Less traffic lights, 'smart' roads to cut costs, ease traffic in Turkish cities
by Barış Şimşek
ISTANBULNov 15, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Barış Şimşek
Nov 15, 2016 12:00 am
In its bid to relieve major cities and the economy of the burden of heavy traffic, Turkey is readying plans for "smart transportation systems" that will analyze the traffic flow and allow better management.
The country also plans to decrease the number of traffic lights, redefine waiting times at the lights with an ultimate goal of saving some TL 49 billion annually in the transport sector and introduce safer and faster travel for millions of motorists and passengers.
Turkey aims to a realize the project by 2023, on the centennial of the Republic of Turkey, as part of its vision to establish itself as a economic and technological, geopolitical power.
The project will include building "smart cities" connected by IT technologies for a more efficient management, advanced traffic management systems, passenger information systems, vehicle control and safety systems as well as new regulations on mass transit.
One of the first steps of the project will be the introduction of traffic flow information systems accessible to residents of Turkey's major cities. Smart intersections equipped with sensors and other systems to monitor the traffic flow will also be introduced. After analyzing the traffic flow, traffic light waiting times will be readjusted and number of traffic lights across the country will be decreased, ultimately minimizing the fuel consumption due to starting and stopping the engines in heavy traffic.
Another step of the project will see introduction of a single payment card for toll roads all across the country. Smart transportation systems will also help save lives as the lanes with ambulances on them will automatically receive a green light.
Road accidents across Turkey claim at least 3,000 lives every year and most of these accidents are blamed on reckless driving. Since early 2000, the government has expanded the country's road network with modern highways, it has also renovated poorly built roads. Still, apart from some electronic systems to detect speeding drivers, Turkey lacks smart traffic management systems except for the big cities.