Nov 16, 2011

Pedestrian Vehicular conflict : why can’t we seem to find a solution?

By - Anoop Kumar Jha

Missing Human Behavioral Analysis aspect in Transport Simulation Model

No matter how functional and mathematically sound a transportation plan and related infrastructure design for any city or stretch appear before implementation, there is always a conflict between vehicular and pedestrian circulation which appears only once the transport plan is in place and functional, it’s the story of every city and every stretch. Blogs and forums are filled with discussions and captured photographs of such pedestrian vehicular conflicts.

It’s a conflict between pedestrians desire to take easiest and shortest route and transport planners age old scientific approach planning with modern simulation tools. Its conflict between “human desire” and “scientific approach”.  

In a country like India, apart from education and enforcement there is one missing crucial aspect which leads to pedestrian vehicular conflict in urban setting, that is understanding of human behavior and learning from past and other projects mistakes. It appears that common man collectively always appear smarter than the panel of planners, designers and implementation and enforcement agencies, because no matter how sound they make any system or transport plan people always find out loopholes in it. People are willing to take the dangerous shortcuts, break the law and even risk their life to reach the destination quickly. There is almost similar pattern and language of such human behavior across the cities and towns of India when it comes to intra city travel, but transport planners do not seem to observe and learn from such cases. Its high time that they should observe, document and incorporate human behavioral analysis in the transport simulation model to arrive at a successful transport plan for a city. 

Transport plan, systems and tools also need to be regionalized or localized, because what works in Bogota  or America or Europe might not work in Delhi or Surat or Jaisalmer  if replicated in-toto. 

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