In a bid to curb air pollution in Delhi in the aftermath of Diwali, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government has brought back the odd-even policy for vehicles from November 4 to 15. This is not the first time the Delhi government will try the road-rationing method. It implemented the odd-even policy twice in 2016, from January 1-15 and April 15-30.
But the odd-even scheme is not the only way used to curb vehicular traffic to contain pollution levels across the world. CNBCTV18.com has compiled a list of various mechanisms authorities across the world employ to deal with traffic problems and air pollution.
To prevent traffic congestion and pollution problems faced by European cities after the industrial revolution, Le Corbusier, the principal architect of Chandigarh, planned the city based on the gridiron. Defined by a system of seven types of roads, also known as the 7Vs, traffic circulation in Chandigarh was designed to provide safe mobility to children and pedestrians within and between the sectors, while permitting efficient vehicular transportation.The 7Vs establishes a hierarchy of traffic circulation ranging from:
Arterial roads (V1) Major boulevards (V2) Sector definers (V3) Shopping streets (V4) Neighbourhood streets (V5) Access lanes (V6) And pedestrian paths and cycle tracks (V7s and V8s) Drones over vehicles
With the advancement of technology, a significant increase in drone technology is expected. Los Angeles is even looking into drone technology to do things like firefighting, than sending men to the field.
Indeed, many companies are looking at drone technology to do tasks within a city, such as Amazon’s drone pilot programme for short-distance deliveries.
As per a media report, US President Donald Trump even signed an executive memorandum to make it a little easier for these types of companies to test drones in cities.
Real-time traffic forecasting
Combined, parking management and traffic control cameras help Barcelona tackle traffic congestion.
Parking spots sensors and video footages with analytics help to provide real-time parking data, which is shared with the transport authority of the city to help regulate green light frequency based on real-time traffic conditions.
Public Light Bus
In Hong Kong, Public Light Buses (PLBs) also known as mini-buses, complement the standard bus lines, helping citizens to commute with ease.
With a capacity of 16 seats, PLBs can quickly respond to market demands and offer non-stop, direct comfortable route to the last mile.
Likewise, many cities in India such as Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Hyderabad and more, facilitate transportation by bus within the city. However, due to low maintenance, less frequency and other related issues, they fail to offer seamless commuting.
To tackle traffic congestion, Las Vegas uses this technique of not just tracking vehicles but also pedestrians crossing streets. Doing so, the city can efficiently reroute vehicle traffic at times of high pedestrian traffic, among others.
In Los Angeles, by using vehicle and pedestrian traffic data, they also help housing authorities identify a clutter-free neighbourhood for constructing houses.
Active Traffic Management approach
An active traffic management (ATM) system, a test-bed to develop a flexible, controlled motorway, was piloted to deal with the variable traffic flow of M42 in the United Kingdom, which handles over 1,20,000 vehicle per day. As a result of efficient transportation, emissions from vehicles were reduced by 10 percent due to less gear changing.
In this system, Variable Message Signs (VMS) are displayed over each lane to manage traffic flow. During peak hours, it not just alerts drivers by reducing the speed limit but also gives motorists time to choose alternative routes.
The cost involved in the development of the entire system was 5 times less than the cost of conventional widening of motorway according to an automobile association.
Although ATM may not be a good option for all highways, it turns out to be one of the economic methods to deal with traffic congestion of much-developed road systems.
Electronic road pricing
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, charges motorists for entering the central city on weekdays, between 6:30 am and 6:30 pm. However, this exempts buses, taxis, eco-fuel vehicles, emergency vehicles and drivers doing to-and-fro from the isolated island Lidingö.
It helped to reduce 25 percent of peak-period traffic (removing almost 1 million vehicles per day) in the first two years and making a daily toll revenue of about $300,000, which was used to improve other transport and transit services.
Integrative Public Transport Model
Danish capital Copenhagen’s integrative system brings together three transport operators plus information links to agencies, companies and the government, to mitigate traffic congestion.
The integrative ticketing system offers greater flexibility and efficiency in boarding and switching between different mode of transportation, based on your travel information.
In addition, the availability of bus stops and cycle parking facilities near metro stations promotes seamless integration of all modes of public transport in Copenhagen.
As a result, a significant reduction in car usage has been observed. It has also contributed to the decline of carbon-dioxide emissions by 83 percent and has also promoted Copenhagen’s cycling initiative ‘Greenwave’, which reduces carbon-dioxide emissions by 90,000 tonnes annually.
Public cycling system
The Chinese city of Hangzhou provides one of the world’s largest public bike-sharing programmes. Here, bikes can be rented using either a smart card that can also be used for other types of public transport or cash.The bike-renting system proved out to be a better option than travelling in different public transport services. Over a period of time, the system is also quite promoted due to a significant boost in the tourism industry.