RESIDENT SPEAK: Noida U-turns caused more problems than they solved
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RESIDENT SPEAK: Noida U-turns caused more problems than they solved

The operations, safety and geometry of U-turn do not fit into the context of each intersection.

RESIDENT SPEAK: Noida U-turns caused more problems than they solved

While entering Noida from Delhi, through Noida Welcome gate, the first thing one notices is concrete blocks used as road dividers with around 55 oddly designed U-turns spread across the city. Though not a new design concept, the U-turns in Noida fail to appeal aesthetic sense. 

Elsewhere the U-turn has proved a viable solution to traffic issues in the form of Median U-turn, Crossover or Michigan loon. But, here in Noida, the intended context of the U-turn does not seem to have been understood properly. 

How would the operations, safety and geometry fit into the context of each intersection or corridor, including intended users (pedestrians, bicyclists, passenger cars, commercial vehicles, emergency vehicles, oversize/overweight and long vehicles) has been completely ignored.

Retrofitting never works as an engineering solution. A typical U-turn intersection includes or requires a wide center median on at least one or both streets (crossing and the main street). 

The design cannot be imposed on an existing median without considering the turning radius for commercial/long vehicles. While designing any junction/intersection a multimodal consideration shall be given – pedestrian, bicycle, and transit needs should play a role in selecting an intersection form and developing intersection design elements. Unfortunately, all these elements are missing in Noida. 
None of the U-turns designed in Noida was given any thoughtful consideration, nor were engineering principles applied. Managing traffic without traffic lights and personnel has created a mess all around. 

Peak-hour traffic on busy Noida roads get stuck at the U-turns and signal-free roads are now more congested than ever and wrong-side driving, particularly by two-wheelers and e-rikshaws is rampant at many U-turns. 

The idea of introducing U-turns was to decongest junctions and make the roads signal free. But it has resulted in the opposite. Instead of making the roads congestion free, these U-turns, at a number of places (there are four U-turns at a 2-km stretch on Sector 51 road and on sector 61-62 road), have caused more chaos. 

Secondly, these U-turns have been designed without weaving and merging lanes, creating mayhem for traffic moving straight. We have not found a solution to the ever-growing traffic on junctions, but have just been shifting the problem from one place to another thus making our roads more vulnerable to traffic jams and accidents.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are his own and CitySpidey does not endorse them in anyway.