Thursday, December 25, 2014

Potholes at Traffic Signals

Everybody must have at some time or the other faced a situation where we are stuck at a traffic signal, idly looking at the smoke coming out of the nearby truck. We keep looking ahead to notice the reason the traffic is held up. When we reach the signal, we find it was a pothole. How could the pothole hold up the entire traffic? It is very well true


average length of the vehicle 2.5
average speed of vehicles ( km / hr ) 30
time for whch the signal is open ( seconds ) 60
time for whch the signal is closed ( seconds ) 180
idling losses ( average ) mL/hr 500
Road Length ( in m ) 500

The above chart calculates the loss in  litres of petrol, per crossing, per period ( signal open + signal close ) assuming that there are 3 lanes. The x axis is the average speed of  vehicles, and the y axis shows the loss of oil due to "Idling"

The following link will now give you vehicle population of India. A graphical representation of the same is as follows
We see that there has been a humongous increase in 2 wheeler and small 4 wheelers in the last 2 decades. Assuming that out of this 50% vehicles get stuck at traffic signals (which is highly optimistic) the loss of oil runs into millions per year

With the following assumptions

Idling losses ( ml/Hr  ) 200
Average time wasted at traffic/pothole ( hr/day ) 0.5

The total cost currently would stand not less than 100 million INR. It is obviously much more but I tried to arrive at a calculated value with a conservative approach

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