Traffic Counts across Various Traffic Junctions along Western Express Highway Back
Location: Vakola, Kalina,Santacruz Airport, Khar, Kherwadi, Kalanagar, Linking, S.V.Road Junctions, Mahim Causeway, Khodadad circle-Dadar T.T, Lalbaug , J.J.Flyovers , CST near the station, Worli to entire Peddar Road Stretch
Year: 2007 - 2015
In all the Traffic & Transportation related works which MESN has carried out since 2007, a major contribution to the knowledge of mobility has been made by way of specialized traffic counts on a number of roads, at junctions during different times of the day for getting an idea of peak and off peak hour traffic patterns and studying the signal cycle at the specific spot.
The procedure involves video graphing the traffic flow for a period of minimum half an hour to one hour, followed by manual counting of different classes of vehicles. Most sources report traffic counts as total number of vehicles but that only conveys half the information.
At MESN we separately count vehicles by their classes-such as 2 wheelers, auto rickshaws, taxies, cars which are considered private vehicles; we also differentiate buses as BEST buses and other private buses together forming the public transport vehicles. Commercial vehicles include small, big tempos, trucks, tankers, containers etc.
The videography is usually done in the peak hour and in the peak direction e.g. in the morning the flow of traffic (peak direction) would be from North to South, as the commercial areas/offices are located in South Mumbai. Whereas in the evening, the peak direction would be South to North. These vehicle numbers are appropriately expressed in terms of PCUs (Passenger Car Unit), which is the unit of space occupied by the vehicles. This makes the vehicles comparable.
The numbers of passengers per vehicle have also been arrived at after years of observations. Hence for 2 wheelers, autos and cars, taxis we consider 1.5 as the average occupancy, whereas BEST buses are considered carrying 40 passengers and the private buses 30 passengers per bus respectively.
It is very important to differentiate between classes of vehicles to identify the relative use of road space in terms of PCU which brings out the anomalies in planning. When road widening, building flyovers and such; car centric solutions are considered. Planners conveniently overlook the fact that all the private vehicles which due to their high numbers occupy a large proportion of road space (an average of over 80%, but carry only 58% of passengers) whereas, the buses accounting for only 7% of total PCUs carry as high as 42% of passengers.