Planning, Design and Engineering of Sustainable Urban Transport & System

Planning, Design and Engineering of Sustainable Urban Transport & System
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Planning, Design and Engineering of Sustainable Urban Transport & System

ISBN: 9788174092298

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Preface India s three way fast lane of liberalization, privatization and globalization is changing the lifestyles of its people. Increasing production, mobility and consumption are fast changing the patterns of travel and transport. Although transportation is the backbone of economic development, social transformation and urban growth, it suffers from serious problems, severe backlogs and poor planning, implementation and enforcement. The runaway growth of automobiles poses a considerable threat to the society in the form of traffic congestion, road accidents, pollution, noise stress, etc. Traditional solutions to cope up with the demand of increasing traffic have resulted into widening of roads up to the brim and parking spill over on the sidewalks thus eating away the area meant for the pedestrians and cyclists. Various studies indicate that the ownership of the private vehicles in urban areas is growing three to four times the population growth rate. The construction of flyovers, underpasses or grade separators is a temporary solution to congestion on the roads and if not planned carefully public transport may not necessarily reduce the volume of personal vehicles on the roads. The share of cycles, and non motorised vehicles NMVs is dwindling in Indian cities, which usually lack dedicated and safe right of way. In Indian cities as transport infrastructure usually guides the land use and planned residential areas along major arteries get converted to commercial and other uses. Parking is emerging as a major problems besides frequent traffic jams. The inadequacy of resources for road construction and poor maintenance add to traffic problems. Annually more than one lakh lives are lost on Indian roads due to traffic accidents. With less than 1 per cent of the world s vehicle population, India accounts for 6 per cent of world s road accidents and 10 per cent of world s road fatalities. With rapid growth in vehicle ownership, and India having one-sixth of the world s population, the road transport demand is growing very fast and consequent safety is becoming a major hazard. Apart from the traffic jams, gridlocks and accidents, the greenhouse gas emissions are increasing exponentially with the high end transportation, i.e. car-travel, air travel, etc. A significant aspect in the context of congestion and pollution, relates to the growth in personalized transport as compared to the availability of public transport. It is estimated that buses, which constitute barely 1.2 percent of the total number of vehicles, cater to around 60 percent of the total transport load, while personal Vehicles cater to around only 30 percent of the travel demand. Such a huge share of private vehicles, while serving a relatively limited purpose in terms of the transportation modal split, obviously creates tremendous pressure on road space, parking, and pollution. Public transportation must, therefore, drive the society. So far public transport is largely seen as the transport mode for the not so well off and poorer sections of the community, who cannot afford to own use personal transport. An important element of National Urban Transport Policy is to shift private vehicle users to public transport. Apart from aspects like frequency, inter-modal integration, a possible single ticketing systems, parking policy, the quality of public transport, particularly buses, would need to be significantly upgraded, inter-alia, keeping in view the element of clean and green fuel and traffic calming for sustainable transport. Transportation policy and planning have dominantly been concerned with moving people by mass transport, modernisation and introduction of new systems of transport. Construction
of grade separators, bridges, flyovers, widening of roads, metro, etc. have been pursued during the last decades. The net result is to sustain and subsidise inefficient and loosing public transport undertakings, which consequently encourages personal transportation. The paradox of transport policy has been that very ills it must resolve are the consequences of such a policy. This has also relegated para-transport and traditional modes into background. Classical case is of the bicycles in Delhi which declined from 23 in 1970 to 5 in 2010.