Ever wondered why you have to wait over several traffic signal cycles before you get a chance to move an inch? Ahmedabad has over three times more vehicles – if one considers international norms – than what the city roads can take. Ahmedabad, as per 2017 state road transport department data, has about 43 lakh registered vehicles against 2,813 km road length.
If one considers minimum safety distance of three metres, or a car’s length, between two vehicles, the city has exceeded road capacities by 3.65 times. In case of Rajkot city, it is 4.42 times. Surat (3.66) and Vadodara (3.13) too are equally bad.
‘Plan public transport keeping radial geography in mind’
In a research titled ‘Land Use Change Trends of Indian Cities: A Bird’s Eye View’ by IIM Ahmedabad professor Amit Garg, doctoral researcher Vidhee Avashia and research associate Shrutika Parihar examined traffic congestion with increasing urban densities. “Internationally, road safety norms prescribe distance of at least one car length between two vehicles so as to reduce chances of accident.
However, statistics show that it can be a distant dream in cities like Ahmedabad where the vehicle to road capacity ratio is much higher — the current vehicle population is three times more,” said Avashia.
Researchers said that in India, roads occupy about 15% of the total city area. In case of Ahmedabad, they calculated the length to 2,813.5 km in municipal limits.
Professor H M Shivanand Swamy, executive director, CEPT’s Centre for Excellence in Urban Transport, said, “We have to understand that the road carrying capacity is decided by the modal mix — cars, two wheelers, public transport and other modes. We now are adding more cars to our roads than before.