Intersection redesign to improve road safety
As part of the ongoing work on the Safer Commute for School Children project, WRI India redesigned a major intersection in Rohtak, with three simple interventions:
Reclaiming the intersectional area:Humans walk at an average speed of about 5 km/hr. This means that a person takes about 45 seconds to cross 60 meters of carriageway. The intersection of Bus Stand and Stadium Roads in Rohtak is 60 meters wide. In the proposed design solution, WRI India reduced the distance required to cross the intersection from 60 meters to just 15 meters. These design interventions help cut down the average crossing time for a pedestrian by one-fourth, thereby proportionately reducing pedestrians’ exposure to crashes. The design also reduced the area of the intersection from about 1550sqm to 150sqm. This means that the reclaimed 1400sqm area can now be used to make the intersection an interactive public space for pedestrians and children.
Reducing vehicle speeds: Previously, the large turning radius at the intersection resulted in vehicles turning at speeds as high as 50 km/hr. The nature of these risky turns increased the likelihood of serious injuries to pedestrians in the event of a crash. By creating sharper turns, the vehicles are now forced to come to a near halt before making a turn. Earlier, the widening of lanes as a vehicle approached the intersection led to haphazard driving and veering in the wrong direction. By making the lane width consistent throughout, the traffic flow was streamlined to encourage lane driving.
Reallocating spaces: As most of the intersectional area is built as carriageway, there is an overabundance of space for vehicles. This had led to activities like sudden pick-up and drop by auto-rickshaws, and parking along the traffic islands, right at the intersection. With iron-fenced and heavily landscaped traffic islands, coupled with non-existent footpaths, there was no space for pedestrians and cyclists. The proposed redesign of the intersection optimised traffic flow by reducing the width of the carriageway such that it was consistent on all arms of the intersection. The proposed design also provided refuge islands in the median, where pedestrians can wait before crossing the intersection.