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Traffic Control

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(2) Much of the congestion in urban areas is due to traffic which has no business in the area but is only passing through. There is a tendency for drivers to keep to the well-lit shopping streets. If they can be made to use less important streets and those not occupied by shops, then conditions are improved not only for the through traffic but also for the local traffic.

(3) Signposting is, of course, a directional control and a very effective one. In fact it is important for all signs and symbols used on the roads to be seen, well in advance, by drivers approaching at normal speed. Directional control cannot increase the capacity of the highway system but it can avoid local congestion.

(4) One-way traffic is a special kind of directional control which is very effective in maintaining the traffic flow in congested areas.

(5) A major cause of congestion in towns is the interruption to the free flow of traffic by cross traffic at junctions. But if the need for traffic streams to cross each other can be avoided then the movement of vehicles will be much easier. This easier movement of traffic can often be achieved by making traffic move in one direction only along certain streets and by prohibiting incoming vehicles from side streets from crossing the main stream. The streets may be either one-way or two-way according to local conditions of traffic or width of carriageway, and traffic at the junctions can be guided by constructing suitably-shaped islands. Besides one-way traffic can also be introduced where the carriageway width is inadequate for two opposing lines of traffic.

(6) The disadvantages of a one-way traffic system are that it increases the distance travelled by some vehicles, that it makes it more difficult for strangers to find their way about. The true aim of a one-way system is to eliminate cross traffic, and under conditions of continuous flow on crossing streets the introduction of a properly designed one-way scheme can double the carrying capacity of the highways.

(7) The two main objections to street intersections are that they are a cause of accidents and that they interrupt the flow of traffic. The best thing to do with intersections is to get rid of them. If that is not possible they may be improved and made safer but they will always remain a source of danger and delay.

(8) Many accidents are caused because traffic streams of different types, or traffic streams travelling in different directions, are using the same carriageway, and these accidents can be avoided either by reservations between traffic lanes, or by vertical (or "grade") separation.

(9) In many cities in America and in Europe segregation of traffic is achieved by means of flyovers or underpasses; at some junctions there are even three different levels. Each has its advantages and disadvantages according to the circumstances. Flyover structures are not always 1.9 km long Flyover at Khilgaon Rail & aesthetically pleasing while Road Intersection in Dhaka City, Bangladesh

an underpass may be more expensive to construct. The separation of fast and slow traffic from the heavier and faster traffic is most desirable not only in the interests of freedom of traffic movement, but also of safety. This ideal is not easy to achieve.

(10) Urban traffic control will be of benefit to the general public in the district concerned and will result in greater comfort for road users of all classes, as well as bringing economic advantages to the community as a whole.

Comprehension check

10. Group the following sentences according to the topics:

A. The problems created by motor traffic growth.

B. Ways of solving the traffic congestion problem.

C. Advantages of a one-way traffic scheme.

1. A great intensity of traffic makes it necessary to lower the average speed of vehicles. 2. The problem of avoiding traffic congestion is one of the most important. 3. Under conditions of continuous flow on intersecting streets a properly designed one-way scheme can double the carrying capacity of the highways. 4. The extraordinary growth of motor traffic has created traffic difficulties demanding new designs and planning. 5. Roundabouts, streetwidening and the segregation of traffic by means of flyover roads, pedestrian subways, underpasses are possible solutions of the congestion problem though they are costly and demand space. 6. A special kind of directional control—one-way traffic—obviates the necessity for traffic streams to cut across each other. 7. Narrow streets and junctions are incapable of taking peak-hour traffic. 8. Directing the traffic stream to less important streets may improve both the through and local traffic. 9. With the carriageway width inadequate for two opposing lines of traffic a one-way scheme is advantageous though it increases the distance travelled by vehicles.

11. Match the sentences with the paragraphs of the text. Put them in order according to the text:

1. The importance of signs in the control of direction choice.

2. The advantage of having one-way streets.

3. Segregation of different types of traffic is an ideal not easy to achieve.

4. The necessity of introducing grade separation.

5. The roads where congestion in town takes place.

6. The danger of having street intersections.

7. Drivers themselves may bring about congestion.

8. The disadvantages of one-way traffic.


12. Speak about traffic control using the following clichés:

This text deals with …

The author pays great attention to the …

Advantages and disadvantages of the … are discussed.

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