describes our attempt in implementing developing and improving BRTS for aggressive and mixed traffic conditions in India. We present our experiences in optimising traffic flow and improving safety on the new BRT system in Delhi

Abstract

This paper describes our attempt in implementing developing and improving Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) for aggressive and mixed traffic conditions in India. We present our experiences in optimising traffic flow and improving safety on the new BRT system in Delhi. The first 6 Kilometres Phase I of the 13 Kilometre planned route is facing severe congestion and safety problems. This BRTS pilot project was implemented as a central segregated bus lane system that runs in the middle of the carriageway through 15 signalised intersections. The slow moving traffic has been segregated by provision of cycle and pedestrian footpaths. The pilot scheme was implemented in Delhi on the lines of the Bogota BRT concept.

The introduction of the pilot project led to significant traffic problems including additional congestion at the junctions. In addition, there have been many accidents on the corridor, which has made its operation problematic and left the citizens with divided public opinion on the merits of the project. Issues with the design of junctions, very high volumes of traffic and pedestrians and sub-optimal operation of traffic signals, large-scale violation of lane discipline and traffic rules are some of problems associated with the present scheme.

To address the above issues, The Government of India, commissioned us a study to improve road safety and identify an appropriate intelligent signalling and ITS system, which can assist in improving the travel conditions, bus operations and road safety on the corridor. We present in this paper our approach and experiences in improving operations and road safety on the corridor.

To support the optimisation of operations and traffic signals a calibrated microsimulation model of existing traffic and proposed conditions was built which correctly depicted non-lane base and mixed driver behaviour and the congestion on the study area corridor. For the purpose the simulation several sub models used in microscopic modelling such as car following model, driver behaviour model, gap acceptance model and signal response model needed to be developed and refined for Delhi traffic. We present our in this paper methodology in automatic data collection for non-lane based traffic and the use of this empirical data in calibrating above sub models within the VISSIM microscopic simulation package. This findings of work is particularly relevant to practitioners working in developing countries such as India, South East Asia and Latin America where there is lack of lane based traffic.

We provide in this paper our experiences of building the complex simulation model and the results of proposed modelled solutions. This model serves as an automated testing bed for developing control strategies for a state of the art Urban Traffic Control centre for Delhi, which is being designed as a part of this project in Delhi. To effectively improve the junction operations and enforcement, intelligent non lane based detection by the use of video and PIR detectors is being currently implemented. We present here the application of this dual detection for both signal control and enforcement.

Our findings indicate that there are similarities in untidy driving behaviours observed in Delhi and other European cities where aggressive behaviour is observed such as Athens and London and Athens.

To improve pedestrian facilities and their safety the paper presents effect of alternate bus stop arrangements, use of pedestrian sensitive detection and intelligent signalling systems. As most the people either killed or seriously injured involve mainly pedestrians and buses, a bus driver training programme focussing on pedestrian and passenger safety has been an integral part of our recommendations. Analysis of accidents reveals that mainly psychological factors with drivers taking adverse risk due to delays and congestion are the key cause of accidents. The safety recommendation aimed at both reducing network delays by using a combination of ITS technologies and a mini driver-training programme with a focussed road safety awareness campaign is the key to the success in improving road safety in Delhi, which has more than 3200 recorded road accident fatalities on its road every year.

The Government of Delhi is now in the process of implementing our proposed ITS solutions and we present the use of novel different ITS technologies to achieve the safety and network optimisation targets.

The paper concludes that one cannot transplant transportation concepts from one developing country to another easily. One needs to develop grass root infrastructure, which takes local traffic behaviour and economic growth into account. The paper concludes that ITS and driver training both play a vital role in ensuring success of BRT experience in developing nations.

Publisher

Association for European Transport