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Old 22nd June 2012, 15:10   #1
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Default Design Features for Safer Roads - Observations & Suggestions

We all might have felt quite a few times that the road should have been built this way or the other so that driving on them would be easier and safer. We can use this thread to express our views.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 15:51   #2
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Smile Re: Design Features for Safer Roads - Observations & Suggestions

A few suggestions from my side for safe roads:

1) Should be well lit
2) Should have sufficient signages
3) Should have sufficient drainages system
4) Should be self repairable
5) Should be wide enough to cater to overgrowing traffic
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Old 22nd June 2012, 15:54   #3
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Default Re: Design Features for Safer Roads - Observations & Suggestions

More number of round-abouts and enforcement of round-about's right of way rules strictly.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 15:55   #4
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Default Re: Design Features for Safer Roads - Observations & Suggestions

Thanks for starting this thread. I am pretty sure that there are many T-Bhpians interested in Road safety & traffic management.

This thread relates to a very relevant topic that often gets sidelined in discussions pertaining to accidents & Road safety. There are many threads where we discuss ABS, airbags, crumple zones - dont get me wrong, I am an active participants in these threads - but perhaps we don't recognize, to the extent necessary, the significance of well designed roads, markings and signs.

There is no doubting the fact that even the best of road designs will not deter idiots from getting into accidents. But a vast majority of accidents can be prevent or at the very least the impact of accidents can be greatly reduced with well designed roads.

I consider myself fortunate to have been involved in only two accidents which could have potentially maimed or killed me. On both occasions road design was a key contributing factor.

The first involved an intersection on a highway which allowed a slow moving vehicle to cut right across the highway.

The second involved a badly designed curve that resulted in the our car loosing traction (at about 90 kmph) and landing wheel side up after rolling a few times. Two weeks prior to my crash a Qualis went off the road in an almost identical fashion at the same location resulting in the death of an infant on board - learnt this form one of the policemen that arrived at the scene. The explanation given for the badly constructed curve - problems with land acquisition which resulted in the 'highway' having to snake its way around a certain plot of land. One can safely assume that it belonged to a noble politician or someone with political connections.
I went past the same curve a few weeks later & stopped (having pulled off the highway) just to remind myself of my near death experience. I was not surprised to see evidence (part of a windshield, a broken tail lamp cluster and an assortment of bits i could not even recognize) of crashes that had taken place after mine.
There were some chevrons put up before the curve, but the placement left much to be desired - it should have been before the curve and not at the curve. Like thousands of speed breaker signs across our country that are placed 6 feet before the speed breakers.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 16:00   #5
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Default Re: Design Features for Safer Roads - Observations & Suggestions

Thanks for starting this thread. I have a suggestion here. Why can't the road builders make the joints in the concrete bridge spans level and smooth. It is always such a pain to go over these. A suggestion could be make the joints slightly angular instead of perpendicular to direction of the traffic flow. This will make the bump feel lesser.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 16:39   #6
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Default Re: Design Features for Safer Roads - Observations & Suggestions

Some I could think of..

- Smooth roads with good grip, no pot holes / man holes, etc and no ridges / panel splits open (in cement roads)
- Lasting few years at least
- Built to with stand over ladden trucks
- Straight lines and curve where it cannot be avoided (Remember "S / C "bend types in highways!).
- Un-clog-able Drainage system
- Well placed sign boards and signals
- Provisions to have trees in buffer zones
- Well divided main lane / service lane systems.
- Traffic planning for next 20 years (and hence the bridges / flyovers / underpasses).
(And if we must put the cables / drainage systems underneath, a well planned installation and maintenance schedule!).
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Old 25th June 2012, 14:05   #7
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Default Re: Design Features for Safer Roads - Observations & Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zed View Post
The second involved a badly designed curve that resulted in the our car loosing traction (at about 90 kmph) and landing wheel side up after rolling a few times. Two weeks prior to my crash a Qualis went off the road in an almost identical fashion at the same location ..

There were some chevrons put up before the curve, but the placement left much to be desired - it should have been before the curve and not at the curve. Like thousands of speed breaker signs across our country that are placed 6 feet before the speed breakers.
I have observed that most curves on new highways are not banked. It is stupid to build a high speed road without banking to generate enough centripetal force to cancel out the centrifugal force.

Yes, when there is a curve just before speed breaker, it is advisable to place warning sign just before the curve.

Also, the levels of road play a lot of havoc with shadows during nights. Just observe, on a highway where you are going down on an incline and a vehicle with high beam on coming up the incline. I bet if you can see road ahead clearly. A light barrier must be made mandatory. Same with a left curve which becomes right curve for vehicle coming in opposite direction. Then too visibility becomes almost nill.

Providing high power street lights in villages is a absolute necessity. The lights from shops, on coming vehicles, two-wheelers etc cast shadows and makes it very dangerous for pedestrians crossing road. A pedestrian thinks that with the powerful headlights he is clearly visible to the driver but actually driver is more than half blinded by all the lights and spotting a pedestrian becomes difficult. This is the major contributor to accidents involving pedestrians on highways passing through villages.

Nowadays almost all the BOT highways have shrubs placed on the median which considerably reduces the light from opposite direction. It is a good device to cut the light and make road look good with flowers and leaves.

