When should a road be widened or augmented with features like flyovers? A scientific guideline for the same has been put together by CSIR-CRRI in association with seven other institutes in the country. The manual could change the way roads, intersections and pedestrian facilities are mapped in cities.
“Indian traffic and driver characteristics are fundamentally different from other countries. Yet, we use values recommended in highway-capacity manuals from the US, China, Indonesia, Denmark, Finland, Australia and Taiwan,” said S Velmurugan of CSIR-CRRI, which is spearheading the project.
Values recommended by Indian Road Congress (IRC) have also become obsolete, experts have pointed out.
Reflecting the Indian realities, Indian Capacity Highway Manual lays down the guidelines for when and how to expand or manage all types of roads. The manual also sets norms for managing intersections, with corresponding impact on pedestrian facilities.
“The analysis methods in the manual can be used for better road planning covering a gamut of roads — from single-lane, two-lane, multi-lane roads to inter-urban highways, expressways,” said Velmurugan. In Delhi, for instance, the road network, spanning 33,000km, can be checked using the manual guidelines and decisions can be taken on further work using Indian yardsticks.
The manual, which is in the draft stage, lays down the characteristics of types of road, carrying capacity and when to augment it.
“When the traffic volume on any urban road crosses the threshold level, it’s time to make provisions for road expansion,” said Velmurugan. This could be in the form of flyovers or a new road altogether.
“A flyover is a quick-fix solution to address intersection problems,” he said. The long-pending Kalindi Bypass “can provide relief to the Ashram intersection as well as Mathura Road from Nizamuddin-Badarpur”.
On the other hand, the on-going extension of the Barapullah elevated road, with its two ends at Mayur Vihar and Indira Gandhi International Airport, will offer a wide-range solution as it will help relieve load on Inner Ring Road, Outer Ring Road and, to some extent, on Lodhi Road and the NDMC connectors to IGI/Dwarka and Gurgaon, he added.
There are levels of service (LoS) that determine the time to augment. “LoS is a qualitative measure used to relate the quality of traffic service. It is a measure of the restrictive effects of an increase in traffic volume on any road,” explained Velmurugan.
The manual, which is expected to be finalised soon, will also be incorporated in the IRC guidelines, said CSIR-CRRI officials.
“It will help decision-makers make appropriate allocation in the budget for road sector development,” said Velmurugan. Pierre Garcon Jersey