New traffic signal at Worli Sea Face is a BMC pilot project
A pilot project executed on Worli Sea Face in Mumbai, sees traffic lights in a new light. In essence, instead the usual setting of traffic signal lights, the current endeavour makes for improved traffic light visibility.
The light parameter covers larger surface area as the lighting pole itself has been reworked. Fitted with LED lights means for every light change, the complete pole lights up instead of the traditional light setting overhead at intersections.
The project was undertaken by BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation). While the project is only visible as a single unit at present, plans are on to introduce more such lights. Apart from functional benefits, the new traffic signal design is being touted for its ‘aesthetic appeal’. Challenges faced included bending the LED lights as required, and synchronising it with the traffic signal system.
Novelty at traffic signals
Overall, the idea behind the project tries to touch upon quite a few birds with a stone. The project idea is still being fine-tuned. An attempt is being made to turn to solar signals to make this a sustainable and environment-friendly approach. The cost effective solution does in the meantime make a larger street area glow.
Last year, in another independent project, Hyderabad’s KBR Park junction saw new LED speed breakers installed at traffic signals across the road itself. Sadly, there’s no current update regarding what the outcome of that project has been.
In its current stage, if the pilot proves to be successful, more such unidirectional traffic lights are expected to be introduced. Focus on Work Sea Face doesn’t end here.
In another development, self balancing vehicles have been introduced for area patrols in the promenade. Similar to what was earlier introduced at Marine Drive. The self balancing electric scooters have for long wowed audiences for its fun aspect. Current developments appear to be small steps being undertaken to modernise traditional practices.
Pedestrian and road traffic safety in India
Added visibility of the newly installed traffic lights in Mumbai would help motorists spot the signal from a distance, and thereby could improve pedestrian safety. If the theory can be backed by studies, it could provide insight into effectiveness of improved traffic signal visibility. For a nation that bears the burden of most road accident fatalities, every little bit helps.
While the country doesn’t report the highest number of traffic accidents in a year, it does account for most lives lost owing to accidents. The extremely high human cost points to an immediate need to remedy the problem. India accounts for less than 3 percent of all vehicles, but does account for 12 percent of the world’s road deaths. World Health Organization (WHO) estimated almost 300,000 road accident deaths in India in 2018. The number of underprivileged who suffer is disproportionately high.