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A CRRI Study on Losses of Petroleum Products at Traffic Intersections due to idling of vehicles at Delhi Sponsored by PCRA
 
1. Introduction
Transport performs a key role in achieving fast economic growth. Road Transport is the dominant consumer of the petroleum products. The usage is high due to the alarming increase in travel demand and growth of vehicles. The vehicle owners have to overcome congestion and delay on roads. There is considerable loss of fuel due to idling of vehicles at the traffic intersections which results in increase of operating cost and wastage of precious fuel.
 
2. Objective of the study
To estimate the total fuel loss per day due to idling of vehicles at traffic intersections in Delhi and to recommend remedial measures for conserving fuel at intersections.
 
3. Methodology Adopted
3.1 Ten types of vehicles along with their idling fuel consumption adopted for this study is as given below:
S. No. Type of Vehicle Idle Fuel Consumption (Litres/Hr)
Petrol Diesel
1. Ambassador Car 0.78* -
2. Premier Padmini Car 0.49 -
3. Maruti (800) 0.45 -
4. Three Wheeler (Bajaj) 0.42 -
5. Two Wheeler (Super) 0.34 -
6. Diesel Jeep - 0.74*
7. LCV & Mini Bus - 0.69
8. Bus (Tata UGA-120, 692-DI) - 0.86
9. Ashok Leyland Truck (Commet) - 0.88
10. Tata Truck (1210 SE) - 0.92*
 
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*Adopted from Road User Cost Study in India-CRRI, 1982. Others are based on study by Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun - 1996.

3.2 Total signalized traffic intersections in Delhi i.e. 466 Nos. were listed. These intersections were classified into three categories based on the traffic volume as follows:

Type of Intersections No. of Intersections Vehicles crossing per day (in Lacs)
No. of high volume Intersections 183 More than 1.00
No. of medium volume Intersections 250 0.6 to 1.00
No. of low volume Intersections 33 Less than 0.6
 
4. Field Experiments

To arrive at the volume and compositions of traffic approaching the signalized intersection from each arm and measure the delays to these vehicles at the intersection, field studies were organized from 6.00 am to 10.00 pm These field studies were repeated for three working days of the week.

 

4.1 Selection of Survey Points: Nine signalized intersections were identified on arterial roads of Delhi. The intersections were identified on the basis of available records of traffic volume, projected traffic and carriageway widths of the intersections roads. The names of these intersections are given below:

S. No. Intersection Type of Intersection
1. Ashram Intersection High volume Intersection
2. Delhi Gate Intersection High volume Intersection
3. Punjabi Bagh Intersection High volume Intersection
4. Zakir Hussain Intersection Medium volume Intersection
5. Lajwanti Intersection Medium volume Intersection
6. Madhuban Chowk Intersection Medium volume Intersection
7. Siri Fort Intersection Low volume Intersection
8. Escorts Heart Centre Intersection Low volume Intersection
9. Preet Vihar Intersection Low volume Intersection
 

4.2 Traffic Volume Counts: Classified traffic volume counts by direction for each arm and each phase were recorded by a set of trained enumerators on specially designed proforma from 6.00 am to 1.00 pm at all the nine intersections. This survey was repeated for three working days per intersection for eliminating the daily variation. Free left turning vehicles were not included in the study as they were not subjected to delays. Data was collected for each traffic movement sequentially as per signal phases at each of the selected intersection.

4.3 Measurement of Delay: This study was conducted along with the traffic volume survey, with the help of a test car operating at normal safe speed of the stream. Efforts were made to record the idling time (stopped time of the test vehicle) with the help of electronic stop watch for each direction of traffic movement during different periods of the day from 6.00 am to 10.00 am in the following periods:

Type Time Period
Morning Off-Peak 6.00 am to 8.00 am
Morning Peak 8.00 am to 12.00 noon
Morning Off-Peak 12.00 noon to 4.00 pm
Evening Peak 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm
Evening Off-Peak 8.00 pm to 10.00 pm
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4.4 Video Recording: Video recording of traffic movements was done at each of the selected intersections for a total period of 3 hours, comprising of one hour for each time periods representing morning peak, off peak between two peaks and evening peak. The video camera was positioned at vantage points at five of the nine intersections. Due to the absence or non-availability of vantage points, video camera was placed at appropriately suited corner of the intersection for the remaining four intersections to record the traffic movements.

 
5. Data Analysis
The flow chart adopted for the data processing is presented in Figure 1, page 5.

5.1 Average Daily Traffic: Classified traffic volume counts made during green periods of the signal cycle time have been verified with the help of video recording made at all the nine intersections. The counts for all the traffic directions, (except for free left turns –not subjected to traffic delays) were summed up to arrive at the classified traffic volume.

