Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Geometrical Driving

Most of us are frequent users of automobiles- either a bike/cycle or a car. These are the mechanical innovations which have made our life rather time saving. Earlier walking was the source of movement which has now been replaced by these machines. With the factors like rural urban migration, population explosion and less dependence on public transport, lot many of us are party to the use of these engines. The city design thus is guided majorly by vehicles.

The city design is a complex process with numerous factors governing its outcome. Geometry is one mathematical logic which applies to create a sensible blueprint of the city plan. It plays a major role in directing the arteries of the city and evolving overall form of the city. A well planned city is often a classical example of geometrical design.

Transportation planning also considers geometry as a major part to determine the road layouts, junction geometry, street patterns, sidewalks and many more. The way a street is designed and intersects other street/ road holds lot of meaning in its smooth and proper functioning. The execution too plays an important part in ascertaining a proper geometry.

But all said and done, the most impotant aspect of proper functioning of roads is the end users i.e the commuters. Like a well designed road pattern can create a havoc if the end users don’t respect it , equally ethical driving can make a insensibly designed road/ junction work smoothly. 

Like me, most of the Indians spend major part of their life on wheels and I have been a spectator to the ‘driving marvels’ of several commuters. Though I don’t pride on being an ethical driver, but it falters to understand why people take things for granted while driving. The geometry learned in school if applied in the mind while driving on road can save us a lot many accidents and fights on street.

There are several interpretations of ‘go straight’ while driving. For some go straight is following the road edge, centerline, a zig zag way on the road is ‘straight’ for some. Lane cutting without observing , rushing through and many more add to the list. A junction is the best example to demonstrate the manie examples of the way road geometry while driving is perceived. To make my point clear, the image below illustrates the fact in a slightly better manner.

Driving past the junction is a herculean task if such a driving geometry is observed. The additional layer of pedestrians is not marked to avoid more confusion. What we need to understand right now is that roads can work properly and efficiently if we imbibe proper road driving ethics. By simply following the traffic rules and the road geometry we can certainly o our bit in saving the city from accident hazards. One must understand that this is not only for the city for but for our safety too. We can avoid the large infrastructural set ups like flyovers, metros by adhering to some simple ethics.

This blog post is not as a learning guide but as an observation. It aims at making a point that a slight correction in our manner can help us save our future generations. What it aspires to tell is that even planes have a well defined paths while flying. The expanse and the infiniteness of the sky is restricted for the flyer just to make sure that he is well directed. This helps him minimize any confusion. We still ply on roads and surfaces which are well marked, it is upon us to define our own paths.

 Let’s give the straight lines in our driving a meaning. Let the curve we take while turning be defined. Let’s give in to the geometrical driving!!!!