Putting a stop to traffic
This is taking the form of the introduction of box intersections, also known as ghost islands, the first markings for which were painted over the weekend at the Country Road/Roebuck Street and Country Road/Whitepark Road/Passage Road junctions.
These junctions, long key traffic management tools in most metropolitan cities, are identified by the crissed-crossed yellow lines that form a grid pattern covering the entire square.
Their introduction will essentially make it an offence for a driver to enter the intersection if he or she is not able to make it all the way across.
One police source noted that traffic jams are frequently caused in urban areas by motorists who enter a line of traffic that leaves them stuck in the middle of the intersection, blocking the free movement of traffic in other directions. Read the rest of the article over at Barbados Today.
This is long overdue and I believe a trial should also be conducted at one of the problematic roundabouts on the ABC Highway. The Hothersal Turning would be an ideal place to start.
Every weekday, drivers heading towards the “Turning” and to a lesser extent those heading towards Waterford, deliberately prevent vehicles from proceeding along the highway towards Norman Niles or Warrens.
It is not that these people could not see the back up of traffic in their intended exit, they simply did not care. Since the police do not report these people for driving without due consideration for other road users or obstructing traffic, they drive with impunity into the roundabouts. Installing these boxes should reduce a lot of the congestion at roundabouts.
To prevent drivers already on the highway from rushing through the roundabout when they realise that traffic on their right has stopped, all drivers would be made aware that the right of way remains with the driver on the right at these box junctions.
If any of the above is impractical, then the powers that be should consider adding traffic lights like these that would work during peak times and go into “flash” mode at other times.
“Solar traffic lights are just the next step providing a reliable, inexpensive, affordable and environmentally friendly source for modern traffic management systems.
With no trenching, wiring or electrical work required, solar powered trafic lights are perfect for road safety and traffic control applications.
Existing conventional traffic lights can be easily retrofitted to operate on solar energy. Solar powered traffic lights can also be used in temporary settings where a traffic signal is only needed for a set period of time. These temporary solar traffic signals can be supported on a post, trailer mounted, secured momentarily and placed quickly at traffic intersections. In most cases they can be installed by one person.
Solar traffic lights are fitted with the latest technology in electronics. They are based on photovoltaic or PV for short. A solar panel located on the top of the pole converts sunlight into electrical power. A solar charger regulates the voltage coming out of the solar panel. The regulated power obtained is used to charge a battery. Lighting is produced by arrays of extra bright LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) that are much brighter than bulbs.
On simple and stand-alone solar traffic lights a timer controls the lighting sequence at fixed intervals. They can also be activated by radar sensors. Sets of traffic lights are usually radio linked together, insuring wire-less communication between the lights. A master traffic light connected to a computerized controller/sequencer synchronizes and controls the slave units.”
These could fit in nicely with Government’s Going Green initiatives and give welcomed relief to drivers suffering from the effects of unnecessary gridlock experienced at roundabouts daily.