23 March, 2012

Flyover Design

Few months back newly built flyover on Solapur road, at Mega center and Sahyadri Hospital corner (see location in map below) was opened for public.

View Larger Map

Simple observation of the flyover design would create lots of doubts and questions in anyone's mind.

Most shocking observation is that vehicles cross paths on the top of flyover. Very strange and unsettling, because common sense tells that flyover should make it possible for vehicles to travel without having to stop (for signal or pedestrians crossings etc.) anywhere. In other words, flyover should help move the vehicle fast (this does not always reduce traffic congestion, but that is another topic for discussion).

Is this flyover design correct?
Note: Above picture stitched image created using 2 different photos taken from top of nearby building. An object was blocking the middle portion of flyover, so I had to remove it and re-create flyover using photo editing.

You can easily see in above picture that vehicles have to be very careful or else collision can easily occur on the flyover (area marked in red circle). Also vehicles must slow down and stop on the flyover to allow other vehicles to pass. As of now, there is NO traffic signal on the flyover. Are they (Pune Municipal Corporation) going to install one? I don't know. If they do that would some kind of world record "A flyover with traffic signal".

Some unanswered questions:
Q. If this flyover design safe? Is crossing on flyover a good idea? 
Q. If NOT, they who approved this design?
Q. Is it worth Crores of rupees (people's money) spent on building it? what benefits does it provide?
Q. If it is flawed design, wow can we avoid this in future.
Q. Would it be some kind of world record if traffic signal is installed on a flyover?

Any ideas?

Note: If you are civil engineering teacher/student, please feel free to use this post and photo for classroom discussion.

Update (26 Dec 2014): Here is news article about Pedestrian First's proposal to modify the flyover.

Orange Thing

I am extra careful about commitment to any object, especially big object in my life. So when it comes to "owning" something that is :
  • Big, heavy weighs more than 500 Kg.
  • will need lot of money to keep it going.
  • I will be responsible for carrying it around everywhere I go without feeling embarrassed.
  • I will be responsible any of it's mistake.
I had to do lot of research. Which I did.
I am now proud owner of Orange (not the fruit) TATA (let me complete) Nano (almost done) Small (finally) Car. Don't believe me, here is the proof:

Orange and Flowers, in Green Backdrop

First impressions:
  • Good choice as first car (when you are not sure of your driving skills and you are wondering how you really got the driving license).
  • Compact, easy to drive, park on narrow roads.
  • Spacious
  • Bit noisy (in first and second gear), but not annoying.
  • Brakes are not very quick, so you need keep extra distance at high speeds.
  • Suspension is OK, be ready to feel every pothole on the road.

Next episode (How did someone passionate about public transportation tuned into a car driving idiot, with no passengers, struck in traffic jam?), stay tuned ...

22 March, 2012

Daylight saving time for India

If you search for "Daylight saving time USA"in Google, it returns:

Daylight Saving Time (United States) began Sunday, 11 March 2012, 2:00, and ends Sunday, 4 November 2012, 2:00.Except Arizona and Hawaii. Move your clocks ahead 1 hour in spring and back 1 hour in fall ("Spring forward, fall back").

This got me thinking:

Q. In India, during summer (i.e. now) how much EXTRA sunlight do we get in the morning? Do we get equal no. of EXTRA hours in the evening? Of course not, so what is the difference? Is it significant?

Q. Secondly, how much % energy is spent on lighting (houses, offices, roads etc.)? Is it significant?

Following are some no. of New Delhi, I intentionally chose a city in North India, where difference will be more.

Date             SunriseSunsetThis dayDifferenceTimeAltitudeDistance

24 Feb 2012    06:52    18:17    11h 25m 03s    + 1m 38s    12:34    51.7°     148.031
25 Feb 2012    06:51    18:18    11h 26m 42s    + 1m 38s    12:34    52.1°     148.064
26 Feb 2012    06:50    18:19    11h 28m 21s    + 1m 39s    12:34    52.5°     148.098
27 Feb 2012    06:49    18:19    11h 30m 01s    + 1m 39s    12:34    52.9°     148.132
28 Feb 2012    06:48    18:20    11h 31m 41s    + 1m 40s    12:34    53.2°     148.167
29 Feb 2012    06:47    18:20    11h 33m 21s    + 1m 40s    12:34    53.6°     148.201

26 Mar 2012    06:18    18:36    12h 17m 52s    + 1m 43s    12:27    63.8°     149.244

27 Mar 2012    06:17    18:36    12h 19m 35s    + 1m 42s    12:26    64.2°     149.286
28 Mar 2012    06:16    18:37    12h 21m 18s    + 1m 42s    12:26    64.6°     149.328
29 Mar 2012    06:15    18:38    12h 23m 01s    + 1m 42s    12:26    65.0°     149.370
30 Mar 2012    06:13    18:38    12h 24m 43s    + 1m 42s    12:26    65.3°     149.412
31 Mar 2012    06:12    18:39    12h 26m 25s    + 1m 42s    12:25    65.7°     149.454

Source: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html?n=176&month=3&year=2012&obj=sun&afl=-11&day=1

Remember North India are some really populous states (as big as some European countries) , so a serious study is needed to conclude is Daylight Saving Time for India will result into energy savings (which is scarce).

Also remember that typical Indian office, work starts after 9:30 AM so we are already NOT using morning sunlight. In summer, it is whopping 3 hours after sun rise. Of course assumption here majority buildings have architecture that uses sunlight.