Gujarat: Gandhinagar pushes button for pedestrian safety for the first time
Pedestrians can press a button, bring traffic to a halt, and walk across the road safely along a 13km stretch from Ch-0 Circle at Indroda-Koba to Indira Bridge in Gandhinagar
In a first, pedestrians can press a button, bring traffic to a halt, and walk across the road safely along a 13km stretch from Ch-0 Circle at Indroda-Koba to Indira Bridge in Gandhinagar.
Applying brakes on speed demons along this route which has been tagged as one of the most dangerous road stretches in Gujarat, the government has set up 21 pelican crossings orange boxes with black buttons that enable walkers to activate the traffic signal that allows them to cross the road in safety.
This is the maiden stretch in the state where the Rs 40-crore project funded by the World Bank is being implemented.
A senior roads and buildings department official explains that the Intelligent Traffic Management System (ITMS) is directly linked to the adaptive signal controllers archaically known as pelican or pelicon (PEdestrian LIght CONtrolled) crossings.
"Once a pedestrian presses the push button, the traffic lights will turn red. Cameras installed on the pedestrian post as well as those set up on traffic light posts can detect the speed of vehicles and the movement of pedestrians. It can also detect accidents and read the registration number of vehicles that violate the signals," says the official.
Any traffic violation will prompt the cameras to trigger an alert to the command centre. "This means that the violator will be intercepted at the next junction by the police," the official adds.
The deadline for the project was last December. However, it is now expected to be ready in the next 25 days.
The department chose the Gandhinagar-Koba stretch as it is one of the two most dangerous road stretches in the state; the other being the Bharuch-Dehgam SH6 stretch, says the official, adding: "People usually zoom down this stretch at 90kmph while driving between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. This has resulted in several fatalities."
Moreover, nilgais and other forms of wildlife also stray onto this stretch. To prevent accidents, the cameras' artificial intelligence algorithm detects these wild animals and generates an alert. "The information will be flashed on LED signboards installed along the stretch to warn commuters of the animal's presence on the road ahead," says the official.
TOI is in possession of a document explaining the Safe Corridor Demonstration Project (SCDP). The official adds, "Of the Rs 40 crore granted by the World Bank, Rs 25 crore was spent on improving the road design to make it safe for pedestrians and commuters. The junctions were redesigned; rumble strips were installed to slow down traffic; pedestrian crossings were raised; and 3D pavement markings were made to ensure road safety."