Last edited by simplyself : 25th June 2012 at 14:19.
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Old 25th June 2012, 14:22   #8
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Default Re: Design Features for Safer Roads - Observations & Suggestions

Signages: Either absent or so small that you can only read them up if you parked right in front of them. Big and illuminated signages will go a long way.

Enforce lane discipline: Extremely important to ensure smooth movement of all kinds of traffic. I have seen countless instances of slower trucks trying to overtake even slower ones, blocking all the lanes and causing the faster moving vehicles to adopt some pretty dangerous maneuvres to get out of the deadlock.

Entry and Exit points: U turns, entry points for smaller roads, exit points as well as intersections should be managed well. On highways intersections should be avoided completely so that traffic movement is not hampered by traffic crossing from one side to the other. To join or to exit the highways, the entry/exit lanes should be long enough to discourage anyone taking shortcuts through them on the wrong side. Flyovers or underpasses should be liberally used to ensure the highways are not clotted up.

Markings: Lanes, service lanes, dividers, barriers should be well illuminated so that they can be seen even on rainy nights. At present there are stretches you can't see even on ordinary nights.

Discipline: Maybe last but surely not the least. Patience, the habit of yielding and the compulsive/impulsive habit of finding shortcuts where a little bit of patience would yield results are some of the things our motorists have to learn, either the easy way or the hard way. Overspeeding, dangerous driving etc should be severely punished, so much that the driver will never ever dare cross the mandated speed limits. For e.g. if I were driving on the e-way which mandates 80kmph limit and if my speed were 100kmph, if I am fined 5k for the same, I shall have to think hundred times before I speed up. Of course it goes without saying that the implementation of the rules must be strengthened with the use of modern equipment and a well laid down process to find and punish the offenders.
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Old 25th June 2012, 14:48   #9
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Default Re: Design Features for Safer Roads - Observations & Suggestions

Some of the things I consider important on the basis of my experience-
a) Divider should have shrubs or boards mounted on them to prevent headlight of the oncoming from blinding each other
b) footpaths should be made along the roads for pedestrians, should be kept free from encroachments and pedestrians should be encouraged (fined for jaywalking if they dont) to use them instead of walking on the road
c) Proper street lights are a must
d) speed breakers should be made with proper specifications, properly marked and should not be made at every 5 meters on a road stretch (I believe it is better if pedestrians walk 5 additional meters than for traffic to slow down every 5 meters)
e) manholes should be in level with the road. Whenever the road is being recarpeted, manholes should be raised so that they dont end up becoming potholes.
f)buses/trucks should have a dedicated lane and they should not overtake by obstructing other lanes. Also they should try to stop close to the bus stop rather than block a lane of the road.
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Old 26th June 2012, 23:27   #10
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Default Re: Design Features for Safer Roads - Observations & Suggestions

consulting with international agencies and companies, such as Caltrans, to have better roads. That, IMO, is the best thing the Indian government can do.
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Old 27th June 2012, 06:44   #11
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliAtenza
consulting with international agencies and companies, such as Caltrans, to have better roads. That, IMO, is the best thing the Indian government can do.
It would be great if they can simply hand over the entire road making budgets to our highly competent armed forces in conjunction with first class companies like L&T, NICE and Gammon all of whom will ensure high quality of work along with all modern techniques, for long lasting roads. Of course, from the technologies and best practices point of view the International consultants will be able to help.
What we need is political will and enforcement and not populist rubbish from our forever god and devil damned political classes.
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Old 27th June 2012, 07:51   #12
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Default Re: Design Features for Safer Roads - Observations & Suggestions

City Roads: Space permitting, install dividers. And not the 1-2 feet high - get them upto 4 feet to deter pedestrian road crossing and also reduce incoming traffic headlamp glare.
This will also help in curbing down wrong parking

Highways : Proper banking of roads, use of cat-eyes without being stingy about them (how much does one cost anyway!), painting of lanes.
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Old 27th June 2012, 19:51   #13
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Default Re: Design Features for Safer Roads - Observations & Suggestions

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City Roads: Space permitting, install dividers. And not the 1-2 feet high - get them upto 4 feet to deter pedestrian road crossing and also reduce incoming traffic headlamp glare.
I think to deter our people from crossing over the dividers the dividers must be five feet high at the minimum, without breaks. I have seen even saree clad ladies and elderly folk climb over dividers four feet high.
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Old 27th June 2012, 20:56   #14
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Default Re: Design Features for Safer Roads - Observations & Suggestions

Marking of speed breakers would help us all night time drivers. I have traveled on numerous SH's in A.P. Most of them have unmarked speed breakers when you approach a small village. The suspension takes a heavy beating when you cannot slow down in time.
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Old 28th June 2012, 09:33   #15
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Default Re: Design Features for Safer Roads - Observations & Suggestions

One thing I noticed yesterday (on return commute) is that lot of vehicles including LMV/HCV tend to bypass speed breakers on their lane by swerving into incoming lane.

Not only is it dangerous, but also defeats the purpose of having a speed breaker installed. In such situations, either extend the speed breaker to cover both lanes or provide for some divider starting a good distance away.

Standardization of speed breakers especially with advance signages is sorely missed.

Related to parking - curb height should be maintained at constant level from the road. For angular parking, parking limiters should be installed near the curb to prevent vehicles from jutting onto the sidewalk.
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