Police turn to data analysis to rid city of perennial traffic jams – ( It will be challenging for AI to rid city of traffic jams )

Posted on Jan 7 2019 - 6:44pm by admin

Since Dec 31, cops have been studying jams in terms of location and duration to identify careause
GURUGRAM: The district police have started gathering data on all traffic jams reported within the city to find lasting solutions to the problem by analysing variables such as the location, duration and regularity of the jam, and understand the possible causal factors. Since December 31, the Gurugram Police has been recording all traffic jams, reported by traffic police officers, citizens and Google Maps, at the traffic control room to identify choke points.

An officer privy to the development said, “Earlier when there was a traffic jam, we would simply inform the traffic policemen in the area and they ensured it was cleared. We never recorded it or maintained any data. But now, we are creating comprehensive data on all jams. After a month or two, we will be able to analyse the data collected and look for appropriate solutions such as changing traffic flow with one-way movement of vehicles, put up barriers or create U-turns.”

The officer said they monitor the duration of a jam on a particular stretch through the Google Maps, collect details of why the jam happened and then record it in a tabular format.

For instance, according to the traffic data accessed by HT, a traffic jam that was reported at 6.40pm at Signature Tower on January 3 was cleared by 6.55pm. The column “reported by” shows it was monitored by the police through Google Maps and the “reason” stated “accident of four cars near Signature Tower”.

Another traffic jam, this one reported by a citizen in Sector 22 at 6.40pm, was cleared at 7.10 pm, the traffic police noted the causal factor under a column labelled “reason”; it read: “routine pressure at this time as Maruti company shift is discharged”.

Citizens can report traffic snarls to the traffic control room at 9213020404. Besides citizen alerts and Google Maps, the zonal officers (ZOS) are also sending regular updates to the control room.

“Whenever there is a traffic jam, our ZOS (zonal officers) convey the details to the control room over wireless set or mobile phone and send photographs of the jam via Whatsapp. This is made into a report at the control room and sent to higher officials,” inspector Rajesh Kumar, who looks after the area between Signature Tower and Sirhaul Toll, said.

Kumar, who supervises an area overseen by seven ZOS, said the new system would also help clear traffic jams faster.

“When you know that you’re being monitored by senior officials, there is more responsibility on officers and they work with more dedication to ensure people spend less time negotiating jams,” he said.

“By recording the data, we are also able to analyse and compare the performance of traffic inspectors across areas. If an area reports fewer jams than it did earlier, then the inspector is doing a good job and if the number of jams increases then we can offer assistance to the officer or pull him up,” a senior police officer said.

Though no new staffers have been assigned to the task, the city police plans to increase the strength of the team and move to a bigger control room with better facilities. It currently operates out one room on the first floor of the Traffic Tower in DLF Phase 4.

Gurugram’s population is estimated to reach 30 lakh by 2030. At

the moment, Gurugram’s population is serviced by about a 1,000kilometre primary road network.

The city sees about 17 lakh people, the current population, make about 20 lakh trips each day, twothirds of which are within city limits.

These estimates amount to a high passenger volume count. However, there is no established mass transit system in Gurugram to meet the demand.

The data collation effort by the police is likely to come in handy as it tries to manage traffic in a city where people largely rely on private modes of transport in the absence of a mass transit plan.

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