For this issue, Bilkent News asked Dr. Emre Uzun (Department of Industrial Engineering), who is a member of the Bilkent University Traffic Committee, about the latest traffic-related improvements around campus.What innovations has the Traffic Committee implemented on and around campus?
We’ve constantly been working on improving various traffic-related features and procedures on and around the university campus. Our primary focus is the safety of pedestrians and motorists alike. Some of the innovations we’ve recently implemented concern traffic signals, crosswalks and parking areas.
Traffic Signals: The two signalized intersections at Bilkent Center and Sports International have been upgraded with new controllers. These controllers work in coordination during the morning and afternoon rush hours, allowing traffic moving in the peak direction to catch the green signal at the next intersection if the speed limit is obeyed (this pattern is sometimes referred to as a “green wave”).
Also, the Bilkent Center intersection now has traffic detectors in place for utilization during off-peak hours, when traffic from the side streets is intermittent. These detectors sense the presence of vehicles and automatically adjust the green signal times based on the number of vehicles in the intersection. Motorists must wait in the designated detection zones clearly marked on the pavement at times when their movement in the intersection is governed by a detector. Otherwise, the through traffic will always get the green signal. This policy significantly reduces delays at this intersection by eliminating redundant stops for through traffic, in particular when there are no vehicles arriving at the intersection from the side streets. This not only saves time but also decreases emissions. We’re planning to install detectors at the Sports International intersection in the future.Crosswalks: We’ve increased the number of crosswalks on campus and installed high-visibility signs between the lane markings. Based on our observations, these signs slow vehicles down without the need of additional speed bumps.Parking Signs and Parking Lots: We’ve adopted a combination of national and international standards with regard to parking signs and parking-lot geometry. We’ve started restriping the parking lots based on this new standard, and are already observing a reduction in fender benders in the newly designed lots. Also, our new parking signs clearly indicate the beginning and end of parking zones, eliminating the ambiguity that we often have to contend with in various locations throughout the city.What do you expect from motorists and pedestrians?
We’ve observed that a large number of motorists run the red lights at signalized intersections around the campus. We’d like to remind all motorists to obey the red lights, not simply because it’s the law, but because your safety, as well as that of other motorists and pedestrians, should be your highest priority. As for pedestrians, we urge everyone to use the marked crosswalks every time they cross a street. Don’t be a jaywalker!
All Bilkenters are welcome to send their opinions, suggestions and reports of on-campus traffic violations (with the license plate number, date, time and location included) to firstname.lastname@example.org