Wednesday, February 1

Traffic realignment to focus on making tram stops safer

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A major traffic realignment is taking place across south Kolkata with tram stoppages being central to the scheme. Trams, despite being environment friendly and a symbol of the city’s multi-modal transport system, often pose problems for the ever-increasing traffic demand. The realignment will reduce accidents, congestion, erratic movement of commuters and increase safety of tram passengers.

Aslew of measures have been chalked out in an effort to make tram rides safer, including aligning the tram stops with signal posts and having textured platforms (not raised) to make boarding and getting off trams for easier, explained a senior officer of WBTC (the unified entity of three state transport undertakings — CSTC, CTC and WBSTC).

DPS Road and Rashbehari Avenue will be the first to get the realignment, which will later be replicated across the city. The city’s tram system lost a lot of passengers when the tracks were de-reserved and were moved to the middle of the carriageway, leaving passengers in danger while accessing it.

This problem took centre stage last year when a woman — Jyoti Singh — got caught between a tram and a bus and came under the latter’s wheels on Rashbehari Avenue.

A survey was carried out at Rashbehari Avenue and DPS Road-S P Mukherjee Road stretch. The committee recommended a two-inch sloping platform with textured surface as tram platforms. These platforms will ensure cars slow down near tram stops, so that no passenger is in danger of being hit by a speeding vehicle.

The trams will now be synchronized with traffic signals, stopping at red lights to help passengers get on and off easily. The usual stoppage every 200m will be done away with, said a WBTC officer.

Once integrated with signals, pedestrian movement can also be controlled and there will be better synchronization of different modes of transport. This will help make movement of vehicular traffic smoother and allow trams to get regular passengers for better sustainability.

Source: Times of India

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