Broken signals add to traffic mess

December 01, 2016


ISLAMABAD: Twenty-two traffic signals in the federal capital are either out of order or in disrepair, the interior ministry informed the National Assembly on Wednesday.

A recent road survey conducted by the Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) found the dead and malfunctioning signals, said the ministry in reply to a question put by MNA Zahra Wadood Fatemi of the ruling PML-N.

Road users can heap their frustration over the traffic mess that it creates all over the city at the Capital Development Authority (CDA), as the ministry said it was responsible for maintaining the traffic signals in working condition.

Signals at Melody and Aabpara work but five others in the commercially busy locality were not functioning, according to the details provided in the ministry’s reply.

Other dead or dying signals were disrupting traffic at choking points in G-10, E-11, F-10 Markaz, Al Shifa Hospital and Education Chowk and Tramri Chowk.

Some of the malfunctioning signals can be put right by replacing their control panel and cellular device.

U-turn signals on the Club Road and the Sports Complex Gate “need maintenance”, according to the interior ministry.

ITP officers said there were 100 traffic signals installed on the city roads.

“They are old, outdated and work on timing set for three lights – red, orange and green,” one of the officers told Dawn.

“Modern signals work on censors which can read the number of vehicles at the signal point and change the timings of green and red light accordingly.” A couple of years back, the authorities were approached to install modern signals in the capital but the suggestion has not materialised yet, the officer said.

ITP officers describe traffic markings on the Islamabad roads as “pathetic”. But the CDA did not register their suggestion to improve them.

They said that roads did not need just lane marking or zebra crossings, which are there, there should also be other markings, like marking at signals.

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2016