It indeed goes beyond common sense that the Jammu Municipal Corporation and Traffic police plan to install 30 more traffic signals despite the fact that most of the signals in the city do not function, and have been lying defunct leading to chaos on Jammu roads. Traffic signals can help smoothen traffic flow in the city no doubt but this cant be a piecemeal job as has been done by authorities in the past. The job of a traffic signal is not to stop traffic but it’s role is to provide seamless vehicle movement by right timing the movement of traffic. This needs the signals to be smart, coordinated in the right manner, and there is need for these to be connected with sensors which would relay real time data to the centralized traffic command centre.
The data needs to be analysed on real time basis, and decision made by analytical tools, and officials in tandem to ensure vehicles move smoothly on the city roads. Installing traffic lights in the middle of roads, and junctions without any study, analysis of road design, traffic behaviour is akin to inviting chaos on the roads. The experiments done by police, and civic agencies have failed in Jammu miserably, and it is in this context the state government should develop a comprehensive mobility plan for both Jammu and Srinagar. Apart from cars, and two wheelers there is need to promote mass transport systems like the buses, and matadors as well as provide space for cycles and pedestrians. The city has to understand that there is a large majority of people who also walk on the roads, and they also need space.
Traffic violations also need to be curbed, and encroachment of roads is a major issue in Jammu with majority of roads being turned into small bazaars. It is high time the city government goes behind traffic lights, and think of a comprehensive plan to decongest the city.