On the basis of the previous studies made by CRRI and others, the relationship between 16 hrs. counts and 24 hrs. Counts was established and the same was employed to determine the night traffic between 10.00 pm to 6.00 am. Average hourly classified traffic for each intersection is determined by taking the average of corresponding hourly traffic over three days for which counts were made. Based on the average hourly volumes, Average Daily Traffic (ADT) is estimated for each intersection.

5.2 Estimation of Delays to vehicles: Delays of vehicles during different hours of the day were calculated by multiplying the classified traffic flow with the corresponding delay measured by the experimental vehicle for three days and average out for the estimation of average hourly classified vehicle delays for the average of three days.

5.3 Average Idling fuel consumption: With the help of idling fuel consumption figures for each vehicle the hourly average fuel losses (separately for petrol and diesel) have been estimated for each category of intersection.

5.4 Estimated fuel and monetary losses per day in Delhi

Type of Intersection Petrol (in Ltrs/Day)
Diesel (in Ltrs/Day)
High vol. 958 175347 319 58370
Medium vol. 536 134018 168 41923
Low vol. 366 12067 61 1019
Total   321432   101312
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It can be seen that in Delhi, with over 466 signalized intersections, 3,21,432 litres of Petrol and 1,01,312 litres of Diesel are being burnt every day due to the idling of vehicles. Converting these figures into monetary terms the total losses, at the 1996 prevailing price of fuel, works out to be Rs. 82.00 lakhs per day for Delhi. E. RS 245.00 crores per annum.

Figure 2a, 2b & 2c represents loss of fuel (lts/day) at high intensity, medium intensity and low intensity intersections in Delhi.

Figure 4a & 4b represent loss of Petrol & Diesel due to idling of vehicles at all intersections in Delhi.

 
6. Remedies to reduce Delays

Due to time sharing nature of the traffic control devices at the intersections there are bound to be delays. The following remedial measures have been suggested to reduce/minimize vehicular delays and consequently avoiding expected loss of precious petroleum products due to idling to the vehicles to some extent.

 
6.1 Traffic Engineering/Management Measures
  • Installation of vehicle actuated traffic signals.
  • Provision of flyovers and grade separated interchanges at the high volume and priority intersections.
  • Optimization of signal cycle timings.
  • Co-ordination of synchronization of traffic signals on important routes (using Area Traffic Control systems).
  • Provision of adequate road geometrics.
  • Differential cycle timings for different periods (peak and non-peak).
  • Adequate provisions for free left turns.
  • Minimization of the use of private vehicles and more and more use of mass transport.

6.2 Traffic Enforcement Measures

At intersections, lack of discipline either by the vehicle or by the pedestrians can cause and increase the delays resulting in loss of fuel. Therefore, stricter enforcement in terms of lane discipline, STOP line violations or the jumping of red lights etc. need to be controlled.

6.3 Traffic Education Measures

Public participation is very important towards the minimization of the loss of fuel. More and more efforts need to be made in this direction in educating the road users for observance of traffic rules eg. parking of vehicles and lane discipline etc.

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7. Action taken by PCRA based on the study

Based on the studies, the Vice Chairman, PCRA/Addl. Secretary, MOP&NG had advised to the State Authorities, the need for adopting the recommendations of the study on priority in their respective states. To facilitate expeditious action, Chief Secretaries and Secretary transport of the State Governments had been requested to review the above suggestion and take up with CPWD/Municipal Corporation and Traffic Police for initiating suitable action to implement the recommendations.

As a result of follow ups at Delhi, the Lt. Governor has ordered the setting up of a special task force called Traffic Management Task Force (TMTF), to plan better traffic management and coordinate the work of various agencies involved. The high powered panel, will formulate the policy on vehicular movement in Delhi and oversee its implementation. The TMTF is headed by Lt. Governor and has Police Commissioner, Members from Govt. & NGOs. School of Planning and Architecture, Automobile Association, CRRI, Transport Secretary, MCD Commissioner, DTC, DESU etc.

Chairman, EC, PCRA had advised the Oil companies to come forward for forward for sponsoring projects for improving the Traffic Management scenario thereby serving the cause of oil conservation and reducing environment pollution.

A decision was taken that the Oil companies will sponsor at least one stretch of road for synchronized signal systems with the company-wise targets as given below:

Name of the Company State Adopted
IOC Delhi & Chennai
BPC Mumbai
HPC Bangalore
IBP Calcutta
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