Height of hope …

… or gross waste of strip of tin and red paint? What would you call a stop sign on a Bangalore road!?

stop_signI say a waste. Let me tell you why. The stop sign mechanism, rather any organized “discipline” at an intersection is inefficient, and we Indians know that! Hear out my case.

Imagine two 30 feet wide roads intersecting. If vehicles followed the “first come first go, but must stop” rule, you would be wasting 30 x 30 feet of quality pucca road at every intersection. When stopping or stalling, vehicles must occupy every available inch. We are a land starved country you know.

Now, even after the high packing fractions, gaps between two stopped vehicles are often enough to let a two wheelers squeeze through. There you go, so you can get more number vehicles to cross paths if you allow squeezing and inserting to play on.

Last note is about saving precious fossil fuel for our mother nation. Amount of energy a vehicle wastes when it comes to halt is directly proportional to its speed. Let me make that simpler for you. 60 kmph to zero wastes more fuel than 20 kmph to zero. So, vehicles with more momentum get the right of passage, you will get better fuel efficiency when averaged across the nation. Better change the stop sign’s “first come first go” theme to “fast come, fast go”.

Time to recap what we covered in today’s traffic lecture. Stop sign or ‘discipline’ at intersections wastes road space, reduces vehicle throughput, and wastes fuel.

Isn’t it amazing that our planners and citizens have this gyaan in abundance. See, there are minimal stop signs around. And citizens make the best decisions at our signal-free intersections to get all the benefits of indiscipline. I tell you we are one genius race.

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7 Responses

  1. Heh. Recently after returning from one of my trips to US, I saw a Stop sign on Hosur road and I instinctively stopped. And then I realized, “oh what am I doing, I am in Bangalore!”

  2. yep! i know it is out of fashion in grade separated blr but circles were meant to do exactly this.

  3. Hehe Mohan!

    Tarle, yep. Circles aka roundabouts work better. Vehicles are forced to slow down. Lanes are narrowed down (circle eats space) so cars are forced to queue up. Circle should be big in size though. Or else guys ‘circle’ it any way they want, clock, anti-clock.

    But I see that circles are not the flavor these days. small ones are disappearing one by one.

  4. Most of the times the signs are facing the wrong way :-).. as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts.. if you dare stop at a “Stop” sign the guy behind you will start hooting…

    Theres a one way sign near my house that skewed such that it faces the wrong road…

  5. Full stop!!!

    Wether you like it or not, indesciplened driving ensures the stops happen every where.

  6. Same disease – Lack of world class, uniform standards for infrastructure.

  7. It may be a good start in the right direction. I think(may be wrong) that people in US, would also have same feeling when they might have started putting these signs in US way back. Things may not be disciplined right now, but yes, they will improve gradually. :)

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